The Property Portal Watch Conference is just under 2 weeks away and we almost have the agenda finalised. We have over 20 speakers lined up from all parts of the world. Most of the speakers are CEO and Founders and will be discussing, in depth, how they have built their businesses and the key issues facing their businesses. Some of these are presentations and some are interviews conducted by Simon Baker.
It is not too late to register for the Property Portal Watch Conference. Sign up now and join over 250 C-Level managers from around the world.
Simon Baker – Founder at Property Portal Watch
Simon is the former CEO and Managing Director of the REA Group. Between 2001 and 2008 he grew the REA Group from $4m in revenues, $6m in losses and a market cap of $8m to a global business with revenues of $155m, $35m in EBITDA profit and a market cap of $1 bn. He is the former Chairman of the iProperty Group, the founder of Property Portal Watch and a serial investor in the online property portal world.
Global Trends in the Property Portal Industry
An in depth look at the trends impacting the global property portal industry by Simon Baker, the founder of Property Portal Watch, the former CEO/MD of the REA Group, the former Chairman of iProperty Group and a serial investor in the property portal industry.
Top 7 Portals I Admire Most – And Why!
It is all about execution and when it comes to execution, some property portals stand out from the crowd. During this session Simon Baker, the founder of Property Portal Watch will share his top 7 portals that stand out from the crowd.
Silvio Pagliani – Co-founder at Immobiliare.it and Real Web (Italy)
Silvio has co-founded Immobiliare.it in 2005, which has grown to become the clear leading real estate website in italy, after a having served as marketing manager at eBay in Italy. He is also co-founder of Facile.it, the leading insurance and financial comparison website in Italy, and CaseVacanza.it, the leading vacation rental website in in Italy.
Winning the Italian Market – How Immobiliare Became the Market Leader
For a long time the REA Group’s casa.it was the leader in the Italian market. However over the last 2 years, immobiliare.it has caught up and overtaken casa.it to become the clear leader in the Italian market. This session looks at how immobiliare.it took on and won the Italian market.
Paul Philipp Hermann – Co-Founder and Managing Director at Lamudi (Germany)
Paul Philipp grew up in Germany and China and studied Law at Bucerius Law School in Hamburg. He also holds a MSc in Internet Studies from the University of Oxford. After graduating from university Paul founded youtrex, an online platform for recruitment of high potentials in Germany.
Paul has extensive experience in the tech sector, having previously worked for the Boston Consulting Group as a consultant focusing on the online industry. He has an expert knowledge of both real estate and online industries. Paul joined the Berlin-based startup incubator Rocket Internet as a global co-founder in 2014 and has since then been part of the property venture Lamudi, as one of three co-founders on the senior management team.
Lamudi – How They Are Taking on Emerging Markets and What They Are Learning Along the Way
Last year the German based Rocket Internet decided to take on the property portal world and rolled out the Lamudi brand to 30 emerging and early stage markets. The last 12 months have seen the Lamudi business make strong progress and even take leadership in some markets. This session will discuss how the Lamudi team is taking on the world, what success they have already had and what lessons they are learning along the way.
Ivo Perts – CEO at Mesto.ua (Ukraine)
Participated in my first joint venture when I was 18, related to real estate. Founded my first company when I was 21 (not related to real estate). Launched Mesto.ua and started online business at 24, by then already living in London (born in Latvia) and overlooking Mesto.ua from investor office. Have always been involved large projects that have a big potential and where the market provides an unused opportunity. I see online business as a great opportunity to break up the well-established offline services that are no longer relevant in this day and age, that’s why I will be there to shake things up.
Inside an Emerging (and Challenging) Market – Interview with Ukraine’s Mesto
We hear a lot of information about the growth of site in mature markets such as the US, UK, France and Germany. However most markets in the world are emerging and are far less structured than these mature markets. In some cases there are other factors at play including poor economies, lack of infrastructure and even war. This session looks at how one player is tackling the emerging Ukraine market.
Brian Requarth – Founder and CEO at VivaReal (Brazil)
Brian Requarth, born in California, has spent the last decade living and building businesses in Latin America. He moved to Sao Paulo full time in 2011 to pursue VivaReal, a leading online real estate marketplace in Brazil. He and his management team have successfully raised over $30m USD from international investors around the world, including funds that have invested in companies like Facebook, Dropbox, Evernote, Airbnb and Alibaba. In 2009, it was just Brian and his co-founders and today the company has over 270 people across the country.
How VivaReal Became the Leader in the Brazilian Market
Being third to the market doesn’t mean the game is over. Zap and Imovelweb launched at the end of the 90s. VivaReal entered Brazil in 2010 and in under 5 years (and less investment than both other players) they are now the co-leaders in the Brazilian market in terms of visits. This session looks at the VivaReal story and how Brian and his team in Brazil have created a market leader.
Christophe Rousseaux – CEO at Immoweb (Belgium)
Appointed CEO in November 2005. Prior to this role, Christophe was the EDP manager at Produpress. Before joining Produpress he was an Education Manager and Internet Consultant at Guidance SA. Christophe is a multilingual Internet Expert and holds an MBA degree from the Frank G. Zarb School of Business at Hofstra University in New York.
Future Directions for Portals
It is time to dust off the crystal ball and look at the future of property portals around the world. This panel discussion will look at what 2015 and beyond could hold for property portals.
Samuel Papon – International Business Development Manager, UbiFlow (France)
Sam is a creative, enthusiastic self-made international business developer and an early internet believer. In the early 2000’s Sam joined a young start-up the property portal Primelocation.com to create and develop the international sales of the business. After 6 successful years, and the move into the Digital Property Group, he started his own venture as an international property consultant advising international estate-agents with their e-strategy. He even jumped into the estate-agent shoes for a year to see how challenging it is nowadays to be a broker. He’s now managing the international business development of Ubiflow.
Smart Ways to Manage Data Feeds
Data feeds (and listings) are the lifeblood of any property portal. For most portals, they have multiple data feeds coming in and sometimes heading out. Traditionally property portals built tools internally to manage these feeds and the complexity associated with them. However today there are a range of tools that help portals manage these feeds. In this session the team from Ubiflow will discuss how they are approaching helping property portals better manage their data feeds.
Marcus Surten – Blocket (Sweden)
How the General Classified’s Site Blocket is Successfully Taking on Hemnet, the Market Leader in Sweden
Hemnet has long been the leader in the Swedish property portal market. Recently, Blocket, the Schibsted owned general classifieds site, has taken on Hemnet and is giving it a run for its money. In this session, Marcus Surten from Blocket will discuss how they have approached taking on Hemnet and the positive results that they are having.
Jaroslaw Swiecicki – CEO at Morizon.pl (Poland)
CEO and shareholder of Morizon SA, previously co-owner of Melog.com - both companies publishers of top Polish Real Estate portals and providers of tools & software to real estate sector. Investor in phone and email lead tracking startups. In the past also involved in managing and consulting online projects ranging from price comparison, through insurance to online auctions.
Morizon – A Leader in the Polish Market
Morizon is one of the leaders in the rapidly growing and highly competitive Polish market. This session looks at how the Morizon team has built their business, the lessons learned and where the market (and the business) are likely to go next.
Oriol Blasco – Founder at Migoa (Spain)
Oriol Blasco is a serial entrepreneur from Barcelona with engineering and business background. Since 2008 he has launched 3 companies, all of them successfully growing; Nuroa (a VC-backed real estate meta search engine), Migoa (a vacation rentals distribution platform, BA funded) and Degustabox (a bootstrapped monthly food subscription service).
Vacation Rental Sites – The Opportunities and Challenges of Running Them
Everyone has heard of AirBNB and HomeAway however there are hundreds, if not thousands, of smaller vacation rental sites operating around the world. In fact, some of these are owned and operated by traditional property portals. This session discusses the opportunities and challenges in running a vacation rental site including the importance of technology, legal challenges of peer to peer and how these sites make money.
Shaun Di Gregorio - Founder of Frontier Digital Ventures (Malaysia)
Shaun Di Gregorio is a former CEO of ASX listed company, iProperty Group (ASX: IPP), operator of Asia’s #1 network of property portals. During his four and a half year tenure there (2014-2009), Shaun spearheaded the transformation of iProperty Group from a small online business with a market capitalisation of US$15 million into the largest listed Internet company in ASEAN with a market capitalisation of US$600 million.
Investing in Property Portal - What Investors Look For
All property portals go through capital raising whether it is initial funds to bring a business plan to life or funds to accelerate growth. Shaun di Gregorio has been on both sides of the transaction - one as the former CEO of the iProperty Group and the other as an investor with Frontier Capital. This session looks at the how investors make decisions to invest in a particular portal and also how a portal should position itself for investment.
Rami Essaid – CEO and Founder at Distil (USA)
Rami Essaid is the CEO and Co-founder of Distil Networks, the leading public and private cloud security provider that blocks malicious bots attacking websites. With over 11 years in telecommunications, network security, and cloud infrastructure management, Rami continues to advise enterprise companies around the world, helping them embrace the cloud to improve their scalability and reliability while maintaining a high level of security. Rami is a frequent contributor to industry and news publications such as The Washington Post Business Insider, The Wall Street Journal, and “Money with Melissa Francis” on Fox Business.
Data Security – How Portals Are Protecting Themselves from Scrapers and Hackers
A portal’s listings are its lifeblood. If you have the market covered in terms of listings, then consumers don’t need to look anywhere else. For most portals, this involves spending a lot of time working with agents, developers and brokers to build their listing database. However the more listings you have, the more you are a target for site scrapers and, of course, hackers. This session looks at how portals are protecting themselves from scrapers and hackers.
Kevin Gormand – CEO at Mubawab (Morocco)
How Mubawab is Approaching the Moroccan Market
Mubawab is the market leader in Morocco. However, competitive activity is increasing with sites such as Lamudi entering the market and changing the competitive dynamics. During this session we will discuss the Moroccan market and how Mubawab is maintaining its leadership position especially in the light of more intense competition.
Guido Grinbaum – CEO and Founder at Dridco (Argentina)
Guido Grinbaum is a serial entrepreneur. He founded and was the executive Vice President at: DeRemate.com Inc. (company partly sold to La Nación on November 2005 for U$ 25 million and the rest to Mercado Libre for U$40 millions in 2008); Bazee.com (sold to eBay on July 2004 for U$50 million), Covedisa S.A., El Liciton S.A. , Dineromail.com LLC (sold his participation on May 2006), and Grincom S.A. He also participated as investor in other companies, currently in Axeso5 and CineMaki.
Horizontal vs Vertical Sites – Who Wins?
Dridco runs property (Zonaprop), cars and jobs vertical portals throughout South America. Each and every day it comes up against strong competition from Naspers, Schibsted and eBay – all of which are horizontal sites. The competition is tough and the jury is still out on whether the horizontal plays will win or whether the pure vertical plays will be the ones to continue to thrive. Guido Grinbaum is the founder and CEO of Dridco and will discuss what’s happening in Sth America and who is winning the horizontal vs vertical game.
Gabriel Gruber – CEO at Properati (Argentina)
The Impact of Mobile in Emerging Markets and How One Portal is Capturing the Opportunity
We all know the mobile is the way of the future. Sites such as Zillow have significantly greater than 50% of all their traffic coming from mobile devices. The same can be said for the emerging markets of Eastern Europe, Latin America and Asia. Properati, an Argentinian based LATAM portal is investing heavily in mobile technology. Gabriel Gruber, the CEO of Properati, will share how they are approaching the mobile challenge.
Dick Karlsson – EVP, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer at Diakrit (Thailand)
One of the co-founders and Executive Vice President of DIAKRIT with over 13 years of experience in the real estate business, Dick Karlsson is responsible for global sales, strategic business development and is the visionary of many of DIAKRIT's products.
Driving More Revenue from the New Homes Developer Segment
For many portals the new development segment has significant potential. This segment is bound to grow as the developers better understand how to leverage the internet for leads. One area portals need to consider is how to improve the presentation of new developments on their site to improve consumer engagement and generate more leads (and therefore revenue). The team for Diakrit are developing a range of new construction products to help increase the volume of leads generated on portals for new developments.
Imran Ali Khan – CoFounder and CEO at Zameen (Pakistan)
Imran Ali Khan is the Co-CEO of Zameen.com, Pakistan's leading property portal. He co-founded Zameen.com with his brother Zeeshan Ali Khan in 2006. Before co-founding Zameen.com, Imran worked for such prestigious organisations as investment banking giant Goldman Sachs, and Deloitte, the largest professional services network in the world, along with pursuing his ACA qualification. His keen take on the market has been featured in the likes of Forbes, Zawya and Saudi Gazette, and he continues to power Zameen.com's ascent with his considerable acumen. Imran is a graduate of the University of Oxford, from where he also acquired his Masters in Engineering and Computing Science.
Competing Against Up Starts – The View from a Market Leader in an Emerging Market
Zameen is the market leader in Pakistan. While it is well financed and has first mover advantage, it is coming under attack from a number of new competitors. This session will look at how Zameen became the Pakistani market leader and how it is fending off a range of new market entrants.
Yossi Amar – Business Architect at propertyfinder.ae (UAE)
Yossi Amar, a Business Architect for the leading group of property portals in the Middle East and North Africa, joined propertyfinder.ae in Spring 2013. As a Consumer Experience and Product Development Specialist, his role was to thoroughly analyze the website in order to identify strengths and weaknesses of the user’s experience. Yossi is now in charge of shaping and fostering continuous improvement, transformation and innovation of the business and plays a key role in the communication between all departments. After working for 7 years in a private asset management company in Geneva as a Quantitative Analyst, Yossi moved to New York to setup an e-commerce platform for a fashion brand. He then moved to Dubai in seek of a new challenge.
Responsive Design – Nice to Have or Must Have?
More and more consumers are accessing mobile sites rather than the traditional desktop based site. The question for all portals is how to design their site to get the most from mobile technology. One clear option for developers and designers is to implement responsive design. This session looks at the pro’s and con’s of this approach.
Jeroen Bekkers – CEO at Floorplanner (Netherlands)
Trained as an Architect, Jeroen Bekkers started his first architectural visualization company in 1995 in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. The company shifted focus to user friendly software to help homebuyers to make informed decisions in the building process. From this, Floorplanner was launched in early 2007. It started as a simple 2D tool that allowed anyyone to create accurate floor plans online within minutes and quickly became an innovator in designing a new set of online design tools.
Unlocking the Real Value of Floor Plans
While portals around the world promote visitation as the measure of success, it is really time on site that provides the advertiser with the greatest value. One way in which time on site can be increased is through having a more engaging presentation of the listing – both on a traditional site and on mobile devices. This session looks at how floor plans have the capacity to open new ways for the homebuyers and advertisers to interact resulting in greater engagement with the listing.
Javier Ortiz - COO at Mitula (Spain)
Javier Ortiz, is COO at Mitula.com . He contributed to grow the company from 5 people to over 50 in just 3 years, covering 37 countries and over 30 million visitors per month. He is also a mentor at the Founder Institute's Madrid Chapter, a silicon valley’s start-up accelerator network. Javier speaks 6 languages having worked and lived in 5 continents.
Global Insights From Around the Property Portal World
Mitula is a vertical search engine for real estate, cars and jobs classified ads. It helps users find their dream home, car or job amongst thousands of classified webs and portals around the world. For portals and classified sites it generates qualified user traffic and added exposure of their content throughout the web. In just over 4 years it has become one of the world leaders on this business with specific search indexes in more than 37 countries and 14 languages. We index over 180 million classified ads which are updated daily to our millions of monthly users. Our central office is located in Madrid.
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