Harmonic approached this problem by applying its service design approach to the homeowner experience and focusing attention on three areas:
The first step was working with Evolve to form hypotheses on what homeowners might need to transition from property owner to hospitality provider. The work informed a research approach and a set of prototypes to test with homeowners.
Harmonic conducted research sessions with eleven homeowners selected from various regions across the United States. They were interviewed and asked to respond to the early concept prototypes. They were invited to tell the team stories about their most recent rental experience, which was captured on virtual sticky notes. The visual story was used to explore places where homeowners would have liked more information or more support from Evolve. These helped the team identify specific opportunities in the homeowner's journey where education, communication, or coordination could be improved.
In analyzing the research, the team discovered dramatic differences in homeowners preferences, which connected to two factors:
These two axes of difference produced four distinctly different segments of homeowners with respect to delivery of hospitality. Where some homeowners just needed information, training, and insights to support their existing efforts to provide visitors with exceptional experiences, others needed far more. They had to be persuaded that hospitality is important, provided third-party services to deliver hospitality to their guests, and to see ongoing evidence that investing in hospitality yields commensurate returns.