It’s the great Australian dream: owning your own home.
The journey is the same for most home buyers – jump onto a website, browse loads of properties and dream big. The checklist is usually long and idealistic. And why shouldn’t it be?
Where the realities really start to sink in is when conversations start – about the cost of setting up a loan, what stamp duty will be, mortgage repayments, the cost of the property on our lifestyle.
It’s this emotional rollercoaster – from excitement to uncertainty – that CommBank saw as an opportunity to help customers and property searchers alike.
“Buying a home is one of the biggest and most important decisions in someone’s life,” explains Jason Wilkinson Brown, Product Owner, CommBank Property App. “At CommBank, we wanted to help guide customers on this journey, to get them off on the best possible path.
“We started to look at how we as a bank could help home buyers on their journey from beginning to end. We wanted to find a way to help people consider the overall affordability of any given property, informed by their specific financial situation and the cost of purchasing a home so that people could make better decisions, whilst still dreaming big.”
And that’s how the idea for the CommBank Property App was born.
Built to incorporate multiple information sources, the app creates a unified and simple user experience, empowering prospective home buyers to educate themselves about the market, locations and finances specific to them.
“When we started building out the app, we really wanted to break down the barriers around a banks involvement in the property purchasing lifecycle. The current role of only engaging at the finance stage didn’t make sense.”
Powered by Domain to deliver the property search functionality, the app also provides calculators to estimate borrowing power, estimated market prices for homes even if they’re not for sale, as well as recent local sales history, population growth, capital growth and median prices.
“The differentiating factor for the CommBank Property App is you can also bring buying partners into the mix – husbands, wives, partners, parents – anyone who may be looking to purchase property together. This means conversations can be held within the one platform considering all of the moving cogs of the home buying wheel.”
Building out the functionality and usability of the app was the most important thing to ensure home buyers, whether customers or not, could reap value from the app.
“There were so many ideas about how we could build this app that we had to be really ruthless in prioritising the benefit to our customers – breaking it down to the mindset of a first home buyer and what is actually going to help. It was a truly customer centric approach to developing a solution.
“We were really lucky that the benefit of the app to our customers to was obvious, and aligned with our mission to enhance the financial wellbeing of our customers. We made sure that we brought all of our internal stakeholders on the journey with us, so they were ready to engage when we needed them to. It made the process, and end product, pretty seamless.”
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