City Expert started conquering Europe! Meet "Zwelo", a new brand in the real estate market.
After four years of City Expert, how would you summarize your experience in revolutionizing the real estate market?
Since the first day, our vision was to offer the best experience of buying and renting a property, and we've come a long way in the past four years. From setting up new standards when it comes to property presentations, to allow users to find everything they need on the website.
When we pioneered in the Serbian real estate market, every property ad looked the same. Lack of information and blurry photos that don't tell anything about the property were the standard. That's why we decided to change the way properties are advertised on the website. The way we do things saves so much time since there is no reason to go and see every property when you can see them on the website.
As we grew so did the number of our users, so we tested a few different models (improved traditional model and online model that we have now), and we tested different functionalities that we believed would enhance the user experience.
After four years of continuous development, we completely redefined the experience of buying and renting properties. We improved our services and made them even more available, and we designed our service to be safe and transparent.
Along with developing our product, we also worked on improving our organization. As our service grew, so did our organization and that's how we've gotten ready to conquer new markets.
Zwelo is a new City Expert's brand under which you work in Ljubljana. Why did you choose the Slovenian market?
Thanks to the evolution and the transformation to a completely online service, we started expanding to other markets. Our goal is to be present in all bigger cities in the EU. Ljubljana is an ideal place to test our product and our organization.
Even though it's a few times smaller than Belgrade, Ljubljana has almost the same real estate transaction value. Slovenia is also a developed country with an excellent standard, so that's why it was an ideal market for the beginning of our expansion.
What's the Zwelo vision?
It's the same as with City Expert. Zwelo is the revolution of real estate. Our vision is to become leaders in property sale and rent - not just leaders in the size of the market, but also leaders in innovations and putting users first.
In Serbia, everyone knows what to expect from City Expert. So, what is it that users can expect in Ljubljana?
Users in Ljubljana, and in other cities where we will open new offices, have that benefit to using the service that has been developed for four years in Serbia. Users in Ljubljana can expect media presentations, professional photographs, and video that will guide them through the virtual tour of the property. Also, users can find all information about the property online, without the need to call the real estate agent or see the property live.
From the moment users decide to see the property so they can buy it or rent it, the entire process will be completed on the platform in direct communication with the property owner with the help of our online support.
What are the first impressions? How does one new European market respond to the online model?
Last month we had a soft launch when we started to add properties to our offer. Even though we are still not working full speed, I must say that I am more than happy with the first impressions. Property owners and buyers are happy to cooperate because they recognized that we want to simplify and speed up the process of sale and rent. At the same time, users know that we are helping both parties achieve their goal.
Everyone wants to save time and money and to be sure that they are safe in the process. We offer all that, and it's visible to users that we are passionate about what we do.
What are the next steps for the company?
We are delighted with who we are and where are we today, and we are very excited about what we want to achieve in the future. Because we created an online model today, we have the opportunity to aim for an even bigger market share and to grow as the number of our users and transactions is growing. City Expert has been an absolute leader on the market, but we still have more to do and more to improve.
Also, along with sales value share in Serbia, our goal is to be present in all the bigger cities in the EU. That's why we set ambitious goals to become present in 10 other European cities in the next 2 years. We believe that we are ready, with a clear vision, great team, and the support of our investors.