Digital apartment rental e2e flow (SAAS)

The problem that inspired smmove

German landlords have to use several different tools and media to manage the process steps to search, evaluate and sign an apartment tenant. In order ro bridge that inconvenience, they can either spent money on an agency service or wrap their head around organizing the multiverse.


A digital customer journey that starts at publishing the apartment, introducing an ebay like rent “bidding auction”, supplying tenant solvency information and ending with a digitally signed a contract.

Impression of flow and interface documentation:


  • Location: Berlin
  • 2013 – 2016
  • Employees: 10-15
  • Run and financed by the founders

My role and impact

The Z3 Fullstack Rails and Angular Team consisting of 7 people got hired in 2015 by smmove. I stepped in as an engineering manager to work on a dysfunctional, incomplete rails, ampersand.js, wordpress mircoservice App which was build on AWS. The challenge was to get the App e2e market ready within four weeks time. Essentially we turned the ship around to a functional production ready MVP within that timeframe, switching ampersand for angular 1.X and streamlining the critical path with core stakeholders. Z3 was rewarded with a significant contract extension featuring share offerings.

Product Pivot

Along the process two key learnings triggered a pivot opportunity:

1) Every platform on the market focused all its ressources on the first step: finding an apartment. Competing seemed too resource intensive and unnecessary. 2) The digital journey ended after “finding” an apartment. All phone and physical steps from there. Our service based architecture had all the services to continue the digital journey for all marketplayers who competed so heavily for step one. The pivot opportunity was to leverage individual services to build on existing platforms to complete the digital journey. During the pivot, despite numerous saving attempts and investor pitches, the company had to declare insolvency eventually.

Download the pivot presentation

What happened

Despite an intense financing round featuring several key players in the german digital real estate sector, in 2016 the company was not able to secure financing and had to file for insolvency eventually.

Relevant Reference