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COMING SOON
Series A
Raised $25M
UNICORN
Valued at $250B
Acquired
By Meituan at $2.7B
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COMING SOON
→ Product strategy

Waitlist Strategy: Gaining First-Mover Advantage in Real Estate

After successfully raising our seed round in late 2019, we were excited to expand our team and bring our envisioned product to life. At that time, the concept of fractional commercial real estate was just gaining momentum, with a few big players already in the market. However, we recognized that we were the first platform open to non-accredited investors with no holding period, and it was the perfect time to establish ourselves as one of the earliest players in the field.

We realized that building the necessary technology to support the whole investment experience could take over a year, and other competitors might have already launched their products and gained a first-mover advantage. This led us to consider the idea of a waitlist product, despite the potential delay it could cause to our core product launch.

Our decision to implement a waitlist was three-fold:

✦ Firstly, it allowed us to establish our brand and gain recognition ahead of our competitors, giving us a first-mover advantage.

✦ Secondly, it enabled us to collect actual names and emails from the waitlist sign-up, allowing us to update them with our progress and keep them engaged in the long-term.

✦ Thirdly, the waitlist helped us identify the most engaged customers, allowing us to allocate our sales resources more strategically."

→ Design Process

Building trust and engagement

As a new business with a limited property pipeline, we needed to make a professional and trustworthy impression with our waitlist product. We used unique features and strategies to engage customers and build trust.

The Browse Page - Unique Presentation

With only a few upcoming properties, we created a unique browsing experience inspired by infinite marquee (see example) and scroll effects. Each property was displayed as an individual card in an infinite loop, creating an illusion of more properties and a professional first impression. We also overlaid the property cards on a map for interaction and easy access to property details.

Indication of Interest (IOI) - Engaging Participation

We went beyond a typical waitlist by introducing the Indication of Interest (IOI) feature. An IOI is a non-binding show of interest in the upcoming properties. With IOI, customers could not only browse properties, but also reserve their own shares before the IPO opens, creating a sense of participation and engagement. The Zeigarnik effect in psychology suggests that unfinished tasks are remembered better, potentially leading to higher conversion rates. The IOI also provided valuable insights for deal pipeline and targeted sales and marketing efforts.

Organic User Acquisition Strategies

With no marketing budget, we focused on acquiring as many users as possible before our core product was ready. We implemented strategies to prompt users to invite others by showing their position on the waitlist and offering a "move up in line" call-to-action (CTA) to leverage FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) and encourage organic growth.

→ The Learnings

Success launch with unexpected Customer Behavior

After 3 months of hard work, our waitlist successfully launched by the end of Q1 2020. From Q2 20 to Q4 20, it acquired over 6,000 users organically, without any paid marketing.

Unexpected outcomes: Good and Bad

✦ Waitlist Product as an Opportunity for Product Development

Contrary to our expectations, the waitlist product did not slow down our product development. In fact, it provided a great opportunity to establish our design system and build up our tech infrastructure. Many of the design components and code from the waitlist process were repurposed for our core product, shortening the expected timeline for its development.

✦ Beware of Overly Generous IOI from Customers

During the waitlist phase, we noticed some customers making excessively high Indications of Interest (IOI), such as indicating 10,000 shares. This trend became apparent after our first IPO, and it could have negative effects on our business by providing false insights to our sales team and causing confusion. To address this, we updated our IOI copywriting to weaken the notion of "non-binding" and communicate the potential issues of inaccurate IOI. The new copy encouraged more accurate IOIs that reflect customers' real intentions on the number of shares they want to purchase.

Recap the highlights

✦ Single-handedly designed the whole product within 6 weeks

✦ Launched the whole product on both web and iOS in 3 months with only 2 engineers

✦ Acquired 6,000+ users all organically

✦ Successful first IPO launch

More about the LEX product series

This is the first case study of the LEX product series. Read more LEX product case studies:

 ↳ LEX Product 2/3 - Core Product (coming soon) 

 ↳ LEX Product 3/3 - Growth Product (coming soon) 

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