On Friday at the Property Portal Watch Conference in Barcelona, Andreas Assum and Maziar Arsalan from Immoscout 24 in Germany discussed innovative approaches to building stronger relationships with their advertisers - the agents.
Immoscout 24 is 15 years old and is the market leader in Germany. The other major players are Immonet and Immowelt. Over the last few days, it has been widely reported that Deutsche Telecom, the owners of the Scout 24 Group, has sold 70% of its business to Hellman & Friedman LLC.
Immoscout 24 is used by 90% of the real estate agents in Germany. To help drive better service for the customers (advertisers), they have rolled out series of programs. These programs operate under the VIA brand.
They have launched a program called the Premium Partner Program that is basically putting the Immoscout 24 brand behind a real estate agency. To qualify you need to be continuously on the market (ie advertising on IS 24) and consistently providing great good service to their business.
Currently 25 - 30% of the agents are given the Premium Partner award. The get a plaque, stickers and other promotional material that agents can then use to market themselves to potential buyers and sellers.
IS 24 has also created a special real estate publication for the real estate industry. This is a 52 page magazine full of insights, facts, and figures. It also contains interviews and stories to provide agents with advice and guidance.
A yellow pages directory has been created to allow agents to promote themselves and their businesses to potential sellers and landlords. Each agent is given a details page in the yellow pages. Consumers are able to rate agents with over 700,000 rating having been collected with an average rating of 3.5 / 5. They have put in place strong checks and balances to ensure that ratings are true.