Domgeo.ru offers information on real estate available for sale or rent in Moscow and the Moscow region. The company cooperates with nearly 1000 real estate agencies, approximately 200 development companies, and its database houses over 100,000 real estate listings.
According to Carlo Walther, Domgeo’s key business principles are based on reliable and detailed information, with website specialists verifying all information before posting of ads, helping the portal stand out from other competitors in the Russian market.
Below is a transcript of the interview we conducted with Mr. Walther via Skype, which can be also downloaded and/or listened to by clicking on the player at the bottom of this article.
Interview with Carlo Walther, Co-Founder fo Domgeo.ru.
PPW: Hello today PPW is speaking with Carlo Walther, Co-Founder of Domgeo.ru. Hi Carlo How are you?
Carlo: Very well, how are you?
PPW: Thank you for making time in your schedule. Carlo, I have a series of questions that our readers and listeners would love to hear you answer, for example, when was your website first launched?
Carlo: OK, so we launched the site in June last year, in alpha version and the beta site was launched in October and now we have the full version of the site active.
PPW: Wonderful, and approximately how many listings do you have on your site now?
Carlo: Currently today we have just over a 100,000 listings in Moscow and Moscow region, and our plan is to have 200,000 listings by the end of the year.
PPW: And, what is your monthly unique visitor average?
Carlo: Last month we had 300,000 visitors, and 450,000 visits, our plan is to get to 2 million visitors by the end of the year, obviously at this stage we are still a relatively new company, and we are in a growth phase… very much in the growth phase.
PPW: What is your portal’s position in your country’s market?
Carlo: The Russian market today is still very fragmented, there is no kind of clear market meter, like in the UK market, the Australian market or French market, we are one of the top 10 portals, but there is no portal that’s emerged at the front of the pack and it’s very much our aim to become that site where, you know, people turn to for property in Russia.
PPW: I see. OK. So you are actually spearheading the market. Do you have an email newsletter or, some sort of subscription service?
Carlo: Yes, we do have that; we’ve only just recently launched it, so, it was launched in fact just last week, so it’s still kind of very new, and kind of part of our marketing plan, part of our product plan is to really push returning visitors obviously.
PPW: Oh I see, so it’s brand new, so you can’t, you don’t really have a specific number of how many people are subscribing…
Carlo: Yes, it’s very new, so it would be literally a few thousands at this stage, because as I said, it was launched last week.
PPW: Alright, and… what does your portal offer the property hunters in terms of property search and… are there any specific features that they can use?
Carlo: More than a feature, I think one thing that we really focus on to differentiate ourselves from the other portals active in the Russian market was to really focus on the quality of our database, there are many sites out there that have many more listings than ours, in fact there are sites that have two or three million listings, however unfortunately most of those listings are for property that either don’t exist, is incorrectly priced, or is just unavailable, so our focus is to really make sure that we have, the cleanest base of properties, so we have a moderation team as well as a number of automatic tools that we use that ensure the property is correctly priced and has a full address… so that’s our focus on quality, we do also kind of focus on ensuring that users of our site have access to the best tools that that property hunters have in other markets. We have map searching on our sites, we have a mobile application which we launched last month (February)… we want to follow the examples from other markets and apply them to the Russian market.
PPW: The mobile market… is that quite a strong market in Russia? Are people using their mobiles to purchase, or search for a home, and things like that?
Carlo: Yes, in Russia there is actually the biggest, in part because of its size and population, it’s the biggest mobile market in Europe… I think something like 98% of people in Russia have at least one mobile, so penetration is very high, actually the use of mobile data is very high, it’s the third market behind the US and China in the use of advanced mobile applications, the other portals currently, have invested – as we have – in a mobile application. We think that it can generate significant traffic, kind of give us significant traction in the market.
PPW: OK, well that’s all that I have for you today as far as questions. Is there anything else that you would like to mention, about your website that I might not have touched upon?
Carlo: I think just one point, to say, how our offering is different for our clients, one thing that we spent quite some time developing is a sophisticated core tracking system, so that our agents and developers can see exactly the value and the number of inquiries that they get from us, and I think that we are really keen in showing our customers – this is the value you are getting from us – because most inquiries in Russia are done by telephone, rather than people emailing about property.
PPW: I see. Alright now, thank you very much Carlo, and I look forward to seeing you at one of our Property Portal Watch workshops, hopefully we’ll meet in person… otherwise that will be all from our end.
Carlo: OK, perfect.
Domgeo.ru mobile app can be downloaded free of charge here.