Real estate portals are running out of real estate.
Any marketplace site that makes its money by selling premium slots and greater visibility on its results pages will eventually run out of space for those listings. A whole page of 'premium' listings just looks odd, right?
So what's the solution here? How do real estate portals that run business models where agents pay progressively more for packages with higher degrees of visibility rise above their visibility ceilings?
One solution is to partner with Flow, a South African company that specialises in amplifying the reach of property listings off-site. We spoke to the company's Co-CEO and Co-Founder Gil Sperling about how portals can gain a bit of extra real estate for their listings.
Sperling began by highlighting the challenges faced by subscription-based portals in their quest for revenue growth.
"Subscription-based portals every year are trying to innovate and grow in certain directions to increase their revenue." Traditionally, portals have two options: increase pricing or introduce additional valuable products. However, these options may have limitations. Sperling noted, "You either increase your pricing which everyone hates or start offering some really valuable added products... but the problem is that you start cluttering the UX."
Flow's solution lies in offering a value-added product that seamlessly integrates with existing subscriptions. Sperling described it as an "off-site featured listing." He explained, “What Flow offers is a value-adding product that gets bundled into existing portal/marketplace subscriptions. This is a true revenue generator that allows portals to provide additional value without cluttering the user experience.”
By retargeting users who have already visited the portal, Flow enables portals to reach potential higher-intent customers on various online platforms. Sperling highlighted the immense potential of this approach, saying, "A great portal has an average user visiting the portal for one hour a month. That same user generally spends two to three hours a day on social media. So you can retarget your same audience on social media and therefore have an unlimited inventory."
While some agents may already be using social media ads, Sperling emphasised that Flow's service provides superior results. He explained, "The real key, and where we really see a return on investment and success is when you've got your own audience data to retarget." By leveraging a portal's proprietary data, Flow enables agents to target specific demographics and interests more effectively than they could on their own. This targeted approach ensures better outcomes for agents and a higher return on investment.
Sceptical real estate portals often wonder about the differentiation and branding opportunities Flow offers. Sperling addressed these concerns by stating, "We provide the back-end and the plumbing to enable this for a portal to completely white label and own the product, to configure it how they want."
This means that portals can fully customise the product to align with their unique brand identity. Unlike other service providers that operate at the brokerage level, Flow ensures that portals have complete control and ownership of the product.
Flow's commitment to innovation sets it apart from competitors. Sperling highlighted the company's focus on creative ability, particularly in incorporating video into their ad campaigns. He stated, "Our creative abilities are more advanced, and this is really where you get the performance on social platforms… It's quite proprietary." This emphasis on cutting-edge creativity enables Flow to deliver world-class campaigns and outstanding results to portals and their agents.
In terms of implementation, Flow aims to make the process as seamless as possible for portals. Sperling assured, "We put a lot of focus on ensuring that the onboarding and the integration is as slick as possible." By handling the integration of feeds and offering user-friendly interfaces, Flow simplifies the process for portals, ensuring a smooth transition.
Any portal wanting to integrate its services will have to pay a licencing fee but Flow mainly operates on a revenue share basis. Sperling says that his company is generally pretty flexible when it comes to how it gets paid: "We take a much smaller revenue share and enable portals to have the upside of the revenue that they unlock, but the base license fee can be broken up into different features that you use too. So there's some flexibility."
"We ensure that the portal ultimately has the benefit of the upside because it's their brand equity, position and power in the market that enables the additional revenue stream… I think other providers are quite aggressive when it comes to the revenue and we're less so."
Flow's off-site ad solutions empower real estate portals to grow revenue, deliver superior results to their agents, and expand their reach across various ad networks. By leveraging social media platforms and providing seamless integration and customization options, Flow enables portals to unlock new opportunities for success. To find out more visit their website or connect with Gil on Linkedin.