Zenhomes Case Study: How Our Interim Product Manager Helped Zenhomes Change Their Whole Platform Towards Becoming the Ecosystem for Property Management in Germany

The Client: Zenhomes

Property Management Made Easy!

Zenhomes is the one-stop shop for private landlords and property managers. It’s a digital platform where property and tenant management is easy, smart, and convenient for everyone.

The Mission: Turning Vermietet.de into a multi-user platform

At the start of our mission, a property could be only managed by a single user on Zenhomes. Landlords and Property Managers couldn’t share real-estate properties with others to assign/delegate work or let them view information.

Upmin, as Zenhomes partner, accesses properties on Zenhomes by impersonating the Landlord because there is no user management possibility. The Upmin team needs to do this for each landlord they work with to manage their properties. As the Upmin team manages several properties of different clients, this solution is suboptimal and inefficient.

In case of property co-ownership, the platform doesn’t allow the co-owners to manage their property together using their own accounts.

There was no secure way of sharing property data or collaborating on the platform.

We joined to support and assist the team with the creation of an infrastructure that enables secure data sharing and collaboration between different players involved in property management. We started by scoping different roles, and associated access rights and permissions, and collaborated with all other teams to make this transition a reality.

The mission lasted for 7 Months from October 2021 to June 2022.

How We Helped

Company-wide buy-in and presenting to all stakeholders

Throughout the process, we included the main stakeholders in our product scoping and iterated by frequent meetings, discussions and feedback.

Improved Product Process and Contributed to Building a Product Team

We were involved from scratch in building a new team, and implementing new processes. As we scoped the new and complex solution, additional members joined our team and we started implementing scrum ceremonies successfully.

Clarified Priorities of What To Do and When

There was a lot of confusion about the timeline, the technical possibilities, and what needed to be done. With extensive and continuous communication with several stakeholders regularly, we prioritized what features to include first and what the next iterations would include. We clarified our OKRs and reached our goals in the targeted deadlines.

Integrated Product Discovery

Most of our work evolved around Product Discovery with the aim of creating a solution that would be scalable for both professional property managers and private landlords. We did our job carefully, said no when needed, and focused on a clear, feasible MVP.

Know When to Pivot

However, when we dug further into the assumptions surrounding the technical feasibility, we learned that the overall effort to build the solution was higher than anticipated. This made the business case invalid and we decided to reassess the potential uptick in revenue expected from this initiative.

We paused work on the MVP and ran two experiments, one to confirm the need again and another to reestablish the Willingness to Pay for this functionality. While we reconfirmed the need, we found that the willingness to pay was not sufficient to offset the additional development cost. We realized that we should not move forward with this initiative.

The King Is Dead, Long Live the King!

When we realised that the business viability was not there anymore, we informed the main stakeholders and got their buy-in to stop initiative immediately. Luckily, the Q2 2022 OKR cycle was right around the corner, which provided an opportunity to pivot the team into an new direction.

New Direction, New PM

During the OKR cycle, we changed the team’s mission and purpose. The team took responsibility for the full user journey of one key user group. Together with the team and management, we defined new Objectives and Key Results that would positively contribute to both the user journey and Zenhomes business goals.

At the same time, a new Product Manager joined to take over the team. We onboarded him to the team, gradually handed over responsibilities, and supported until he was fully settled into his new role. And only then did we take our leave.

Delivered Outcomes

💡 Helped create and establish the team and its processes.
💡 Created a clear POC, OKRs and a roadmap  for the Square mission.
💡 Created the first Prototypes for the Square Initiative.
💡 Assisted a side project - Back Office Solution for Property Managers.
💡 Stopped the initiative and pivoted the team before we invested too much.
💡 Led the team successfully in a new direction.
💡 Onboarded the new PM successfully.

In the Client's Own Words

Space Crew of this Mission

Viktoria Korzhova
Viktoria Korzhova
VP Product
Alex Bahlk
Alex Bahlk
Group Product Manager
Pim Welting
Pim Welting
Product Manager I
Sagar Verma
Sagar Verma
Associate Product Manager I

For Clients: When to Hire Us

You can hire us as an Interim/Freelance Product Manager or Product Owner

It takes, on average, three to nine months to find the right Product Manager to hire as a full-time employee. In the meantime, someone needs to fill in the void: drive cross-functional initiatives, decide what is worth building, and help the development team deliver the best outcomes.
If you're looking for a great Product Manager / Product Owner to join your team ASAP, Product People is a good plug-and-play solution to bridge the gap.