Our Work With Connected Investors
Delivering the Power to Succeed in Real Estate Investing Through a Unique Platform
Connected Investors helps real estate investors find investment properties, locate resources, and gain knowledge on emerging real estate techniques and strategies. In addition to powering real estate transactions, they connect members with lenders.
Connected Investors wanted to increase traffic and hone in on their specific target market by offering them something not available anywhere else. To advance brand recognition, secure users, and better serve their market Connected Investors partnered with Thumbstop Media. We stepped in to help mold their future software offerings by providing a better user experience, capturing market opportunities in areas that were not being served, and using creative methods to present their unique offerings.
Thumbstop Media effectively propelled the company’s desktop and mobile applications to new heights. Giving Connected Investors the power to attract qualified leads, direct users in the right direction, and secure memberships on their improved platform. With innovative website design, software design, and new features Thumbstop Media empowered Connected Investors to increase revenue by over $1.5m while leading the team through innovative ideas.
A More Advanced and Functional Mobile App
In Phase 1 of the project, Thumbstop Media transformed Connected Investor’s original mobile app to an operating system native code base while integrating a number of features from the web app (previously unavailable in the mobile app). The new mobile app allowed for full functionality and a much smoother onboarding process, seamlessly connecting the previously segregated web app.
This was done by building, from the ground up, a mobile app that incorporated several functionalities from the desktop and included building a mobile-specific API. Features like forums, friend requests, and messages became operational on their mobile app leading to increased user retention. This allowed mobile users to take full advantage of the features of the Connected Investors desktop app helping them realize the full potential of this powerful real estate ecosystem.
As a part of this phase, we performed feature planning for the mobile app. This included deciding which features would be available on the mobile app and transferring these features from a desktop environment. We also designed and planned UI and UX flow, provided full-project management, level of effort creation, and timeline creation. Thumbstop Media worked on the project from initial development & testing, to launching and execution, and managed the project to completion. This phase also involved the launching of the CI Marketplace on mobile which provides user access to motivated properties not listed on MLS.
This all resulted in a 4.2/5 rating with over 250 ratings. The app is connecting investors, encouraging users to opt-in and join the network to create a profile. We onboarded 33k users through the mobile app over two years, driving $150k in recurring revenue with an in-app purchase offered exclusively to mobile app users.
Ground Up SaaS Offering
In Phase 2, we consulted on the development of their main SaaS software. At this point, the focus was on building an initial framework. We took their simple tool, previously operating at 80% functionality with high churn, and looking for opportunities for better user experiences. Thumbstop Media identified multiple improvements for users to better execute searches using segmentation and more digestible feature user interfaces. We took the baseline piece of software and redesigned it to communicate value to the end-user.
Thumbstop Media made performance improvements, provided feature planning, and delivered a full program redesign. Real Estate Investors can use this upgrade to the standard CI Marketplace to acquire pertinent information about a property including equity details.
Improving on User Interface and Experience
In phase 3, we redesigned the front page using both competitor research and consultations with the CI team. We honed in on visitor intent and provided opportunities for them to perform those actions seamlessly.
The goals of this project included getting higher conversion rates, increasing membership sign-ups, and getting them to take the next step in the process. This page was designed to communicate who Connected Investors is, who they serve, and the benefits of joining. We were able to concisely include all of the information on one page incorporating both company and visitor intents.
We also upgraded the signup and sign-in pages to match the new UI. These pages now give users a better understanding of who CI is as a brand and provide social proof, items vital to increasing conversion & users. The redesign also helped communicate value-adds like access to education, free tools, funding opportunities, and access to a large community of other investors to get deals closed. This new process also segmented the type of user or account through the sign-up process.
Leveraging Data to Improve SEO
Phase 4 centered on using the data that was amassed during the work done in Phases 2 and 3. We recommend to CI that a Search Engine Optimized directory was in order. We leveraged the data used within their software databases to create a 150M+ page directory that was optimized for Google.
To do this we created a property page for each of the 160 million properties in their marketplace, allowing users searching Google for a specific address to find the information provided by Connected Investors. From there they are driven into the CI community.
These 160 million dynamically built web pages, separate from the gated marketplace, were populated to get a large amount of digital real estate on Google search. By the end of the project, we were able to decrease the load times of these pages to below three seconds.
Upgrading PiN, Providing a Better User Experience
Phase 5 and 6 included a full redesign and launch of PiN 4.0. Using all of the trending and historical data we completed a full redesign from the ground up. This resulted in the ability to better communicate property deals, provide all pertinent information faster, and included the addition of over 40 new data points.
Thumbstop Media provided digital workflow consulting through the establishment of standard operating procedures for bug fixes, designing, and software adjustments.
Introduction of a New Suite of Products
Phase 7 ushered in a new suite of products, CI Buyers and CI Sellers. During this phase, we managed the build of these new assets including integration with their PiN property database. From sellers looking to sell homes to investors looking to acquire them, Ci Buyer & Ci Sellers culminated into the world’s first investor asset liquidation platform.
This allowed members to upload their properties to syndicate to cash-ready and verified buyers. Utilizing all data points from the seller in the backend, sellers are matched with buyers that match specific criteria.
Connected Investors is positioned to enjoy continued growth on top of the success seen in the past 5 years of working with Thumbstop Media.
Their apps are now better able to attract members, cultivate relationships, and provide investors something they will not find anywhere else on the market. Connected Investors started with $150k in revenue and now sees that amount solely in their mobile app, CI Active. PiN, their main software offering developed from the ground up by Thumbstop Media, is consistently seeing $1m+ in sales monthly, culminating in a revenue of roughly $20m for 2020.