• Projects

Prototyping an inclusive real estate investment model

“The gap between traditional homeownership and renting is huge. There is so much room for a third option that combines the accessibility and flexibility of renting, with some of the financial and social benefits of traditional homeownership.”

Max Levine, Co-Founder & CEO of Nico Echo Park


To address the national economic and political forces impacting real estate, community cohesion, and access to wealth within the United States, 3×3 partnered with Nico Echo Park to design and implement a new housing model that is accessible to more people, localized, and allows for wealth creation and long-term stability and security for rapidly changing neighborhoods. Resembling a traditional real estate investment trust, the new model allows existing residents at risk of displacement to easily and incrementally invest while renting and to build wealth from positive returns on buildings in their neighborhood.

Community-centered approach

The team led multiple research sprints, market analysis studies, impact assessments, and strategic planning exercises to develop a strategy that meets the desired impacts of affordability, inclusivity, and collective stewardship. The team involved over 100 residents in all stages of development, implementation, and iteration of the model throughout the research sprints. Findings were synthesized through data analysis, coding, personas, and thematic mapping with key stakeholders into research reports, a service and operational blueprint, and recommendations to iteratively develop and improve the product to ensure strategies create impact with key target audiences.We also conducted a social impact analysis based on the social cost-benefit analysis to minimize risk and ensure the product will achieve the desired impact.


– Workshop design and facilitation
– Strategic planning
– Stakeholder mapping
– Resident interviews
– Neighborhood surveys
– Community focus groups
– Social impact assessment
– User-testing and scenario walkthroughs


– Social impact framework and reporting templates
– Service and operational blueprint
– Strategic planning report
– Research report with key qualitative and quantitative findings
– Design Recommendations for community-centered digital and analog product touchpoints
– Monitoring and evaluation process to measure social impact
– Design of iterative product development cycle and product roadmap

Project team

Katherine Fisher, Isabella Gady, Priyanka Jain, Paula Kawakami, Megan Marini, Jakob Winkler