A debate on Swedish search engines... on Twitter!

Two weeks back I wrote about the pressure on the 'old guys' on the Swedish residential search engine market. And the temperature is climbing....  with just 9 days to the release of the new version of the largest service, Hemnet, the debate is sparkling among the contenders... on Twitter!

Read the entire Twitter thread here.

The starting point was that Per Johnler (CEO Fastighetsbyrån, one of the largest brokerage firms in Sweden, and Chairman of Hemnet) wrote at @PerJohnler that "Interesting with all the new residential sites. It's great with choices..." (my translation).

A post that two of the founders at Booli  (a start-up in residential search), Peo Nilsson (CEO) and Anders Kyhlstedt (Marketing Manager) was quick to take action on since the statement is 'quite' different from the 'normal' reaction among brokers. According to Peo also were different from the chat those gentlemen had when Booli was introduced and Per demanded that all listings from Fastighetsbyrån should be removed from Booli. Which Booli refused. 

Per himself hasn't responded to the question from the Booli team. However, Fastighetsbyråns Johan Vesterberg (Press Officer) took the role as spokesperson for Fastighetsbyrån (Not Hemnet).

The discussion then moved to the comments area of a blog post by Rudolf at Disruptive, which highlighted the Twitter episode.

The debate could be summarized to:

  • Booli push hard for their offering of a market channel for all brokers and 'their' listings
  • FastighetsByrån hasn't finalized their strategy on how to handle all the new online channels

My reflections
1) The market for residential search engines on the Swedish market has changed a lot the last two years and I convinced it will change even more the upcoming two years. How will be the winners? I bet for the ones who are most eager to adapt to the new market.

2) It will be very interesting indeed to see the Hemnet's new version (due in 9 days) and if their strategy will change with a new CEO and Chairman. 

3) I believe Rudolf at Disruptive has a great point in comparing with the music industry. In the long run, you can't protect yourself against change. You've to adapt. It hurts, but the alternative isn't better.

Read more
A great post about Booli (in English) is found at ArticStartup.
More about the Twitter conversion is found at tdh.se and Disruptive (both in Swedish).
On Twitter at @PerJohnler, @BooliPeo, @BooliAnders and @JohanVesterberg