Vivastreet’s plans for property market in France

25 Feb 2016

With its head office in London, general classifieds site Vivastreet operates in 19 countries in Europe, Latin America, North America, North Africa and Australia. In France its real estate category is among France’s top eight real estate verticals, with around 2.7 million visits per month and 120,000 listings.

Thierry Langlois

Thierry Langlois, director of real estate at Vivastreet France (from LinkedIn with thanks)

AIM Group caught up with Thierry Langlois, director of Vivastreet Property, to discuss the company’s renewed effort to challenge its competitors.

What is your current strategic vision?

TL:In 2014, the first year of our service for real estate professionals, Vivastreet had 300 agents with signed one-year contracts, and a customer renewal rate of 85 percent. Based on this, the goal going forward is to offer an innovative platform and win 15 percent of the estate-agents market by the end of 2017. To this end, the site will add innovative features, launch a redesigned site optimized for mobile and tablets, and launch a new TV advertising campaign in 2016.

Which recent events enabled Vivastreet’s real estate offering to grow its share of the French market?

TL:In 2013 we posted more than 400,000 property listings with a one-year shelf life. We also posted over 150,000 listings from professionals, distributed for free via automatic diffusion. Late in 2013, we decided to do two things in 2014: reduce the duration of the ads to three months, and stop disseminating free listings of professionals via the online stream.

To this end, we started to provide fresh content with zero “obsolete” ads, which brought a strong increase in leads via web traffic. In 2014 we witnessed high demand coming from real estate agents for automatic distribution of ads via their software with an option to highlight their properties. With that in mind, we launched our Immo Pro offer in October 2014, which offers a package of listings and premium visibility options.

How would you describe the business model of Vivastreet’s real estate vertical?

TL:The business model of Vivastreet Property consists of three revenue sources, namely paid options to highlight listings for professionals and individuals, advertising on the site, and the income coming from Immo Pro.

Revenue from Immo Pro makes up the largest chunk of Vivastreet Property revenue at the moment, while in 2013 and 2014 premium-visibility features were the primary income source.

In terms of users, what is the share of individuals versus professionals? How are you planning to boost this audience?

TL:We are positioned to appeal to both real estate agencies and the general public, and have good distribution of properties posted by professionals and individuals. We will launch a new mobile version of the site in mid-2016, which will be offered for tablets and mobile phones.

To boost the audience of Vivastreet Property, we use the following methods:

+ SEO (natural referencing)
+ Retargeting campaigns with the help of Criteo
+ Sponsored links via Google Adwords
+ Posting content on engines, such as Trovit
+ TV campaigns

Real estate is a dynamic category of Vivastreet, with a 50-percent increase of leads in 2015 compared to the previous year and an increased presence in Spain and Portugal.

What is different about Vivastreet in the competitive French market?

TL:Vivastreet Property distinguishes itself by the large number of leads it delivers to real estate agents at attractive prices, while providing an allround service as far as visibility, ROI, prop-up options, and other accompanying services are concerned.

In addition, our new mobile version to be released mid-2016 will provide professionals with extra leads. To achieve this, we will use insights gained from Google Analytics Premium, and multivariate testing. With this knowledge we’ll revamp the desktop site for a fully responsive experience.

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Anastasia Gnezditskaia

Anastasia Gnezditskaia has joined AIM Group in 2014 as a writer/analyst covering France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Eastern Europe. A Russian living in Antwerp, Belgium, she has a background working for trade publications covering markets and their regulation. She is educated at Moscow State Lomonosov University (MA in psychology) and Central European University (PhD in public policy). After obtaining her doctoral degree, she taught international political economy at George Washington University in Washington DC where she lived for 10 years. Following this she managed international development projects in Africa at the World Bank, and worked as a journalist covering Congress, federal government agencies and commodity markets, particularly shale gas development in North America.