The challenge: PR in a noisy marketplace
Immoweb is by far the most important real estate platform on the Belgian market. Any PR programme for such a brand will always attract scrutiny from stakeholders – and competitors.
The challenge for Immoweb is to turn its market leadership into a positive media presence in an extremely noisy landscape. Belgians may have a brick in their stomach, but that also means that everybody has something to say about real estate – from competitors, to real estate agents to financial institutions.
Mirjam Aardoom, CMO Immoweb: “As a market leader, and especially as a platform that brings together buyers and sellers, there’s a lot of stakeholders to keep in mind. It definitely comes with some pressure.”
The strategy: precision and data-driven PR
FINN has been the PR partner for Immoweb since 2017. During that time, we accompanied Immoweb as it evolved from a PR programme focusing on product announcements to an always-on thought leadership programme built on data and knowledge about the Belgian real estate market.
Mirjam Aardoom, CMO Immoweb: “When I arrived at Immoweb two years ago, I saw that we could build more on data and thought leadership in our PR approach. One of the first steps we took was to hire a Chief Economist, to help us create insights on the Belgian real estate market. We really felt that we needed to assert our position as the go-to source on real estate.”
At the same time, Immoweb keeps the interests of its most important stakeholders in mind – mostly owners of real estate and real estate agents.
Mirjam Aardoom: “With FINN, we worked on a precise messaging and positioning. Our most important message is always: as a market leader, we want to be a driving force in a dynamic Belgian real estate market. One of the ways to do that is to show home owners the value of their real estate and the potential demand for it. Towards real estate agents, we want to support them to make their job easier: we send them leads and we develop tools to do their job.”
Success: the Immoweb PR machine
Through 2022 and 2023, FINN and Immoweb built an always-on, data-driven PR machine.
It’s a high-volume PR effort. We produce dozens of data-driven stories per year, turning data into interesting stories at every level.
- The quarterly Immoweb price meter tracks the value of real estate over time.
- The AVIV report (Immoweb’s parent company) compares prices of real estate across countries.
In between, we work on evergreens and regional stories, as well as topics that are in the news:
- What is the most expensive street in Ghent?
- What’s the effect of EPC scores on the value of houses?
- How does the value of coastal apartments change as they are farther removed from the seaside and beach view?
Going all-in on in data-driven storytelling resulted in a dramatic impact in terms of media coverage.
In a very crowded market, Immoweb managed to increase its media coverage by 139 percent in 2022 and another 103 percent in 2023, going from 148 media clippings to a whopping 715, for a total AVE of € 7,2 million in 2023.
Immoweb commanded – by far – the largest share of voice (57,3%) on the topic of real estate in the Belgian market.
With those results, Immoweb and FINN exceeded the already ambitious targets for 2023.
Mirjam Aardoom: “When we set ambitious KPIs, the FINN team doesn’t hesitate to go out and achieve these targets with us and really put their shoulders to it. That is something I really appreciate about the collaboration. FINN is a PR partner who does not just to execute what we ask them to do, but who thinks with us, gives strategic advice, challenges us if necessary, brings us ideas and is proactive. To us, the FINN team is really an extension of our own team.”