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Battle for Tehran Online Property Market Supremacy

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The battle for the online property listing market is heating up with leading players neck and neck
Iran’s real estate market has suffered from a lack of innovation. Iran’s real estate market has suffered from a lack of innovation.
The bounce rate for Eskano is three times that of ihome

Something fascinating happened at the end of 2016, according to web statistics agency similarweb.com. Two foreign-backed startups were neck-and-neck in site visits.

The sector this time was not the usual online shopping but home property listings.

The two websites in question are ihome.ir and eskano.com. The former has been in the market for several years, but only came to prominence after it was purchased by French-Pakistani Emerging Markets Property Group in May last year.

Eskano, supported by Iran Internet Group, itself backed by Rocket Internet and MTN-Irancell, has been vying to become the leader in property sales for at least three years.

The meteoric rise of the two brands shows, again, foreign-backed websites are starting to win out in the battle for supremacy.

 Statistics Analysis

Accordingly, both sites are neck and neck in the rankings according to SW. Ihome received 186,200 hits in December and Eskano was a nudge behind at 183,600 hits.

ihome has the edge in page visits, where it trumps the MTN-backed rival with ten page visits per session – Eskano got just 3.7 page views in December.

For the sake of comparison, ihome is winning in this metric due to people looking at a greater number of properties. It also could lead to better programming at the back-end of the website

Moreover, the bounce rate for Eskano is three times that of ihome, at 32.23% versus 10.59%. What this means is that fewer people are leaving the ihome website after viewing its pages.

Again, ihome is leading in direct hits to its website, at 40.13% whereas Eskano lags behind at 31.13%. This indicates that users of ihome are more familiar with the brand and head direct to the website.

With regard to searches, Eskano leads with 49.89% of the hits, against ihome’s 39.44%.

Getting technical, one significant difference in the results could be down to how well the sites are being promoted by other websites.

Considering that Eskano is part and parcel of IIG, which also owns DigiKala competitor Bamilo and contentious ride-hailing app Snapp, it could well be cross-promoted by other sites.

Both websites are again pretty much neck and neck in website referrals. Ihome in this category received 19.13% against Eskano’s 18.34%.

 Google Trends

Meanwhile, looking at Google Trends, the same pattern seems to be repeating itself.

According to that site, interest in both brand names seems to follow the former company’s report. Searches for “ihome” are consistently higher than those for “Eskano.” Google also says that there is a three-fold increase in searches for ihome over the past 12 months.

Unsurprisingly Google also reports that searches for ihome are concentrated in Tehran.

 Backlash?

It is not the end of the road for the property market and companies like the two aforementioned  could hit the rocks if traditional property agencies fight back against the internet-based onslaught.

Last December Hessam Oqbaei, director of the Tehran Association of Real Estate Agents, said that he would “destroy divar.com,” a local private listings website.

Though he did not say how he wanted to embark on the worthless threat, his comments sent shockwaves through the local e-commerce industry, which was the latest sign of the backlash from established industries.

The senior realtor’s comments came as several other websites bump against their forerunners in what is becoming an endemic challenge of new verses the old!

As strange as it may seem, the irresponsible comment came as Oqbaei and his team were launching another competitor to the market: alounak.com.

 

 

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