After testing the Placert proposition in its Netherlands home market, real estate sales tools and software supplier MindWorking adopted it straight away.
MindWorking CEO Claus Mathorne says all his brokers instantly fell in love with Placert, a sponsor of this year’s Property Portal Watch Conference in Bangkok.
Developed by Netherlands-based company KijkMijnHuis BV, Placert has so far helped 250,000 homeowners sell their property by offering a social platform for listings.
For example, Placert lets you pin special features of your house and neighbourhood, like schools and parks, while spreading the word about your impending sale using an earned content strategy on social media.
MindWorking’s Mathorne says it was immediately obvious to all his company’s stakeholders ‘soft’, or social data is
[caption id="attachment_56152" align="alignright" width="250"] KijkMijnHuis BV CEO Lex Groenewegen's company developed Placert, a sponsor of this year's Property Portal watch Conference in Bangkok[/caption]
needed in the process of selling or buying a house.
“We know social data is becoming more and more important in the whole sales process,” he explains.
“Everybody wants social approval before making a decision. Placert provides this in a easy to use smart solution for brokers and the sellers of properties on the market.”
And the proof was in the pudding.
“Placert provides us with loads of traffic to our property websites, it improved our SEO dramatically and above all we got some very nice feedback from people who are looking for a house,” Mathorne says.
“They said the social data really helped them in getting a better picture of the house for sale, in a positive way of course. The rapid uptake from our brokers also shows how much consumers love the data Placert provides.
“I don’t see a future without social proofing listing,” he adds. “ Placert provides us with that in a perfect way.”
KijkMijnHuis BV CEO Lex Groenewegen adds these days we search for reviews for every product we buy.
“An Amazon product page is 75 per cent user generated content, but when buying a house, which is one of the most emotional moments in a lifetime, only hard data like squares meters or number of rooms is provided,” he says
Placert fills the gap by allowing people to express what is great about a house they are selling.
With over 60 per cent of the local Netherlands market Groenewegen says Placert is expanding internationally.
“We have been able to launch in several European markets and signed partnership contracts in Scandinavia for example,” Groenewegen tells PPW.
“We are working in close partnership with Property Portal Accelerators, also PPW sponsors, having active discussions with both broker chains as well portals in, among others, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, but also Australia and New Zealand.”
Founded nearly a decade ago, KijkMijnHuis BV delivers online marketing tools to real estate brokers and agents.
“We feel that one of our core competences is the way we combine smart online technology to get it really working and really being used without being overly complex,” Groenewegen says.
“The idea for our first product came, as often is the way, from my own frustration. I wanted to make moving easier.”
With a 500,000 EUR investment, over several years of development and experience the first version of Placert was developed and launched several years ago.
Groenewegen says Placert is now funded by the company, with cash flow from other products being used for development.
“The first version of Placert used social media to push out the message a house is being sold and help sell the property by unleashing the seller’s the social network.
The latest version, recently released, has seen the earlier feature fully redesigned and a data collection function added.
“Now you can collect all the soft data of a property and spread the word in an easy and smart way,” Groenewegen explains.
He says some copy cat versions of the first Placert incarnation have appeared in the Netherlands market, but the updated version is yet to be seen and has been received very well.
“With this trend of big data and social media, we feel we are operating in the sweet spot of what people are looking for in terms of additional information and distribution,” he says.
“Big data is becoming more and more important in completing the full picture of a property,” he reiterates. “Potential buyers require more and more information before they even consider visiting a property.
“Reviews, virtual reality and other sources of data will become increasingly important to promote a property. Placert is helping by collecting the data as well as providing the infrastructure to deliver and distribute the content.”
Currently Groenewegen says the company is collecting soft data on individual properties, but aims to develop the service with the capacity to analyze all the aggregated information and transaction data.
“This will mean we can tell what specific characteristics people find important and why,” he says. “It will allow us to provide super useful social information in any neighborhood.”
In addition Groenewegen sees the rapid introduction of tools for real estate brokers, buyers and sellers as an opportunity for the company.
“We are looking to be a front runner in these developments and innovation,” Groenewegen enthuses. “Not as a gimmick but to actually help and support the real estate industry.”