It was a huge family gathering again at Property Portal Watch Europe conference here last month — 285 participants from 40 countries. Networking was great, but so were the speakers and presentations. One thing became crystal clear from the very beginning: Data science has arrived in the real estate advertising industry and portals are taking advantage of it.

Reposted with permission from Advanced Interactive Media (AIM) Group’s Classified Intelligence Report. This story was originally written for the Classified Intelligence Report by Katja Riefler.

AMSTERDAM — It was a huge family gathering again at Property Portal Watch Europe conference here last month — 285 participants from 40 countries. Networking was great, but so were the speakers and presentations. One thing became crystal clear from the very beginning: Data science has arrived in the real estate advertising industry and portals are taking advantage of it. New products are being offered to professional customers and users. Transparency has never been greater.

S.Borisov / Shutterstock.com

S.Borisov / Shutterstock.com

There are even ways to make money: You can sell data directly, you can provide analysis of the data as a benefit for the advertiser (biz intelligence information, market share…), and you can create reports about what is happening in the industry (and use them in your PR, which indirectly will help your revenue generation for it enhances visability and credibility).

For the latter, Amad Almsaodi, CEO of Aqarmap in Eqypt, had a great story to share. The property developer segment is critical to success for property portals in emerging markets.

Data can be a great trigger to make those multi-million dollar companies listen to you. Many speakers shared what kind of data insights they are being able to generate. Gonzalo del Pozo, CEO of the Mitula Group, showed how different the search trends of users are in the different countries his aggregator serves. Marco Barth, VP Group Strategy at Scout24 (Germany), explained how performance reporting that provides among other data points local agents ranking and a competition benchmark makes Scout’s professional customers more competitive.

Alessandro Casuccio, head of Business Intelligence and Analytics at JustProperty.com (UAE), spoke about the growing importance of business intelligence for growth. Justproperty recently merged it formerly separate rentals and sales portals on a new website. “You need one single database,” Casuccio explained. The new platform provides “unparalled insight into the Gulf property market.” It is going to launch in other MENA countries, he said, with three more before the end of the year.

With the new platform customers of JustProperty receive interactive Web-based reports, as well as cohorts. The tool is mobile-ready, cloud-based and provides real time dashboards. Imran Ali Khan — CEO and founder of Zameen (Pakistan), showed how his company is using internal management tools to grow sales efficiency and improve processes. Customized dashboards and management tools help them steer the business side of the market leading real estate site in Pakistan — a professional approach that recently convinced new investors (see our coverage).

Biggest concern

Naturally, one of the biggest concerns for everyone was revenue generation.

Ingatlan is the Hungarian incumbent property portal already on the market for 17 years. Laura Szabo, head of product, shared its strategy to overcome noise in some segments.
Due to the structure of the Hungarian market, there are a lot of listings for the same property on the website. So how to make the most valuable listings more visible? For Ingatlan, auctions are the solution: Since 2011 agents bid for visibility. Every listing can only have one rank that is being used all over the site.

According to Szabo this worked very well after having to educate the market in the beginning: “We were able to keep less valuable listings. And the market automatically regulates the price.”

In order to get all private listings, which can be advertised for free on competitors’ sites, Ingatlan improved the service. Users now get help with finding the right price, finding
their way through regulations, getting advice on mortgages. “You have to offer more than just listings,” Szabo explained.

Xe.gr from Greece experienced recent revenue growth through expanding the visibility of its property listings internationally, explained Vangelis Antonopoulos, head of Product & Business Development.

The veteran classified publisher exploits state-of-the-art technology to enhance its business in many aspects. Having access to 22 million real estate listings published in the last
20 years can also offer advanced data analysis.

Xe still has a substantial print business. In digital it was able to increase the number of page views since 2009 by 330 percent. It offers listings in more than 260 categories and is being constantly listed among the top ten Greek Internet sites. It has 1.2 million active users, about the same number of email recipients and calls more than 100,000 customers a month.

XE.gr has more than 100,000 Facebook Fans. But there’s more you can do with social, as Lex Groenewegen, CEO of Kijkmijnhuis (Netherlands) showed. By involving friends and supporters the hard data of the listings can be supplemented by the soft side (anecdotes about, facilities of the area for example), he explained.

On average more than 60,000 Dutch listings are being marketed on social media through his platform. Supporters create unique and relevant information for potential buyers
or renters and as a side effect optimize the listing for search engine visibility.

Around the bend

What’s next? Keizo Tsutsui, head of strategy at Next Co (Japan), showed how his company is using new technology to create a better consumer experience. You actually can use
Lego blocks to create rooms in a three-dimensional virtual space, you can decorate it according to your liking and walk through it using an Oculus Rift device! While this probably isn’t set to hit the mass market in any near future, 360 degree images already can be created by taking a single picture with a special camera (Next is giving them to selected agents).

“Smart viewing” is also being tested in Japan at the moment: You can reserve a viewing via the smartphone App, apply for a key and once the management company approves you can open the lock at the building with your smartphone and look around. The key, of course, can only be used once…

Next is a leading player in the Japanese real estate portal market. It generates revenue using a lead based model and it has recently acquired Trovit, the Spanish homes, jobs and cars aggregator.

Reposted with permission from Advanced Interactive Media (AIM) Group’s Classified Intelligence Report. This story was originally written for the Classified Intelligence Report by Katja Riefler.

Show Comments Hide Comments

Comments

Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
Success!
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
Refer friends to Select and get $200 in credit.Register Here×
Connect Now is less than one week away. Prices go up May 30.Reserve your seat today.×