For Laura Szabo, the Chief Product Officer at Hungarian property portal Ingatlan.com, one of the biggest challenges has been developing a tech platform to eradicate duplicate listings, a ubiquitous issue within her market. Szabo tells PPW how this issue was solved.
Managing a property portal in an emerging market such as Hungary can be particularly challenging, especially when there isn’t much framework governing how real estate agents operate.
“In Eastern Europe it’s a common problem; especially in Hungary or Poland and Romania. I also know that it’s a big problem in India; it’s a problem where there is no regulation or no common agreement,” says Szabo who will be a key speaker at PPW's 2017 Bangkok Conference.
“In Western Europe and the U.S., there’s one agent and one property and that’s it. In Hungary, one property can be handled by multiple agents,” Szabo explains.
“I think it’s a problem from the searcher’s side that when you look at the listings site and the duplicates just keep showing up, it’s annoying. That’s why we wanted to do something about it.”
The team at Ingatlan decided the solution was to develop a custom platform with a specialised algorithm that groups the duplicate listings together in a way that enables buyers to turn the function on and off when browsing for properties.
The platform took three months to develop and was launched last September in Budapest. The product is translated in English as: OnePropertyAtOnce, and was launched in other Hungarian cities this January.
Szabo says the decision to develop the platform was twofold: to make the property searcher’s life easier and to improve the reputation of real estate agents in Hungary.
“In Central Eastern Europe many agents advertise the same property, so they use many tricks to make their listing stand out from the crowd,” she says. “These tricks are not always legal, so people don't really like agents. We wanted to make the searcher’s life easier, and develop the trust towards the agents.”
The new grouping system works together with Ingatlan’s agent profile platform which was released last year and allows buyers to choose the best agent, using a rating system.
Paired with the new grouping platform, searchers are now able to focus on finding both quality listings and agents – a win/win for everyone.