With PropertyPortalWatch Bangkok just a week away, we got a preview of the presentation Georg Chmiel will be making.
His presentations are always popular. This year, he’ll discuss "The Digital War of Platforms – How Marketplaces are Evolving."
"As you know, Juwai.com has been connecting Chinese property buyers with international property marketers for almost a decade," Chmiel said.
"The marketplace is a brutal testing ground where you constantly try new things and quickly sort out what works.
"At Juwai.com, we learned some valuable lessons on what it will take for any marketplace to be successful in the future. And we've learned some valuable lessons about what you might call 'online marketplaces with Chinese characteristics.'"
Chmiel joined Juwai.com's Board in May 2017. Earlier, he managed the largest online advertising merger in ASEAN history as Managing Director of iProperty Group. He also served for many years as CFO of the $8 billion REA Group.
When it comes to marketplaces serving Chinese users, Chmiel says partnerships and integrations are even more important than they are in most other countries.
"The big guys dominate China's online space," Chmiel said, "especially Tencent and Alibaba. If you're not integrated or partnering with other players, you won't reach your largest or most qualified audience."
Chmiel described Juwai.com's new WeChat Mini Programs. These are essentially apps that let consumers search, enquire, and more from right within WeChat.
“If you're not familiar with WeChat,” he said, “imagine a nearly fully functional and intuitive search experience that is located right inside Twitter or Facebook, and you'll have the idea.”
Chmiel says property portals can also benefit from partnering with offline organisations that also have good relationships with the consumer demographics you target.
“Here’s an example,” he said. “Juwai.com works with Chinese mostly in Tier 1 and 2 cities who are wealthy enough to invest in real estate and send children to study overseas. So Juwai.com’s partners include Tencent, the company that operates WeChat and many other properties; JD.com, the world’s largest retailer; ICBC, the market leader in China for banking and financial products; and NOAH, an NYSE-listed company that is one of China’s largest wealth management groups.”
Chmiel said Juwai.com has learned that, even in the incredibly fast-paced online world, you have to work on long-term goals, not short-term advantages.
"When you build long-term assets like your database, your AI tools, and your strategic partnerships, it takes an investment upfront. It takes team time and can require you to sacrifice some projects that might have more immediate payoffs.
It just comes down to what your goals are.
“I think most people would agree it’s more productive to set your sights on having the best possible business in five years than on having a bit more revenue just this month."
”We have also learned that you have to measure the right metrics and the right number of metrics,” said Chmiel.
“If you try to track and improve too many variables at the same time, your energy will be scattered and your results weak. If you focus on the wrong metrics, you might make ‘progress’, but you won’t really be advancing your business.
”We have had to absorb the lesson Gary Keller gives in his book, The One Thing. He says to focus on the single thing that makes all other goals easier or even unnecessary.”
Join us in Bangkok the 19th to the 21st of March for the Property Portal Watch Conference.