- Written by Nick Cappy, Business Development with Propteq Europe 2017.
Over the last two years, under the leadership of co-founders Andrew Miles and Ian Parry, Realla has propelled itself into becoming the largest aggregated online marketplace for sourcing and marketing commercial real estate (CRE) in the UK. Matt Glenny, Realla’s Director of Business Development, points out that “Every day, [Realla] is updating a search engine of 90,000 commercial listings collected from over 900 different sources.” Most comparable to US listing giant LoopNet, Realla’s platform delivers an intuitive user experience augmented by their ability to produce data-driven marketing insights.
Last summer Realla received £1.5m of funding to grow their user base and they are doing just that. Whilst the Realla search engine has only been live since June 2016, Matt reports that “online portal traffic is growing by 20% per month and all of the largest London commercial agencies have made use of Realla’s marketing suite.” Still, Realla’s agency-led solution is looking to further build its relationships across the whole marketplace.
Nearly 100% of CRE searches in 2017 involve online search. While this won’t come as a surprise to most tenants and investors, it doesn’t seem that the supply side has entirely kept up. The proptech world has been noticeably abuzz and yet many of the classic real estate players have not made adjustments in response to the digital changes that are transforming the industry. Realla’s algorithm-driven model has been developed to address this inevitable adaptation.
“Realla is taking commercial property marketing forward by nearly a decade,” says Matt Glenny, Realla’s Director of Business Development, who recently joined the business after six years at JLL. “What was previously email-spamming and magazine ads is now modern digitized marketing.”
The platform provides commercial agents with a platform to centralise data and use it to power a suite of sophisticated tools. Realla allows users to create, design and share property memoranda or online campaigns in a fraction of the time it would have previously taken. Matt explains that “by inputting data into a simple online form, users are able to distribute to all of their chosen digital platforms and track results. This allows them to optimise their online marketing performance over time and advise their clients accordingly.” Realla also cuts down these lead times, monitors transactions from start to finish and is typically 5 to 10 times more cost effective than hiring a traditional marketing agency.
Additionally, agents have the ability to create “branded microsites”. These microsites can incorporate site photography, 3D imagery, interactive maps, video, floor plans and more. The platform and all of its features are also accessible through the mobile app.
Realla intends to expand into international markets in the course of time. For now, they are the go-to search engine for sourcing CRE in the UK and are growing the user base of their SAAS platform.
“It is clear that the market has moved on. Nearly all of the demand is happening online.” Matt Glenny and the team at Realla believe that “a great opportunity exists for agents to take control of the online marketplace by using the right tools.”
For further information about Realla please call +44 20 3151 0171 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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