I am working to introduce a new way to solve critical business problems at TurnKey

TurnKey has historically built products based on HPPITR (highest paid person in the room) feature delivery. Over the last 6 months, I've been working to solve problems with customer-centric, build-measure-learn product delivery that focuses on moving metrics rather than (just) pushing code.

42%


Annualized attrition

$5,000


Cost to onboard each home

25months


How often we'd have to replace our entire inventory

The problem

TurnKey attrition is extremely high, anywhere from 30-50% annualized each month. This is unsustainable for our business. The key reason homeowners leave TurnKey is that their expectations did not meet their experience. This is particularly true from a revenue generation standpoint, and homeowners have told us so.

With such a critical blocker to our business, we would not be able to use our historical product discovery and delivery model to solve it. We needed someone to lead a new kind of process at TurnKey. We needed a process that focused on the outcome and not the method to get there. Since this would not be a top-down 'assignment', we also needed a process that would generate a high level of alignment and excitement across business silos.

As part of a smaller project, I decided to validate some stakeholder assumptions by interviewing 10 account managers and eventually interviewed 5 TurnKey customers, as well as 5 sales directors.

This all started with a small, unrelated project.

During discovery, I uncovered a host of issues with team communication, service delivery, customer communication, expectation setting and more. In short, TurnKey had a huge problem.

The end result of this meeting was to convene a truncated version of a design sprint with the VP of Sales, the VP of Revenue Management, the Founder and the Director of Product Management.

I presented my findings to a group of VP-level stakeholders. We agreed that we needed a way of tying various efforts together, while also working on a specific, achievable business outcome.

The group decided on the main issue, talked about risks, brainstormed solutions and ultimately sketched different ways to solve the problem.

We decided that the key issue was that TurnKey customers did not have alignment between their expectations and their experience. This was especially critical since we were talking about delivering income - when you miss on money, people are understandably upset and concerned. This critical issue is a core part of our value proposition, and we were getting it consistently wrong with customers.

After the session, we spent the next forty-eight hours designing.

The challenge was building a clickable prototype that would make sense to a group of tech-savvy property managers. I designed an app for a property management company's team of maintenance workers. This app would aggregate all the maintenance tasks for a given set of properties.

We left the design sprint with a mission to go and build a fast prototype that could present the vision inside of a digital product.

With alignment between stakeholders and subject matter experts, we moved forward to build a roadmap of solutions to a complex, business-level issue.

This app was built for maintenance workers at large vacation rental management companies. When they’re out in the field, the app would send them notifications in when new jobs were posted.

...and we would get great feedback after presenting to 600 of our best customers.

We made our deadline, finished the screens and presentation, and delivered our solutions to two major business problems at the conference closing keynote address.

Postscript: I was later able to lead the design of this very product at TurnKey Vacation Rentals to great success.

In 2018 I was asked to solve this exact problem for TurnKey Vacation Rental's field and maintenance team. After interviews, research, and prototype validation, it turns out the app we had built in four days at the 2012 HomeAway conference was a near perfect analog to the solution we found at TurnKey. It was an amazing moment of validation and a realization that solving a problem that's "shovel-ready" for implementation can take days, not weeks or months. You just need the right people in the room and the right process.

My leadership during a forty-eight-hour design sprint led to a visionary app concept presented at industry conference keynote

Each year HomeAway Software (HomeAway's enterprise software division for property managers) puts on RezFest, a conference for property managers. These customers are part of a segment that represents 40% of all HomeAway listings. I led a design sprint with 60+ of these customers during the conference and presented the results at the closing keynote.

600+


Conference attendees presented to

62


Attendees of the design thinking workshop

18


High-fidelity screens designed in 48 hours

The problem

The HomeAway design team was asked to lead a design thinking workshop at a conference for property managers (this segment made up 40% of all the listings on HomeAway).

We decided to use the Google Ventures design sprint format as a participatory event to show attendees how design can move rapidly and encourage quick production that can then be prototype tested. The end product would be something immensely useful to their business, and they would spend the week immersed in a best practice design sprint.

The design team suggested a design sprint and lightning app design challenge.

At the conference, we started our session by getting a sense of the attendees' businesses and their biggest issues.

Next, we asked people to brainstorm solutions—no feature, solution or concept was too out there. These became sticky notes and went up on the board.

We had the group vote on the most important problem to focus on during the design sprint.

The group brainstormed app feature ideas and voted on favorites.

We solicited attendees to think about all the problems they faced in their businesses, and to suggest features, ideas, and workflows that could help solve their problems.

No cinema displays, no wacom tablets—just a laptop and a ticking clock until our presentation at the closing keynote

After the session, we spent the next forty-eight hours designing.

The challenge was building a clickable prototype that would make sense to a group of tech-savvy property managers. I designed an app for a property management company's team of maintenance workers. This app would aggregate all the maintenance tasks for a given set of properties.

The app had to be logical and solve the dispatch and task management problem faced by our customers...

This app was built for maintenance workers at large vacation rental management companies. When they’re out in the field, the app would send them notifications in when new jobs were posted.

Opening the app would show them a list of tasks for the day.

Opening a task would give them access to the necessary information needed for them to act on the task, including details, property location, related cases, etc.

Once work on a given task was started, the maintenance specialist could “start” the task in the app. The app would track time and allow the specialist to complete the task or pass it off to a more specialized contractor.

The maintenance specialist would have a structured view of a task’s contextual information.

Once a specialist was finished with work, they could return to the main list screen to pick up other open or high-priority tasks.

...and we would get great feedback after presenting to 600 of our best customers.

We made our deadline, finished the screens and presentation, and delivered our solutions to two major business problems at the conference closing keynote address.

Postscript: I was later able to lead the design of this very product at TurnKey Vacation Rentals to great success.

In 2018 I was asked to solve this exact problem for TurnKey Vacation Rental's field and maintenance team. After interviews, research, and prototype validation, it turns out the app we had built in four days at the 2012 HomeAway conference was a near perfect analog to the solution we found at TurnKey. It was an amazing moment of validation and a realization that solving a problem that's "shovel-ready" for implementation can take days, not weeks or months. You just need the right people in the room and the right process.