Personal endorsements for products through social media channels have become the new word of mouth, and it’s an emerging tech sector for property portals.
Adding so-called “soft data” to a property listing boosts the emotional connection between a house hunter and their potential new home, and it’s the premise of Netherlands-based company Placert.
The tech startup asks the home owner and their social network to endorse or add features, share photos and videos, pinpoint interesting spots on an interactive map and share nice memories/anecdotes to make the listing more appealing.
And portals are beginning to adopt the technology in an effort to create more value for the agents who list with them.
"Over the past year, we’ve been working on a major redesign; shifting from a purely ‘functional’ to a more ‘emotional’ platform,” funda’s Director of Sales Jan Werkman told PPW.
“We believe that there’s a dream house for everyone and it’s our purpose to help them find it. The soft story of a house – which makes it a home – is very valuable information, that we would love to add in some way to our platform.
“We do believe that social media is very powerful and could have a big impact on presentation of listings as we have on our platform today.”
Funda has more than 36 million visits a month, with 72 percent of traffic coming from mobile devices, Werkman says.
“In our data we can see that people are using our website and apps literally day and night, too afraid to be missing out on their dream property,” he said.
“There are also a lot of ‘funda-junks’ in the Netherlands, who are browsing funda out of curiosity or for inspiration.”
Werkman said the Dutch public will likely be very open to the idea of reviewing homes for sale.
“The Dutch are very eager to share their thoughts openly on the internet,” he said. “We’ve been offering the possibility to endorse real estate agents for a couple of years now and have gathered over 90,000 reviews!
“People also care about their neighbourhood and who will be moving in next, so I guess social endorsements of property listings would grow rapidly.”
As Director of sales, Werkman is responsible for optimising revenue growth through listings by real estate agents and advertising by third parties, such as banks, mortgage lenders and property developers. Prior to joining funda, Werkman built two national real estate franchise concepts with over 150 offices and is conscious of staying ahead of trends.
“We are not using the software of HelpMee as of yet, however, we’re convinced a tooling like Placert, could definitely help real estate agents in completing the picture of a property on funda.
“It could help us grow visibility on and traffic from social media and could increase time visitors spend on specific listings. They will get a more complete picture of the property, which helps them decide whether or not to contact the real estate agent.”
Placert is a sponsor of the upcoming Property Portal Watch conference in Madrid, 28-30 September. Placert CEO Lex Groenewegen is a keynote speaker and will address delegates with his speech: How to Lose 20% of Your Traffic Over Time (and how the Dutch deal with this problem). Register today!