Today I received the following unsolicited email from a previous attendee of the Property Portal Watch Conference and I thought I would share it with you. The author is Stephen Rose from Commercial Property Guide in Australia.
Reason one – I’m sure I know that Barcelona is happening – maybe I don’t need any more reminders.
Secondly and more importantly I don’t want to encourage any of our competitors to attend.
When I attended the 2013 Barcelona conference, our Commercialpropertyguide.com.au portal had only been launched a couple of weeks. The timing was perfect.
The Barcelona conference was a rich source of information that contributed to Commercialpropertyguide.com.au making the rapid progress that it has.
From my perspective, conference organiser Simon Baker and his team painted an integrated picture of global trends. But the real conference value came from the individual presentations of each portal’s tactics.
Here’s a handful of highlights that made travelling from one side of the world to the other for three days worthwhile.
- Jasper De Groot from Pararius had 5 key messages. Although Pararius is a residential rental portal their experience readily translated to our commercial real estate portal:
- A start-up sales pitch of 6 months free;
- Copy (only) the good stuff from others;
- Stay off the Radar (although others thought this impossible);
- Produce a quarterly press release; and
- Home owners are not allowed to list directly.
- We connected with a Data Uploading Specialist from the UK who provided expertise in an area we needed assistance with.
- Brian Boero from 1000Watt in the US had a key message for us: “Start with something unique”
- Many presenters (including REA group’s former UAE portal) emphasised the need to be patient when looking for traffic growth.
- Gilles Blanchard Chairman at Zameen made the point that “Clients love their logo
- Tim Bjelkstam from Hemnet discussed the conflict of interest when industry groups are portal owners.
- Stephen Inscoe at Idinaidi in Russia showed how their large market research effort before launch paid off.
The Australian commercial real estate portal market is best described as “REA group’s realcommercial.com.au and the seven dwarfs”. Our, commercialpropertyguide.com.au is one of the dwarfs – probably Grumpy. Sleepy looks a lot like Commercialview.
A year ago in Barcelona our portal had been live for a couple of weeks. Our status had just then changed from “they’re dreaming” to “could possibly survive”.
With the lessons from Barcelona absorbed, our current status is “will probably succeed”.
I wish our team had the time to spare to go to Barcelona again – but that’s not to be. We’ll just have to be content with the demise of the Barcelona email ads.