ImmobilienScout24 has acquired a 15 percent stake in the Düsseldorf start-up Salz&Brot (which translates to Salt&Bread). This strategic partnership intends to expand the leading online real estate company’s reach among a younger target audience which is active on social media. Salz&Brot operates a real estate portal for people looking for housing and relies heavily on social media channels for communicating with clients. The startup makes use of city pages on Facebook which are aimed primarily at younger users.
The Salz&Brot website www.salzundbrot.com lists ads for housing in more than 30 major cities and university towns − including Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Cologne, Dresden and Münster. This gives Salz&Brot a presence in places where the real estate market is tight. Apartment and house hunters have quick access to up-to-date availability listings in the city they are interested in by using the Facebook city pages. They are always kept up-to-date because the newest and most interesting offerings are posted immediately. The result is that Salz&Brot is especially useful for young and mobile people who are looking for a new place to live. The start-up has almost 100,000 Facebook fans. Three-quarters of the users are between 25 and 45 years old.
“We started the cooperation with Salz&Brot about a year ago and intend to intensify it further through our newly acquired shares,” says Christoph Monnet, Vice President for Group Business Development at Scout24 AG. “Salz&Brot is the perfect partner for us, both to increase our presence among a young, well-networked target audience and to advance our understanding of how marketing real estate in networks like Facebook works. For our part, we are already integrating some of our vacancies at Salz&Brot right now.” There are plans for other ImmobilienScout24 services, such as their moving services, to be integrated into Salz&Brot in the future.
At the end of 2014, Salz&Brot moved into ImmobilienScout24’s Co-Working Spaces at the start-up lab YOU IS NOW and received support from internal mentors. Some of ImmobilienScout24’s housing listings were integrated with the Salz&Brot offerings to increase the start-up’s reach in individual markets and expand the number of available housing units. Salz&Brot’s user numbers increased dramatically after initial test runs were conducted in February 2015 in selected real estate markets. For example, the monthly website traffic from Hamburg jumped around 1,000 percent within a few weeks, while user numbers from Munich soared by nearly 3,000 percent. Importing the listings for other cities from ImmobilienScout24 also resulted in an increase of more than 160 percent in the number of total visits to Salz&Brot.
“ImmobilienScout24 is the best sparring partner for us with regard to our business model and developing our growth strategy. Naturally, the shared ownership benefits us directly with access to enormous expertise”, comments Tim Zimmermann, CEO of Salz&Brot
Internet GmbH. “The close cooperation with ImmobilienScout24 lets us make a much broader spectrum of housing available to our users. We reach markets that we were unable to be active in before because of a lack of listings. Naturally, this has benefited us directly via a significant increase in traffic and more intensive utilization of our services.”
Both parties have agreed not to disclose any further details about the contract or purchase price.