Ahmet Kayhan is an entrepreneur and co-founder of the property data company REIDIN in addition to being the CEO of Turkey’s leading property portals: Zingat.com. He is a guest speaker at the forthcoming PPW conference in Lisbon and says the swift success of Zingat – which launched in 2016 – was largely due to the insights and connections he established operating his first business.
“When we came to market with Zingat, we didn’t come as a new player,” he admits. “We came with almost 10 years of experience doing business in the Turkish property market,” he says of the data company he founded - REIDIN.
“We already had a clientele of about 500 real estate players, developers, banks, government and real estate brokers - we worked with almost every one of them before Zingat.”
The Turkish property portal now receives 5.5 million visits a month and became the no 2 vertical in the country in terms of revenues, traffic and subscribers within 18 months of its launch. It has also recently partnered with Dubai’s PropertyFinder Group to cater to foreign investors interested in buying Turkish property.
Building consumer trust
Zingat’s ability to solve problems, conduct meaningful research and understand what consumers are seeking on a deeper level was a contributing factor to its success, Kayhan says.
“When we decided to go into this business with Zingat we talked to thousands of people.”
“We made sure we understood what the biggest problem was between brokers and consumers in Turkey. We established that it was trust and so we decided to address that by providing the consumers with tools; and data was the bridge between that.”
By arming consumers with data to help them answer questions relating to where and when they should buy a property and at what price, the portal was able to establish itself as an expert tool for customers.
“Zingat is all about how we can deliver value to the market and how we can solve the principal problem - the original problem -rather than just creating another portal. We didn’t start Zingat just to start another classifieds portal,” he says.
Investing in quality relationships and data
Kayhan says in order to have longevity in the market, time must be spent establishing meaningful business relationships. He maintains that this important factor was omitted by some portals and they have subsequently now gone out of business.
“Before we came to market, there were some portals that just launched because of the buzz. They soon realised that it’s not just creating a portal and waiting for the agent to list their properties and convert them to the sale, it doesn’t work that way,” he explains.
“You have to make an investment; it requires a significant amount of business to business relationships; investment in professional relationships with handshakes; taking care of the brokers and taking care of the agents. Also; investment into consumer marketing such as: TV and radio - you need to build the brand.”
But he admits that without first establishing REIDIN, the portal would not be in the fortunate position that it is in today.
“We created that hype in the market with the data. Without the data I don’t think we would have been able to do that,” he concludes.