Big changes in the real estate market in Novi Sad!
We have good news for all owners of rental apartments in Novi Sad - in addition to the existing property buying and selling service, City Expert began with the rental service in Novi Sad. This was an excellent occasion to talk to Igor Jovic, CEO of City Expert.
What kind of change did City Expert bring to the property market?
City Expert has made a considerable change in the form of an entirely new way of presenting properties for sale and rent. Our priority was to do something completely different, to simplify the whole system. We wanted to show all the properties to potential buyers and tenants in transparent way. It meant that we had to make a standardized multimedia presentation for every property, with the use of professional photos, video, 360 ° views, and an interactive floor plan, as well as a list of all possible costs and other information about the real estate. It is especially important to note that everything is available online - non-stop. We started from the problems we had when we were all looking to rent apartment, and we tried to find the solution for problems we encountered. Now we tend to listen to our customers, and we are focused on their satisfaction. I have to say that the most significant change that we introduced to the market are the satisfied users.
Has the City Expert business model proved successful in the Belgrade real estate market?
In five years, we made a multimedia presentation for about 18,000 properties, sold about 700, and rented about 7,000 properties. Around 300 properties are listed on our website every month. The whole system is designed to save time and sell or rent properties as efficiently as possible. The situation that we often come across is that properties that have a good value for money arouse great interest, and it is a matter of hours before they will be rented. Another issue regarding renting is that, on average, about 1,000 users schedule a viewing for about 2,500 properties each month. Our users are well-informed, and they do not have to visit many properties before choosing the one that suits them best. The success of the business is measurable, but once again, we measure our success by how satisfied our customers are.
How did you manage to digitize the process, and what does it mean for the users?
The City Expert website is the place where everything happens. We just automated a part of communication to speed up the process and to decrease the possibility of human error. Our approach to business development is different from traditional agencies; we rely on technology, which means quick and efficient communication for customers and property owners.
The first step for the property owner is to fill out a form on our website. Then the whole team springs into action. The team includes: customer service, professional photographers, production team, tem of licensed agents, team of lawyers, IT team, and a marketing team. They are all involved in the process of advertising the property, and they make sure everything goes well.
Another thing that is automated is scheduling a viewing of the property. Users schedule a viewing through the website, and the owner receives an SMS and email notification. But it is essential to mention that technology is at the service of people here, on both sides. Because people, our users and employees are what matters the most to City Expert.
After Belgrade, you started working in Novi Sad in 2017. How did it go there?
Just great. Novi Sad has always been an open city that recognizes a good thing, and in few years, we got to know the local market, and we've adapted to it. The strategic decision was first to offer a selling and buying service there. Our colleagues who work in Novi Sad office are great, and they do their best to make the sellers and buyers feel safe.
What is new in City Expert?
This year was especially exciting. We opened an office in Ljubljana in March 2019. The Slovenian office operates under the brand name "Zwelo", and so we opened the door to doing business in Europe. We plan to expand our business even further.
The other big news is that we started renting service in Novi Sad last month. Now all owners of rental apartments can contact us and experience all the benefits of our service - the most favorable conditions with the multimedia presentation of their property. On the other hand, we think tenants will like the fact that they can rent an apartment without a commission. As far as I am informed, we are the only ones on the market who offer that.
Since we have just started, I would like to invite the Novi Sad apartment owners to contact us till the end of the year and to join the excellent City Expert promotion "25% off for the 50 fastest". We are waiting for you!