Yannick Laclau is founder and president of Enormo, an international real estate search site that was formerly known as Properazzi. The site offers information for about 6 million for-sale and for-rent properties in 50 nations.
Laclau will speak during a "New Ways to Market Homes on the Web" session at the Inman News Real Estate Connect conference in New York City, which runs from Jan. 7-9, 2009.
He responded to a set of questions posed by Inman News:
What do you see happening in the real estate market in 2009?
Everything that’s happened in the U.S. over the past two years will begin or continue happening in the rest of the world. To counter this, agents will continue to make their marketing spend (however small) work harder by moving it to online channels.
In Europe, the French domestic market will remain relatively stable. French banks have proven the most "realistic," and French households have the highest savings rates in Europe.
What advice do you have to help real estate agents and brokers get through this market?
Do your best to get prices back to a fair level. One of the reasons for a stalling market is the gap between buyers’ and vendors’ expectations — our job is to even this out and start sales moving again.
What made you get into real estate?
I was looking for a global industry that was yet to truly benefit from the new tools and technologies being developed. I realized I could really add some value in the real estate sector.
What’s been your biggest challenge in running the business?
This year: continuing to maintain strong growth despite the market’s pronounced fluctuations.
Can you share any future plans, goals?
Following on from changing our name to reflect recent growth and future ambitions, we’ll be building the Enormo brand in all of the buyer markets we serve.
The past quarter’s focus for us was on growing buyer traffic to the 2 million monthly visitors mark, and the next quarter will see releases of new features to help our agent clients with the vital basics — getting better exposure, leads and therefore sales.
What lesson did you learn in the last year?
In tougher times, we’ve learned to stay positive and to get creative.
What would your second career choice be and why?
Investment banker! Only kidding …
What is the biggest problem in the real estate market today, and how would you fix it?
I truly believe it’s the lack of obvious and easy-to-use sources of information — the lack of information sharing. The industry needs to talk on a global level and to become more transparent, for the good of everyone involved.
What do you most enjoy about working in the real estate industry?
It’s changing SO fast — faster than most people realize.
Tell us something we don’t already know about you …
I dabbled in journalism for some time, as a reporter for The Bolivian Times!
Hear Yannick Laclau speak during the Real Estate Connect conference in New York City, which runs from Jan. 7-9, 2009.
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