The 21st Property Portal Watch Conference in Europe played out in Portugal's picturesque city of Lisbon, with close to 300 delegates in addition to a variety speakers from across Europe converging at the Patio da Gale to dive into the conference theme: Getting closer to the transaction.
Over three days, some of the biggest movers and shakers in Europe’s portal space shared insights and developments about their brands and divulged methods and ways to get closer to transactions across the world and in emerging markets. There were many wonderful presentations, but here are some of the highlights.
Getting Closer to the Transaction
Former CEO of the REA Group and PPW founder Simon Baker kicked off day one of the conference by giving an overview of some of the world’s biggest portals such as Rightmove and REA Group to discuss how they’ve captured more value from their audience through various real estate transactions.
Baker said portals looking to move closer to the transaction can do so by expanding internationally, moving into agent tools, and moving into primary or secondary markets He referenced both the REA Group and Domain who are starting to capture secondary transactions through the mortgage market with their offerings; Smartline and Lendi.
How the Real Estate Agency is Changing – A view from the Inside
Imre Marton is the CEO of fixed-fee property portal Hemverket in Sweden and offered his perspective on how to succeed in the portal business. Marton said: " you really need to be a broker" and shared his experience through being in the real estate business for ten years. Marton spoke with Simon about how technology drives systems and processes at Hemverkert and noted that marketing can be challenging when it comes to scaling the portal in other markets.
Online classifieds – new capabilities for new growth
McKinsey and Co is a leading consulting firm that works with major companies and Thomas Schumacher is one of the partners in the Dusseldorf firm. Schumacher shared insights from his work with online classifieds companies and said he approaches the market by analysing it from the perspective or a dominant or generalist market and then will assess whether it really needs a vertical specialist in that space.
Classifieds markets receive challenges from a number of different directions including changes in behaviour and technology, Schumacher said. He noted that McKinsey looks at what happens when the market divides instead of consolidates and how this impacts on future growth. He spoke of the impact Facebook classifieds will have on the area of online classifieds, including how portals will change their listing behaviour to adapt to this product.
Create an experience that can get you into the fast lane
How did the Turkish property portal Emlakjet gain traction in an emerging market to become the second largest and fastest-growing classified site in Turkey? The portal’s CEO Gizem Moral spoke with delegates about the Emlakjet evolution from 2007-2014 and how things began to shift during the latter when the company was acquired by Turkey’s largest internet investment company iLab. This transition lead to it becoming number a number two player, Moral said. She explained that data played a big role in the portal's evolution and how data is important in all aspects of the market in order to gain insight. One of the challenges the portal faced along the way was the mismatch between buyers and sellers - Moral then explained how this was overcome.
The changing ecosystem of online real estate marketing (interview)
Co-founder and managing director of Phillipines' property portal Lamudi, Kian Moini, discussed some of the key points of running a property portal in an emerging market.
He stressed that through working in this market he’s learned that sales processes are one of the things that are the same no matter where you operate and offered tips for success that include: be clear on what your processes are and how to build your tool for a key offering.
Changing the way companies buy and rent real estate space
Steffen Schaack is the CEO at eLocations, a marketplace that focuses on commercial real estate and uses data to give retailers information on competing outlets so they can gain insights into the movements of similar companies. Schaack spoke about the way eLocations collects data for a retailer such as Louis Vuitton and how this impacts on brokers; arming them with information so shops have a transparent overview of neighboring retail outlets and their data.