On Friday 29th July 2022 we released our biggest ever update to our online platform. In this blog we're going to break down all of the new features, and explain the thinking behind the changes.
Listing your Garden for Rent just got easier.
What have we updated?
Our starting point for the process to list your space on AllotMe was simple: a single page design with check boxes, a description text box, photos upload, and location confirmation - all in one place.
But we knew that when you see a form like this online, it can be a bit overwhelming, and leave you wanting to get it over and done with. Ultimately this can lead to shorter descriptions, and unflatteringly quick photographs which don't help to show off the types of spaces on offer.
So here's what we did:
Split the form into multiple page steps
Let you choose the options that apply to you
Allow you to Save and come back to the draft listing
You can now Duplicate an existing listing if you want to create multiple plots
Put a minimum of 5 photos required to list your garden plot
Added a bunch of new options to help describe your listing
New Features when Listing Your Space
One thing that's become clear when we speak to any our users, is that they can never have enough information about the type of plot that's on offer. So we wanted to make it as easy as possible for Hosts to communicate the state their space is in. For example, how ready is it to be planted in? When will it be available to access? And what really sets the space apart? Well... now they can answer each of these with just a few clicks. Here's what those added steps might look like:
Design Updates - Plot Listing Pages
Whilst we were excited to improve the process of listing a garden on AllotMe, we soon realised that we couldn't possibly release this update without also improving the design for the listing pages that would come to display all of this new information.
With that in mind, we took to the drawing board to reinvent the way a Plot is viewed on our platform. As a reminder, here's what a plot listing on app.AllotMe.co.uk used to look like:
With the additional questions asked to Hosts in our "List your Space" form, it was clear that the above design was also overdue a redesign... and here's what we came up with:
Bonus Feature: Prompt a Greenfinger
If you're already a Host on AllotMe, with a listing that's live, then you might've already received some inquiry messages from local vegetable growers (Greenfingers). You may have even met one or two people at your plot to show them around and find out if it's a good fit.
So what if your viewing went well? You need your potential renter to pull the trigger on your plot and start the rental agreement. If you weren't sure how to get the ball rolling, then worry no more - we've created a feature that will let you send a prompt to the renter to initiate the rental request, including your agreed start date.
You might've already noticed that the booking & message buttons have been consolidated into one simple box on the right hand side of the listing pages. As a reminder, here's what it looks like:
But if you're a Host, with an active Plot listed, then the booking box on your own listing is going to look a little different. Here's what you'll see instead:
Firstly, you'll see the 3 options to edit, close or delete your listing. Editing your listing from here will re-open the same "List My Space" multi-step form that we described in the first part of this article (already populated with your listing's details). From there you can make any changes, or you can simply close your listing (eg: if you've found someone to rent your space, or need to make it temporarily unavailable).
Below these 3 buttons, you'll find the option to Prompt Greenfinger. When you press this link, you'll be asked to find your 'Greenfinger' from the list of users that you've been chatting with (see below).
After this, a calendar will open and ask for the agreed start date of your proposed rental arrangement:
Et voila! A notification will then be sent to your potential renter (Greenfinger), who will be able to complete the rental request from there. Remember that Greenfingers can always click the "Request to Rent" button shown in the booking box on every listing - but now Hosts can start this process from their end! NB: This feature is available to all Hosts, whether they're listing a space for free or for a monthly rent.