Innovating With Low-Velocity Products
While they may not be used every day, Elissa Kline specializes in managing products that handle complex issues and provide users with solutions that often have long-term impact on day-to-day business.
Zillow fmr Product Lead on Low-Velocity Products (Part 3)
Unlike many products that you use every day, low-velocity products present numerous challenges for product managers. In other words, there’s a lot to unpack when developing a solution that helps people deal with less-than-fun situations. As a result, there’s plenty of room to innovate and re-think how to solve complex problems.
As I mentioned previously, low-velocity products provide solutions for high stakes decisions. For example, this can involve doing your taxes / buying a car / financing a house / etc. With this, I will share an example from my current company (Point) that shows how to innovate in a less-than-sexy industry.
Point is a home equity solution that enables homeowners to unlock the value of their house before selling it.
If you own a home in a desirable area, the value of your home will start to outpace your original mortgage. Normally, if you want to gain access to this increased value, you would need to take out a home equity loan. However, this process is cumbersome and
While getting a home equity loan is nothing new, Point introduces a new way to capitalize on your home’s value. The key is bringing investors into the mix to effectively buy into a homeowner’s equity. Plus, they can provide the homeowner with instant access to their loan. As a result, homeowners do not have monthly payments and can gain access to the value of their home much more efficiently.
Clearly, this provides homeowners with an easier way to access the value of their home. However, the biggest upside lies with investors who can buy into property that historically has not been available. From an investment perspective, the ability to own real estate is very attractive. Previously, the only way to gain access to real estate value would have been to physically buy property. With Point, investors aren’t buying property. Instead, they’re investing in a mortgage that provides consistent returns without the risk of owning the property outright.
In summary, this solution provides an example of how low-velocity products can provide innovative solutions and unlock new potential for customers. Simply put, low usage does not mean a lack of interesting challenges. Conversely, these problems usually provide product managers with a wealth of opportunity to make a difference.