Over the past few months, countless Freddie Mac teams have shifted priorities to help homebuyers and renters experiencing hardship during COVID-19. So when the call came for corporate communications to pivot their plan and speed up their timeline to launch the newest iteration of Freddie Mac's consumer education website, they answered. Within a two-week period, the team accelerated the relaunch of My Home by Freddie Mac® and revamped it into a resource for those looking for answers to their housing questions during this uncertain time.
My Home aims to help homebuyers and renters navigate their home journey, whatever that may be. The site offers step-by-step guidance on the mortgage process or getting prepared to rent a home. The original plan was to relaunch the new site during the spring homebuying season, one of the busiest times for the housing market, but the coronavirus pandemic resulted in an immediate need for COVID-specific resources and information.
"We planned on relaunching the new My Home site in the spring homebuying season, but then the coronavirus hit," says Ruth Fisher, public relations director. "We did a big pivot and sprint to shift the focus from homebuying to providing resources that help both homeowners and renters in this difficult time."
Instead of leading with advice on buying a home, the site now leads with information and resources to help people who are struggling with their housing payments. In the last month, web traffic to the COVID-19 relief pages and the Getting Help section on My Home increased by nearly 300 percent.
"It feels good knowing that people who may be struggling right now are finding our resources, because access to reliable information is so important in this environment," says Ruth.
Cinzia Vargas, creative services manager, owes the success of the launch to the longstanding experience each member of the team had with the site: "We were able to successfully launch so quickly because we had a core team from the beginning of the project who knew the website from front to back."
The team, consisting of project managers, writers, user experience and visual designers, and web strategists and developers, shifted to working remotely mid-launch, which meant working together via Microsoft Teams while juggling family life, homeschooling and keeping children entertained.
My three-year-old often joined meetings," says Marlon Shaw, web content senior developer. "I adjusted my schedule to work for a solid hour or two after he went to bed and in the morning before he was awake."
While under pressure, agility and hard work kept the team moving, but strong project management and ongoing collaboration kept them organized. "Our project manager really kept us on track with updated plans, regular checkpoints and organizational structure while we were all working remotely," says Marlon. "He had the vision to keep us coordinated while we moved nonstop on our respective pieces."
While My Home has a different focus than originally planned, it continues to have a wealth of resources for people, whether they buy, own or rent a home.
"Design-wise, the new site is a better user experience and easier to navigate. It's more modern, simple and clean," says Cinzia. "My Home 2.0 is about making sure home buyers, owners and renters have everything in their toolbox to make the best home decision possible."
We're always on the lookout for creative team members who can adjust on the fly. If that sounds like you, check out our open positions and apply today!