The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed everyone in the business world to their limits. Some were pushed to the extreme and decided to drop out, and a few were pushed to innovate and expand to survive. It brought the most flexibility out of startups. It was indeed a real test for those who dared to claim that they know how to work under stress. One of the examples we met is Direction North, a digital agency founded seven years ago managing lead generation campaigns for clients, who were mainly real estate developers. Under its belt, Direction North has big clients such as Palm Hills, Emaar, Hassan Allam and Ora as well as brokerage companies like Coldwell Banker, BYOTAT and ERA.
While things were going great on the marketing front, they faced some challenges with traditional tactics. “Digital marketing tools have a lot of limitations in building the right audience and generating a serious lead, that’s why we decided to create our own tool to inform, brand and generate leads,” says Caroline Robert, the marketing manager of Flash Property, Direction North’s new subsidiary.
Throughout their seven years in business, Direction North has noticed that a lot of potential purchasers have to struggle to excavate the right information about new projects, be able to compare, see all options and become the experts they need to be before buying a property. Not to mention the hassle to find resale units in most compounds.
Founded in September, Flash Property was a result of all these observations. Through the website or mobile application, customers can browse through projects listed primarily from a different perspective. Flash Property produces their own branded videos to explain the projects listed, some of which are resale units no one would find anywhere else. The tech-driven real estate marketplace bases its constant innovation on both users’ needs and market gaps deserted by competitors. Flash Property measures their success by their conversion rate, which is at 30% at the moment. The marketing manager believes the reason behind this success is the user-friendliness of the website and app, easy navigation and the availability of information from master plans, payment plans to resale units.
We asked Robert why would anyone abandon all the Facebook groups, the already existing marketplaces they’ve been used to for years to download and make their purchase using Flash Property.
Flash Property’s strength basically lies in the availability and comprehensivity of information per property; from the minimum down payment percentage to floor plans of every unit type available in every project. Another big selling point is Flash Property’s explainer videos that tell you the highlights of the project in terms of community, location and more. “The customer makes the decision to buy or rent with a little more certainty than he had before using Flash Property,” Robert concludes.
A Bird’s Eye View over Real Estate in Egypt
Real estate is one of the most robust markets in Egypt. It is still perceived as the safest option for individuals willing to invest in an asset so durable, it is almost unaffected by any crisis, be it pandemics or uprisings. Real estate has been growing tremendously since 2005 and since FY 2012/13, the sector has consistently accounted for around 9% of total GDP, according to American Chamber. There will always be newlyweds looking for a long-term home or a family looking to build a financial safety net for their children.
“In the last 10 years the real estate sector has developed significantly, first generation compounds with basic unit types and facilities were a huge success and thus the concept of gated community was validated. With the rise of demand and a big variety of options, the second and third generation compounds started with upscaled facilities, more complex products, more developers and projects than ever before, prop tech had to develop with those changes to keep up with the new market needs. As for fourth generation compounds, we can’t wait to see how every developer will interpret and evolve, always surpassing expectations and creating new market trends.”Caroline Robert, Marketing Manager, Flash Property
The main challenge Flash Property is facing at the moment is personalizing their projects, unit listings and search experience based on different client persona. Flash Property caters to investors, buyers looking to move immediately or others hunting down easy installments. Some customers are either looking for their first home or a second vacation house, and all segmented under different priorities; price, quality, and community.
Therefore a focus on the details is essential. Flash Property has a panel of consultants in each segment to help them perfect and inclusify the user experience. Other than the panel of consultants, Flash Property has a team of 12; eight web and app developers, four designers, marketeers, copywriters and business developers. To make that possible, in July 2020 Direction North had a private round of investment to launch Flash Property’s website and both iOS and Android apps. “By the beginning of 2021 we will open a new investment round to cover our development and marketing growth expenses,” Robert reveals. Their plans are that by the beginning of the year they will have doubled their team capacity to serve more than 400,000 active/monthly online users.
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