Regional News

Over 400 C-Level Leaders Met in Madrid to Discuss Key Marketplaces Issues

By Gordana Davila 2 Comments NEWS, Regional News
Property Portal Watch Madrid Conference. November 13-16, 2018

Property Portal Watch Madrid Conference. November 13-16, 2018

Madrid was the city of choice for the 24th Property Portal Watch conference where a record 400 attendees from 48 countries met to discuss the key issues facing their businesses.

Over the three days, some of the biggest names in online real estate classifieds and marketplaces listened to 42 speakers from 17 countries present on this year's theme of "From Classifieds to MARKETPLACES." Ideas were exchanged, technologies shared, networking was conducted, and startups pitched their business plans to the panel of experts.

There were many wonderful presentations, but here are some of the highlights.

Mayank Yadav, Product Manager, Facebook Marketplaces was interviewed by conference founder and leading industry expert, Simon Baker, about Facebook’s rollout of its Marketplaces product, the success they are having and the next steps.  The interview directly addressed the key issues of co-opetition and whether Facebook would take the same path as Indeed and cut out their customers and go direct.

Sudhir Pai, COE of, one of the leaders in the emerging and the very competitive Indian market, outlined how they are using auctions as a business model. Sudhir also addressed innovative marketing solutions for developers and home-owners, differentiated products for home buyers as well as strategies to enter the new areas of insurance and rental deposits.

Andrew Weight, VP of Product for Cars, Jobs and Real Estate Schibsted, was interviewed by leading industry expert Simon Baker about how they approach product development and the key areas that they are focusing on.  Of particular interest was the importance of user data and how this can be used to tailor the consumer’s experience across the Schibsted network of sites.

Luca Rossetto, CEO of and AtHome.Iu spoke about the lessons learned following’s loss of its market-leading position Immobiliare in 2014, and how they conducted a management buy-out in 2017., and how they turned the business around and are now challenging the market leader. Rossetto openly discussed how the team had to go back to the basics, changing the company’s culture, and redeveloping its technology.

Rami Essaid, Co-Founder & Chairman of Distil Networks, outlined why online marketplaces are being attacked by the bots and provided easy methods to identify and police malicious website traffic without impacting legitimate users. Essaid also explored the real impact on businesses, and why companies needed protection.

Amad Almsaodi, CEO of, an Egyptian online real estate classifieds site has implemented a model where customers can make an online deposit on for properties with a simple credit card. Almsaodi explained the opportunities and challenges in rolling out this business model and discussed how there can be a significant upside for the business by being closer to the transaction. 

Sébastien De Lafond, Co-Founder & CEO of, a French platform assisting prospective sellers to set the right price and find the best agent spoke about his company’s business model, the success they are having and how it is creating new revenue streams.

Andrew Oleijnik, Founder & Ceo CEO of Homsters, discussed how they are providing online classifieds sites a white-labeled data-driven new developments marketing and sales platform.  His discussed the opportunities and challenges provided by the new homes development market and how utilizing each user’s behavioral information they can create a personalized experience to improve conversion from visits to leads.

Ron Thomas, Head of Sales for Kahuna, a San Francisco-based company which uses machine learning technology to drive personalization, product and pricing optimization, trust and engagement, spoke of a recent 100-company research study his company conducted, which revealed the priorities, challenges, and growth strategies of those across the marketplace, classifieds and portals industries.

Loved our European conference? Don't miss our 25th PPW conference in Asia during 2019.

Join us in Bangkok the 19th to the 22nd of March for the Property Portal Watch Conference.

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