Vivanuncios is Mexico’s most prominent online classifieds site, specialising in cars, real estate and jobs listings for its users. Vivanuncios’ GM Karim Goudiaby was pivotal in driving the portal’s strategy to monetise its real estate listings section and tells PPW how the brand achieved this.
After joining Vivanuncios in 2016, a year after it was sold to the eBay classifieds group, it became obvious to Goudiaby that the real estate component of the site could be monetised, largely because of the high traffic (20 million visits a month in Mexico City) and the volume of listings on the site.
“We were able to monetise this segment quickly by putting a big emphasis on the real estate offering - a CRM tool for the agents,” Goudiaby - a speaker at the Global Online Classifieds Summit - told PPW. “This helped us structure the market a bit more and we were able to offer tools for them so they could develop products.
“We felt we had a lot of agents that were on the website using the free service and so we wanted to improve the quality of the content and also try to moderate it; it was easier to make the category paying.”
Prior to joining Vivanuncios, Goudiaby was the CEO of W3 ltd, a London-based company that has developed several successful classifieds portals: Wheretosleep, Easyroommate and Vivastreet. In France, Goudiaby says Vivastreet was able to monetise on agents because of a partnership with a local sales force, telemarketing and by developing special ad packages for agents. A similar strategy was adopted during the Vivanuncios' campaign.
“We didn’t just want to charge per listing, we wanted to offer what we call integral campaigns," Goudiaby says. "So, we built packages of listings and these packages of listings offered the real estate agent an affordable package of ads plus visibility on the website. For instance; featured ads or a call tracking number, so they could monitor the effectiveness of the advertising. - I think that’s what’s made the offering so strong in Mexico."
Challenges during the process
One of the big challenges endured by the Vivanuncios team through monetising the real estate site was generating a large number of clients in a short amount of time and the scalability issues involved in setting up a lead management process for the clients alongside account management.
"I would say that our biggest challenge was to scale fast our client acquisition, lead generation and sales operation," Goudiaby explains. "We had given ourselves a target to achieve 1000 clients within 12 months and we achieved this within the first 6 months."
Steps for success
In his experience, and in the instance of Vivanuncios, Goudiaby says the secret to monetising was to focus on lead generation, quality of content and good service to agents. He suggests that other executives keen to adopt this strategy for their site should never lose site of the key focus.
"Winning the agent's trust is a marathon, not a sprint. You need to work on providing agents the ROI you generate for them and help them measure their own ROI on their marketing activities," he says.
The next step for Goudiaby and his team will be to apply the entire process to the Vivanuncios' automotive site.