The digital portals of the real estate business have grown in number and turnover in recent years, driven by a supply without intermediaries and a digitized customer that demands speed and savings.
Few decisions in life carry as much pressure as signing the purchase of a flat. Therefore, there is still a part of the society that does not trust the real estate marketplaces, the online portals that publish housing offers for buying and selling and that are positioning themselves as one of the most relevant players of the proptech revolution: the segment that is building a new real estate from the ground up.
Why are these storefronts so attractive with a single click? The answer lies in a wide range suitable for all audiences, without intermediaries and that looks at the sector with the eyes of today's buyers: the millennials and generation X. These generation, which were born in 1980s and 90s, are the main drivers of the digitalization of the sector from both sides of the business table. The case of real estate portals has the distinction of being one of the first lines of business that opened in the real estate using the technological boom. The two companies that lead the sector in Spain, Fotocasa and Idealista, were born at the dawn of the new century, and have accumulated a score of years of experience without any other platform has managed to dethrone them.
One of the main qualities that characterize real estate portals is the amount of information it offers, helping users to make a decision without having to move from the sofa in their home. In addition, there are already several marketplaces online that offer an internal chat so that housing applicants can get in touch with the owners of the flats in which they are interested in order to have a more direct communication between the user and the client of the portal. All
Some real estate portals offer internal chats so that the user and the bidder can contact each other without intermediaries. In front of Idealista, its founder, Jesús Encinar, remains.
This Spanish entrepreneur formed it in January of 2000, according to the profile of the CEO on the company's website, after a year earlier it occurred to him on a plane to Madrid the idea of creating a platform for help people find a house. Since then, more hands have passed through the direction of Fotocasa, which in 2017 reached the age of majority.
This portal came from Anuntis, a website that included different specialized channels in areas as diverse as motor and employment, and in which a real estate branch was already located. In 2003, the real estate portal fotocasa.es was born. In it already appeared offers of housing of all kinds: new work and second hand on sale and rental. A few months later, the merger between Anuntis and Trader Classified, owner of the brand new platform, originates a new technological platform that joins the two legs under the brand of fotocasa.es, until in 2006 76% of the actions of the portal. They were acquired by the Norwegian company Schibsted, a specialist in the marketplaces sector in the Nordic countries.
Currently, Schibsted already owns the whole of the proptech, which soon created a mobile application to be able to view the real estate in the portfolio from anywhere. The last step towards the new technologies of Fotocasa was the creation in 2015 of an app, being a pioneer among the real estate portals in providing this service.
The new marketplaces
Driven by the success of the two pioneers in the national real estate marketplace, in recent years there have been a lot of portals that provide this service, expanding the line of business, the most extensive of the different digital branches of the sector with some thirty of web companies. These include pisos.com, Globaliza, Yaencontré (owned by Grupo Godó), Habitaclia, Wonowo, ByHours, and 1001portales, among others.
Likewise, although the residential segment is the one that generates more business and has a greater number of companies dedicated to offering housing, there are also specific portals for the user to find office spaces (Belbex and MisOficinas.es), including the branch of this subsector so in vogue in recent months, coworking, which in Spain already has a company (Coworking Spain) that responds to the demand for this type of premises.
The increase of this type of platforms has been exponential in the last decade. Fotocasa and Idealista have tripled in this period their traffic, going from two million unique users per month to six million today, with more than 400,000 unique users per day.
The above article was written and published in Spanish and has been translated into English. Click here to read the original article.
Join us in Bangkok from the 28th of February to the 1st of March for the 22nd Property Portal Watch Conference. The theme for this year is The Future of Online Real Estate Marketing – Getting Closer to the Transaction.