After two and a half years, the online marketplaces industry finally got back together and met up in person at the Global Online Marketplaces Summit which started yesterday in Miami Beach.
Smiles on faces at breakfast and hugs in the lobby were on display at the Edition Hotel as an industry started to renew acquaintances after a pandemic-induced hiatus.
The day kicked off with a master class from SEO expert Mike van der Heijden. The Portal Ventures founder showed a packed-out meeting room the SEO pitfalls for online marketplace businesses as well as some fascinating case studies.
The first talk on the main stage was conference veteran Malcolm Myers looking back and reassessing the predictions he made about the industry before the pandemic and answering audience questions...
Later, attendees were treated to the combined wisdom of Malcolm, Christophe Rousseaux and Online Marketplaces' Chairman Simon Baker in a panel session on the future of the real estate portal industry.
OLX Brazil is an 800-pound gorilla and is one of the most important companies in all of Latin America. CEO Andries Oudshoorn explained to the audience how the company is digitising transactions in the homes and cars vertical and discussed the threat from the likes for Loft and Quinto Andar.
Next up was iovox's Cecilia West who told attendees about the benefits that call tracking can bring to the classifieds industry. Did you know that phonecalls consistently account for between 30-60% of classifieds businesses leads?
Ringier operates in markets as diverse as Switzerland and Kenya and is one of the most interesting online classifieds businesses in the world. Board member Robin Lingg answered questions about the business. Interestingly Robin thinks that 80-80% of revenues will still come from the company's core business in five years. The other big interesting point was the huge merger of Ringier and TX Group in Switzerland was 7 years in the making and not necessarily headed straight to an IPO.
Tolga Idikat told us about iBuying in Turkey. Emlakjet took a big risk when it started buying houses and the model is still far from perfect (only 1.5% of leads make it anywhere near the end of the funnel) but the business is going well in a market with low interests rates and high inflation.
HomeSyte's Debbie Chien rounded off the first day by telling the audience about the potential of the Vietnamese real estate market. Demographics, low loyalty from agents, frequent scams and the return of ex-pats make Homesyte's proposition an attractive one.