Germany’s No. 1 real estate listing site ImmobilienScout24 had to develop new services to set them apart from growing competition.
ImmobilienScout24 offers B2C and B2B services at the same time. Users looking for real estate can search the site for free, while real estate agencies have to pay per listing or subscribe to a monthly listing service.
Since competition was growing – especially in the startup world – ImmobilienScout24 had to offer their clients some extra features that would set them apart from the competition. Free webinars on how to take better pictures of their real estate offerings, or write more compelling descriptions etc. seemed to be in high demand and worked well to keep customer loyalty high.
In 2012 social media and especially Facebook became more and more popular for businesses, large and small. The B2B marketing department decided to offer a free “Social Media/ Facebook for Real Estate Agents” webinar to help their customers set up their social media channels.
Me and one other colleague from the social media team were trained to become certified online coaches.
We developed a “How to”- webinar, keeping in mind that most agents had no understanding of how social media and Facebook worked at the time (2012).
Once the 1 hour long webinar was up and running on a weekly basis – my colleague and I took turns – it quickly became very popular and soon was booked out months in advance. “Thank you” messages and proud presentations of newly set up Facebook pages would find their way into our inboxes.
The demand became so high that the marketing department decided to present a live version with my colleague and me on stage at ImmobilienScout24s yearly roadshow in Germany’s 10 largest cities.
We received a 6 hour stage training – after all, we would have to speak in front of up to 1,000 real estate agents.
For our live presentation we had to come up with a new way of explaining the impact and relevance of social media. It had to be more entertaining than the webinar. Since a lot of agents had already gone through our online training we were able to present best practice examples from actual customers on stage.
Our presentation was followed by long Q & A sessions that revealed how much more demand for social media expertise there was among real estate agencies – and that they trusted us to provide that knowledge.
This led to live expert chats (Google hangouts) and even half day workshops for agents that my colleague and I hosted.
During my time at ImmobilienScout24 I acquired some very profound coaching and teaching skills, and I learned a lot about knowledge transfer:
Compressing the rather complex structures and functions of social media into easy to understand webinars
Understanding how to guide 10 participants with different levels of knowledge through a 1 hour webinar
Adapting a webinar held online to a keynote / live presentation on stage, to be held in front of large audiences
Talking in front of audiences up to 1,000, using verbal and body language
Developing different formats to meet the growing demand for social media knowledge , e.g.: - expert chats with varying topics (topics that would always come up during Q&As) - workshops for real estate agents, helping them setting up their social media presence with our help by the end of the workshop