Why soft-data tech platforms are becoming popular for portals

Cathy Anderson

September 26, 2016

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Jan Werkman says social media reviews are very popular in the Netherlands.

Personal endorsements for products through social media channels have become the new word of mouth, and it’s an emerging tech sector for property portals.

Adding so-called “soft data” to a property listing boosts the emotional connection between a house hunter and their potential new home, and it’s the premise of Netherlands-based company Placert.

The tech startup asks the home owner and their social network to endorse or add features, share photos and videos, pinpoint interesting spots on an interactive map and share nice memories/anecdotes to make the listing more appealing.

And portals are beginning to adopt the technology in an effort to create more value for the agents who list with them.

Funda, the number one real estate platform in the Netherlands, is one portal considering adopting HelpMee software developed by Placert.

“Over the past year, we’ve been working on a major redesign; shifting from a purely ‘functional’ to a more ‘emotional’ platform,” funda’s Director of Sales Jan Werkman told PPW.

“We believe that there’s a dream house for everyone and it’s our purpose to help them find it. The soft story of a house – which makes it a home – is very valuable information, that we would love to add in some way to our platform.

“We do believe that social media is very powerful and could have a big impact on presentation of listings as we have on our platform today.”

Funda has more than 36 million visits a month, with 72 percent of traffic coming from mobile devices, Werkman says.

“In our data we can see that people are using our website and apps literally day and night, too afraid to be missing out on their dream property,” he said.

“There are also a lot of ‘funda-junks’ in the Netherlands, who are browsing funda out of curiosity or for inspiration.”

Werkman said the Dutch public will likely be very open to the idea of reviewing homes for sale.

“The Dutch are very eager to share their thoughts openly on the internet,” he said. “We’ve been offering the possibility to endorse real estate agents for a couple of years now and have gathered over 90,000 reviews!

“People also care about their neighbourhood and who will be moving in next, so I guess social endorsements of property listings would grow rapidly.”

As Director of sales, Werkman is responsible for optimising revenue growth through listings by real estate agents and advertising by third parties, such as banks, mortgage lenders and property developers. Prior to joining funda, Werkman built two national real estate franchise concepts with over 150 offices and is conscious of staying ahead of trends.

“We are not using the software of HelpMee as of yet, however, we’re convinced a tooling like Placert, could definitely help real estate agents in completing the picture of a property on funda.

“It could help us grow visibility on and traffic from social media and could increase time visitors spend on specific listings. They will get a more complete picture of the property, which helps them decide whether or not to contact the real estate agent.”

Placert is a sponsor of the upcoming Property Portal Watch conference in Madrid, 28-30 September. Placert CEO Lex Groenewegen is a keynote speaker and will address delegates with his speech: How to Lose 20% of Your Traffic Over Time (and how the Dutch deal with this problem). Register today!

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Cathy Anderson

September 26, 2016

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Acerca de Lucas Vargas:

  • Empezó en Grupo ZAP como el VP de Sales y en 2016 cuando la empresa tenía 60 empleados. Fue nombrado COO de VivaReal tomando el mando de Brian Requarth el Co-Fundador. VivaReal lanzó en Colombia y se trasladó a Brasil. En 2017 se hizo CEO del Grupo ZAP.
  • Ha trabajado en Mexico en PWC y en el Banco Santander
  • Tiene un Master de Business Administration de Harvard
  • En noviembre este año después de la fusión de OLX Brasil y Grupo ZAP fue nombrado el CEO del OLX Business Unit. Lidera la empresa junto con Andries Oudshoorn y Marcos Leite
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Simon Baker is the Founder and Executive Chairman of Online Marketplaces and Property Portal Watch. Involved with property portals for 15 years, he’s a well-recognized expert and industry consultant.
As former CEO/MD of the REA Group for 8 years, Simon led the group to its current market-leading position. When he joined REA Group in 2001, it had $4m in revenues, $6m in losses and an $8m market cap.
By 2008, the company presided over $155m in revenues, $35m in EBITDA and enjoyed a peak market cap of $1b. Simon is currently Chairman of the Mitula Group and Real Estate Investar and a serial portal founder and, investor.