The White Agency

The Commonwealth Bank home loans category was suffering the effects of the slowing property market post the GFC. Competitors with aggressive and unsustainable pricing had created a singular focus on rates, rather than the relationship offered by any one lender. CommBank needed to maintain its position as Australia’s leading and most trusted home lender, while regaining a competitive advantage in the interest rate wars.

White identified an opportunity to build an affiliation with first home buyers, breaking down their home buying process and communicating it in a way that was contextually relevant, and supported by tools to action this advice. Many home buyers consider the loan as the last step in the process, but financing is only part of the story, and part of the value a lender provides. Using a blended strategy/UX team, White developed a multi-tiered approach. It was aimed at delivering the right information to consumers within the right context, and using technology to reinvent the home buying process.

Supporting homebuyers while out and about looking to find their next home, was an untapped opportunity- so White began to develop the revolutionary CommBank Property Guide app.

For the first time, home buyers could arm themselves with property history that was once exclusively the domain of home sellers and agents. Using augmented reality and a detailed property data source, the CommBank Property Guide app delivers deep insights into almost every home in Australia. Data such as past sales history, current property listings and recent sales are available just by pointing your phone at a house. Financial tools, auction results, suburb insights and buying guides were also featured in the app, assisting users to make more informed decisions about a house and its location. And while it redefined the property research experience, CommBank had so much more to offer home buyers, but needed to present it more effectively.

Online home loan content was being passed over in a search for rates, so White completely reinvented the home loans portal to engage home buyers based on their needs. Product information and home buying advice were presented as part of a complete value proposition to compliment interest rate information. To build presence in other key customer research channels, a series of home buying videos were developed, supported by partnerships with property experts from Domain and Money Magazine.

The new CommBank home loans experience helped to redefine the value a lender can bring to the process of home buying, and successfully served a simple premise that customers want a home, not a home loan.

Results (within the first 6 months):
•    500% increase in content consumed per visit on the CommBank home loans portal.
•    117K + app downloads over 24 weeks (17% above target).
•    1.2 million+ property searches using the CommBank Property Guide app.
•    #1 ranking lifestyle-related app in the Australian iTunes store.