Almost 3,000 subscribers in just over one year: the Italian Internet start-up Casanoi.it, founded by Giuseppe Palombelli, has yield solid results thanks to a unique business model. The platform is the first real estate social market in Italy: it helps people wishing to buy or sell or rent a home (or just a room) meet potential candidates leaving real estate agencies completely out of the process.
The website dedicated its first year of activity focusing on marketing efforts and expanding its services, like the new Annuncio di Ricerca (Search Alert), a feature based on geolocation tools to bring to the subscriber the best offer in the area of choice. The Homply Bar (that works like a personal automatic scheduler) helps save time when browsing and selecting through different offers, while the service Calcola Imposte calculates the taxes that will be connected with the selling/buying deal.
“What makes us unique is the fact that any intermediary is excluded from the process of buying or renting”, says Giuseppe Palombelli, “and owners or tenants are those who advertise their properties on the website, posting photos, videos and descriptions, but also chatting with potential buyers or new tenants, creating a social network in an all-round 2.0 formula”.
Indeed CasaNoi.it runs a successful blog (29,000 visits) while the videos posted circulate on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and YouTube, where CasaNoi.it opened its own profiles: the website is based in Rome but its target is the world – indeed, only a month after its launch it started collecting the first posts from users outside of Italy.
“What CasaNoi.it publishes on its platform is the ‘story’ of a house told by the house’s residents. It’s a true social network, the Italian way: Italians like to talk and on CasaNoi you will find an ongoing conversation about homes”, says Palombelli. “Maps and profiles: these are the centerpieces of our model; people are what matters most”.
Subscribing to and using CasaNoi.it is completely free; users can upgrade, if they wish, their subscription to a premium formula that allows posts to stay on the site longer and adds professional services (which are CasaNoi’t main revenue source).
“Buying and selling homes or renting houses is more and more an Internet-based activity”, says Palombelli: “People go online to search, look at photos and watch videos and possibly make appointments. Many people try to avoid intermediaries to save money. With CasaNoi we’re using the typical Italian creativity to shape a new kind of platform, based on social marketing, with a sustainable business model, while helping revitalize the real estate market, that in Italy has been very sluggish due to a challenging economic environment”.