It is really strange and emblematic to note that from the times of the pre-crisis economic boom, passing through the recession and stagnation of real estate markets, up to today in which we are experiencing a slow but tangible recovery of Italian Real Estate, the instrument of The real estate portal has never experienced a decline, on the contrary, over time it has increasingly become an indispensable resource for real estate professionals and Italian families.
At a time when users are searching online for any type of good, product or service, using these types of platforms is becoming more and more a must, even for small and unstructured real estate agencies. Posting ads for sale or rent on a real estate portal allows you, therefore, to give greater visibility to your brand (for more information on how to improve brand awareness, click here!), Reaching an increasingly large slice of the market. Why miss such an opportunity?
The real estate portal Cambiocasa.it is one of the major Italian sites of real estate ads on the web, in constant growth thanks to the participation of an increasing number of real estate agencies. And it is precise to real estate agents that the portal aims to give added value, as the publication of ads is reserved only for real estate professionals, thus excluding that slice of the market dedicated to disintermediation.
To obtain more in-depth information on the functioning of the platform and the benefits it can provide to professionals in the sector, we interviewed Luciano Pirola, CEO and Founder of Cambiocasa.it. We have thus obtained a more detailed picture of the service offered by the portal, giving you the opportunity to reflect on the advantages that similar platforms can offer you.
Luciano, let’s get straight to the point: what is Cambiocasa.it? Tell us what your service consists of and what its main functions are.
Cambiocasa.it is an online portal of real estate ads, born in 2008. The publication of ads is reserved for professional real estate agents only. To date, about 5,000 agencies use our portal, for a total of 400,000 ads. Thanks to the powerful database we have and thanks to the numerous filters that can be set, the user is able to carry out extremely targeted and clear searches. Visitors, therefore, have the opportunity to search for any type of property, whether residential or commercial, for sale or rent with a few simple clicks.
How is your team currently composed and, taking a step back, where did you start from?
The Our team is currently made up of seven phone vendors that deal to market the portal throughout Italy, two programmers, a marketing manager, a lady at the accounting, a graph and two reps customers. Our company was founded in 1998 as a publishing house specializing in the creation of real estate ad magazines, distributed free of charge in the provinces of Lombardy. The natural evolution of the sector has led us over the years to gradually abandon offline investments to give more space to online ones, focusing almost all the resources available on the real estate portal.
What is the reason for the decision to reserve the publication of ads only to professional Real Estate Agents?
The choice of reserving the publication of advertisements on our real estate portal only to professionals in the sector was made to avoid problems in the management of home purchase/sale activities: in the purchase and sale of a property, problems may arise that if not managed correctly lead, with very likely, not only to the loss of time and money but also to the failure to conclude the deal. We, therefore, believe that relying on a real estate agent is the right solution to adopt if you want to take such an important step in the utmost serenity, safety and compliance with regulations.
What should push a real estate professional to use Cambiocasa.it rather than another portal? In other words, what are the differentiating elements compared to competitors?
The Cambiocasa.it real estate portal differs from its competitors precisely by the fact that real estate ads are published only by professional real estate agents and not by individuals or banking groups. The choice, however not easy, to give up the revenues and traffic generated by private users was made because we want to create a tool for the exclusive use of professionals. This type of dedicated real estate portal has already been used in other European countries, obtaining two important results: on the one hand the achievement of intermediary quotas higher than the Italian ones, and on the other hand the increase in the authority of professional real estate agents.
How do you think real estate portals will evolve in the coming years? Do you think that the “minor” ad portals will be able to catch up on the big players?
Personally, I think that real estate portals will remain for several years the most used tool by those looking for a house, as it is possible to have a real-time view of the properties for sale or rent in the Municipality of interest, at no cost. As for the future of portals considered “minor”, this will depend on what real estate agents decide to do in the coming years: to continue to invest in the usual tools or to broaden the vision and the range of investment. The most important real estate portal in the world, without the subscriptions and ads from real estate agencies, has no value anymore. Real estate agents need to understand that the power of information and money is in their hands, so it is only they who can determine the success of a portal or not.
In order to excel in a highly competitive market like yours, you first need to be known. How do you manage your reputation among agents and real estate agencies, especially on the web, and with it your brand awareness?
To highlight our real estate portal, Cambiocasa.it, we use social channels and email marketing very strongly. In addition to this, we have started a collaboration with a trade association that has embraced our project, and in the coming months we will be present at numerous meetings with their members. Last, but not least, there are our salespeople who contact lots of real estate agents every day and explain the project.
Immersed daily in the world of sales, and therefore constantly updated on the fluctuating trend of the market, what future do you foresee for Italian Real Estate?
Analyzing the data for the first half of 2016, there should be all the conditions for a steady increase in sales in the coming years. A separate discussion must be made for prices, for which I think it takes a little longer: today we can assert that in most Italian municipalities the decrease in the value of properties has stopped. The moment, therefore, seems propitious for those who have to buy, thanks also to the very low rates on mortgages, especially as regards those at fixed rates.