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Casa.it is the Italian property portal most trusted by both home buyers and real estate professionals. Established in 1996 by an Italian entrepreneur as the first Italian website focused on real estate, it connects buyers and sellers, renters and landlords. With over 30 million visits a month, over three million published listings per year for sales and rentals, and over 14,300 customers, Casa.it is one of the leading digital real estate companies in Italy.
When the Coronavirus outbreak hit, businesses far and wide felt the negative impact, including the real estate sector. During lockdown all home tours stopped, and even as restrictions ease, lingering fears continue to slow the market. But thanks to large investments in technology, Casa.it was still able to support clients in their quest to find a new home.
“In this complex period, we must continue to make the dream of a new home come true and pursue our mission of bringing together those who sell and those who buy, even if you can’t do it physically,” explains Luca Rossetto, CEO of Casa.it.
Casa.it was able to overcome their challenges with their new and innovative service, Prima Visita, which enables home buyers to visit homes of interest remotely, under the expert guidance of a real estate professional. Prima Visita’s virtual home tours address today’s health concerns, and also set the stage for a faster, easier way to buy a home moving forward.
“Large investments in technology are helping us to pursue our mission even in this period. For example, we are constantly working to improve our Prima Visita service day after day, because we believe it can be a valuable tool for our customers and for our users and in general for the whole real estate sector,” says Rossetto.
To cope with the current situation and help fuel the recovery, Casa.it took it one step further and offered free use of Prima Visita to all of its 14,300+ customers and all real estate agents in Italy. Casa.it also converted all of its training sessions into digital meetings, giving life to a new digital project, Casa.it Ti Incontra Da Casa. In this program, also being offered for free during the crisis, trainers cover topics of interest to real estate agents ranking from marketing and communications to legal issues.
“Casa.it has never stopped working in this lockdown period [and has invested] in technology and marketing,” says Rossetto. “We have carried out numerous initiatives – trainings, new site features, and financial support… to our customers and still ensure a good level of traffic on the site.”
Throughout the coronavirus outbreak, Casa.it partnered with Criteo to stay top of mind. It mainly leveraging lower-funnel campaigns to reach interested audiences with relevant properties, driving traffic and valuable leads to its real estate agents.
“Even in a time of crisis due to Covid-19, we were able to generate value for our customers (real estate agencies) by promoting Prima Visita’s solution via Criteo. This was able to recommend only the properties that are compatible with this solution, only to an interested audience,” explains Rossetto.
With Criteo’s help, Casa.it quickly adapted to the evolving situation and communicated their new service to the right people, optimizing their investment and maintaining brand awareness.
Rossetto doesn’t have any plans of stopping their innovation, either. According to the CEO, buyers in Italy can now buy a house even if they’ve never visited it in person, as Casa.it has just introduced contactless real estate transactions.