I thought I would write an introductory opinion piece to share my thoughts on my new role as CEO of Property Portal Watch.
As Simon outlined in the announcement I have spent the past 6 years establishing and leading the portal of Realestate.co.nz in New Zealand. At the time of my departure, last September, the site was firmly established as the championing #2 player in the market with a strong commercial operation and a loyal customer base exceeding 98% of all NZ agents.
Over the years in this industry I have reached out to establish contact throughout the world to share and discuss the experiences of property portals in Australia, UK, US and other countries. As ever I have found that the similarities are striking, regardless of scale. I recall sitting down with some of the team at Rightmove in 2008 and discussing premium property advertising at a time when neither of our respective organisations had ventured significantly into this area.
It is exactly this type of interaction and sharing that I hope to provide through PPW. I am keen to create a vibrant community from within the property portal industry globally, one that can foster and develop knowledge sharing and assist operators to provide great services to their customers and consumers.
The website of PPW is currently in redesign with the intention of creating a cleaner feel and improved usability. A key part of this new design will allow greater clarity around regional activity and country specific news and initiatives. Additionally we want to focus on the strategy and operational processes and developments showcased by portals. Whilst we recognise the value of being a rich repository of news I want to develop content that provides insight and opinion.
Turning from the website to the conferences. These events now in their 5th year are a core part of PPW. The latest is scheduled for 9 July in San Francisco. These events have grown in scale and relevance from an initial ‘gathering’ for like-minded professionals into a more structured and content rich engagement over a lengthy days session aligned to the Inman Connect conference.
I am at this time, as one of my first tasks preparing the agenda and structure of the SF conference which I want to be valuable in delivering content that helps participants better collaborate around common issues, as well as bring to the discussion table issues facing portals as well as opportunities that need to be explored to keep property portals at the forefront of real estate marketing.
After the SF conference it is our intention to take future conferences outside of the Inman Connect environment and establish them as standalone events probably initially over 2 days at cities in each of the main regions of the world (Europe, Asia, South America, North America) thereby attracting a more regionally focused participation which will provide a new dynamic and hopefully facilitate multi-functional specialization to meet the needs of tech teams, marketing teams and executives to create knowledge transfer and insight of benefit portals in the local regions.
These are the priorities for the operation at this time. The focus is to becoming a valued community of industry knowledge and resource for all involved in operating property portals around the world.
I have a passion for this sector and am looking forward to making new connections and discovering more insight into the global footprint of operations servicing the real estate industry. If you have any comments, feedback or just want to have a chat them please contact me through which ever communications medium suits:
M: +64 21 610 510