“Realu.lt”, a new name is joining the Lithuanian real estate advertising market. This is the first portal of this kind in the country, a one-stop-shop for visitors looking for everything they want to know about real estate and to go through all stages as if they were accompanied by a guide: from finding housing or choosing a broker to expert advice and services. As the portal offers many functionalities, its ambitions to create a competitive environment on the market are supported and the biggest real estate market participants and experts who believe in its success. It sees efficiency as a win-win for both people seeking services as well as real estate companies and brokers.
Currently, the real estate market is witnessing a change in the power relationship between home buyers and sellers. According to experts, sellers have dictated their terms in this market for the past few years, and now it has passed into the hands of buyers. People looking to buy a home choose and negotiate because they have time to make a decision. Therefore, this is the best time for starting a new real estate portal at this point. Buyers will have more opportunities to search, consider, compare, and choose using more technologically advanced and convenient tools than those offered on the currently existing real estate advertising portals.
Experienced real estate professionals aim to reduce the stress of home buying
Housing search, purchase, installation and other related processes are often complicated. Meanwhile, the creators of “Realu.lt” with many years of accumulated experience in the field of real estate are convinced that it is high-quality information that helps to avoid common mistakes and to understand those processes better. Dmitrijus Semionovas, the Director and Co-Owner of Real Estate Service Company “Capital Realty”, established a new portal by bringing together market professionals.
The content presented on Portal “Realu.lt” covers all stages related to real estate, including: renting a home, preparing to buy the first home, installation, repairs, sale of a home, transactions involving commercial property, investment. Time is another important element when it comes to dealing with real estate issues. Here you can find everything that would normally take you a lot of time to search all over the internet: news and advice, real estate advertisements, a directory of related service providers, help with choosing a broker, spreadsheets, memos and much more. “It is an interactive site for people looking for a home rather than an advertisement for a home. Everything you need is right here, even if you are not sure what you are looking for: from the idea to its implementation. Global practice shows that people find searching for advertisements on the map to be more convenient, so soon this option will be integrated in our portal as well”, D. Semionovas says.
A monopoly formed on the market is not beneficial to either party
The realization of the idea for a new portal was determined not only by the desire to provide people with a technologically advanced and convenient site where they could find reliable help, but also by the desire to balance the competition in the Lithuanian real estate advertising market, which has been squeezed in the hands of the dominant portal “Aruodas.lt” for a long time. However, it is true that there are several smaller specialized portals: “Domoplius.lt”, “Kampas.lt”, “NTportalas.lt”.
Audrius Gudanavičius, the President of Lithuanian Association of Real Estate Agencies (LNTAA), says that today there is no competition on the market of real estate advertising portals. “In reality, there is one player who controls three advertising portals and has an unquestionable monopoly. The prices of the services provided by the portal have long exceeded all limits of common sense. The main customers of the portal are real estate agencies and brokers who manage the content but have to pay huge sums for its exposure and do not receive any additional services that could help their activities as well as benefit their customers”, A. Gudanavičius assures.
Mindaugas Statulevičius, the President of the Lithuanian Real Estate Development Association (LNTPA), also speaks about the fact that the real estate advertising market is currently tight. “The kind of monopoly that has formed on our small market is not beneficial to either party: neither sellers and landlords of real estate, nor buyers. It may be a less visible problem for the latter group, but we hear from our members who host advertisements that there is a limited supply of such specialized portals. On the other hand, recently social networks have been increasingly used for advertising and the real estate market is also adapting to it. It is very likely that we would be looking for suitable housing with the help of even more advanced technological and virtual platforms in the near future. However, before we have moved to such a new reality, we want more competition on the traditional real estate advertising market”, M. Statulevičius says.
Brokers complain about limited abilities to properly present the product to customers
Mantas Mikočiūnas, broker with Real Estate Agency “Capital”, says that the situation on the market affects both brokers as well as people looking for housing. “There are many functions that the dominant portal “Aruodas.lt” does not support, thus brokers are not able to provide customers with as much added value as they could and show everything they have. Therefore, the consumer suffers major losses, even without knowing that he / she could get a better product. In this way, all market participants seem to fall into the kingdom of crooked mirrors where an intermediary creating no content dictates the conditions for those who create content and those who use it”, M. Mikočiūnas says; he believes that the opportunities provided by the new portal could encourage other market participants to step up in terms of content quality.
Real estate market participants are eager for changes and believe in their benefits
Gudanavičius believes that, first and foremost, the emergence of Portal “Realu.lt” presents an opportunity for change for the Lithuanian real estate advertising market. According to the President of LNTAA, this Portal boldly strives to become a strong second, and over time, perhaps, even the leading portal of its type in our country. “The essential difference is that the Portal was created by content managers themselves and professionals in this field, who, unlike other portals, are active on the market, know the user, his needs, know the latest examples of global practice, which enables them to create a better product for the user, to operate more efficiently and to serve customers, thus benefiting both real estate companies and brokers providing services to their customers”, A. Gudanavičius says.
Mindaugas Statulevičius, the President of LNTPA, also sees beneficial changes on the market associated with the emergence of the new portal. “It would be for the best and very promising if it grew into a project providing benefits and value to all market participants. I don’t want dry content, non-installable updates, and rising prices anymore. This Portal could become an alternative. The vision of the Portal is ambitious: it is not only a tool for advertising, but also a tool for knowledge and analytics. As far as I have heard, real estate market participants support the idea of this Portal, it just needs time to grow”, M. Statulevičius says about the prospects of the Portal.