Lex Groenewegen, CEO of placert.com, says the industry needs to focus its technical eye on social media to more accurately target users, but also to add a softer touch to property portals.
Groenewegen, also a recently-announced speaker at Property Portal Watch’s Madrid conference, says his company’s brand new paid advertising module is integrating with Facebook and achieving phenomenal results in terms of traffic and turnover.
"We've added lots of new customers this year, but the coolest thing the business has achieved is the integration of Facebook advertising into its social workflow, to gain that extra kick of exposure which is often needed," he told Property Portal Watch.
The company’s software profiles people who are looking at real estate online and builds a profile around them. According to Groenewegen, it determines things such as their personal interests, if they are a double income household or what brands they engage with.
The fully automated software then searches for lookalike profiles on Facebook and inserts paid advertisements into their social feed.
“In that we way we lure searchers to portal or broker websites,” he said. “The coolest thing about it is that it’s fully automated which enables us to do a lot of micro campaigns.
“For example, we spend $10 when the house is newly for sale; $5 if the price drops and $5 when there is new media.
“Portals love it because they can make one sales call which will bring turnover on every listing the broker puts in and provides extra traffic to their website.”
Since the development of the new advertising module, Groenewegen says there has been a massive uptake from CRM providers and portals who find it very easy to adopt.
“We already have a waiting list of portals, CRM providers and agents who can’t wait to get started,” he said.
Unsurprisingly, Groenewegen said paying attention to social media is crucial for success in the industry.
“I am preaching for my own church, of course, when I think the future is in social,” he said.
“It’s so important to show people the softer side of listings. Can you imagine buying a product which hasn’t got review or opinions?”
He also said consumers want information quicker than ever before -- and the industry needs to keep up.
“It’s all about speed,” he said. “People don’t wait these days for anything, so whatever you offer - do it fast. Real estate technology should be all about making that happen.”
Groenewegen attended PPW’s conference in Bangkok in June and made some excellent connections and signed up new customers. He’s hoping to do the same in Madrid in September.
“We are really looking for robust partnerships,” he said. “We don’t try to connect for a day - we are in it for the long run.
“We can really help portals make the difference to get that extra traffic and be more successful for their clients.”