SeLoger CEO, Caroline Evans de Gantès Explains Controversial FSBO Decision

September 4, 2023
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Caroline Evans de Gantès, CEO of leading French real estate portal SeLoger, has justified her company's decision to allow for sale by owner listings (FSBO) on the portal in an interview with the French agent-facing publication Journal de l'Agence.

At the beginning of July, SeLoger caused consternation among French estate agents by allowing private sellers to list their properties. The decision was seen by many agents as a stab in the back as the portal had historically only allowed professionally represented listings on its site in contrast to its Adevinta-owned rival LeBonCoin which has always allowed private seller listings.

FSBO Listings on French Portals

Caroline Evans De GantesResponding to the question of why SeLoger had made the decision to allow FSBO listings, Evans de Gantès (pictured left) said that it had been made "based on the various studies that we have carried out within our Studies department and the result of more than 160,000 hours of discussions carried out in one year with our clients in the context of meetings, focus groups and meetings".

The portal boss also emphasized that SeLoger would remain a "pro first" platform and would continue to give priority to listings represented by a professional agent.

The French market is characterized by a high percentage of sellers who choose not to use an agent (quoted by SeLoger as 46%).

Allowing private listings on the portal was painted as a way for SeLoger to grow its traffic and market share and ultimately serve agents by providing more leads and capturing seller mandates of those who initially try to sell themselves but who later turn to an agent.

"The ROI will be clearly seen over time. It should be noted that 78% of sellers are also buyers. And today, a buyer contact is worth gold. Connecting the right person to the right property, to the right professional, at the right time is more than ever an added value."

Evans de Gantès, who has been in charge of SeLoger for two and a half years, pointed out that this tactic has proven successful at AVIV Group's portals in Belgium (Immoweb) and Germany (Immowelt).

Part of the reason for the agents' collective disappointment was that the portal moved to allow FSBO listings without any warning or announcement. Justifying the launch, Evans de Gantès said that SeLoger has an iterative "test and learn" approach to product launches and that the portal did embark on a "long preparatory phase" prior to the launch during which clients were consulted.

Evans de Gantès also defended SeLoger's pricing policy which came under attack following the decision to allow FSBO listings. Like all real estate portal bosses when pinned down on the subject of pricing, SeLoger's CEO pointed to value for money and the strength of audience and also mentioned that customers would soon benefit from new product innovations.


Editor's note: All quotes have been translated from French

September 4, 2023
Edmund got to know the world of portals and marketplaces working at Mitula Group (which became Lifull Connect after the buyout in 2018). He worked directly with hundreds of portals across the world in his role in the content department for three and a half years before transferring to the SEO department to understand the inner workings of listings sites. He joined Online Marketplaces as Head of Content in March 2020.

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