Saturday, February 14, 2009

ImoMarket - the return to free of charge Ads

As of today publishers who post up to 3 simultaneous ads on ImoMarket will not be invoiced anymore.

When we launched ImoMarket in 2005, we followed the same principle of offering our services free of charge, for about 1.5 years, the time to develop a system able to invoice Ads per click and per day of activity.
During this period ImoMarket has grown to more than 10.000 visitors per month and about 20-30 new adverts were received every day.

We hoped that by introducing payable services we would manage to filter all old or multiple ads for the same property and position ourselves as a premium brand, on the online real estate advertising market.
To a certain extent our goal has been achieved but could not compensate the reverse effect of traffic drop, due to less advertisers coming in, thus less visitors looking for properties.

At the end of the day, our whole Business Case comes back to the same question: "How to create acceptance for our online marketplace?"
The answer is as simple (or as complex) as answering the question of "Which came first, the chicken or the egg?".
In other words, if you don't have enough ads on your site, then why would visitors come to you and if you don't have enough visitors then why would advertisers post on your site?

There is probably no clear recepy for that, otherwise any online entrepreneur could end-up developing a new E-bay.

We therefore stopped asking ourselves philosophic questions and decided to go for a more pragmatic approach.
It has been said that "there is no free lunch" (an idea that I would very much like to further develop in a future post on this blog). Well, if in general "there is no free lunch", then it would mean that a free lunch is something very scarce, that could easily attract many consumers.

So, let's give "a free lunch" under the form of up to 3 free-of-charge advertisments on ImoMarket and publishers will hopefuly appear.
This will hopefuly attract more visitors and the "chicken and the egg" cycle is started-up.

We think that this is, by the way, the only way to go in the current online environment, with more and more sites striving to attract users that are less and less willing to pay for basic services.
Most Internet success stories over the last years - Google, Youtube, Facebook, Linkedin, Skype, E-bay, Virtual Earth, only to quote a few of them, are based on the same holy principle: basic services are free of charge.

Some people will now wonder - what about ways of getting revenues? Before getting into polemics on this subject, let's stick to the main idea:

Posting real estate ads on ImoMarket is now free-of-charge!


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