Immobiliare is the No. 1 real estate site in Italy. The company offers a real estate platform for potential homeowners and renters to find property listings from property managers. Immobiliare also operates different sites across Europe and for luxury properties. The Immobiliare team believes that real estate research should not be frustrating. If done with the right tools, it can be a pleasant and rewarding experience.
Immobiliare needed more insight into how people use its products. With a lean product development philosophy, Immobiliare searched for a way to surface product insights quickly and easily, without the need for dedicated data analysts.
Chief Product Officer Paolo Sabatinelli realized that Immobiliare needed to develop a “data-informed culture.” To do that, Paolo took the following steps:
- He convinced Immobiliare’s CEO to be the executive sponsor because he realized that becoming “data-informed” required a cultural shift driven from the top down.
- Taking a page from Google’s change management guide, he identified champions in each team across Immobiliare to ensure data-informed best practices were slowly but surely adopted.
- He chose Mixpanel as Immobiliare’s product analytics solution because it’s robust, yet intuitive and fully customizable. These attributes enabled Immobiliare to democratize data access across the product management, engineering, and design teams.
- He ensured there was data literacy across the business by establishing training programs for existing employees, and ensuring Immobiliare hired candidates with data expertise.
- He established data governance for key business KPIs to ensure the data that steered the business was reliable.
- Boosted mobile app user traffic from 9% to 26%
- Improved engagement with an increase of 40% in listings viewed per month
- Converted more than 50k users over the 220k impacted by an app download campaign
- Achieved the above results in just five months of using Mixpanel
How they did it
How did you convince your CEO to be the executive sponsor of your initiative to make Immobiliare more data-informed?
We got buy-in by explaining how building a data-informed culture was coherent with our values and our long-term strategy. The point is: If we want to offer one of the best real-estate platforms in Europe, we must constantly focus on offering the best experience to our users (searchers and publishers). This is only possible by implementing a lean product development philosophy where teams are empowered and accountable for finding the right problem to solve with a reasonable effort.
That’s why we needed Mixpanel. It helps address three needs: 1) analyze the behaviors of our users, 2) quantify the impact of solving the right problem, 3) make the product team (product managers, product designers, and product engineers) autonomous and empowered to decide what problem to solve and how to solve it. We strongly believe that this last point will also help us establish a common culture and language about “data” that will allow us to build the foundation for the next years’ endeavors.
How did you decide which employees would be “champions,” and how did you hold them accountable?
Implementing Mixpanel is not “yet another platform integration project”; it’s a change management project that will help us change the culture and the way we build products. That’s why it is crucial to identify the right “champions” who are accountable not only for executing the integration, but also offering peer-to-peer support that convinces everyone in the organization to adopt Mixpanel in the most valuable way possible.
So how do you choose champions? First of all, it’s crucial to identify a champion in every team involved in this process (Product, Design, and Engineering teams). Second, they have to be people who have great communication skills so they can influence people. And third, they must understand the value behind this transformation and be able to explain to colleagues (on a daily basis, during lunch, every time and everywhere) why being data informed is so critical.
Why were you seeking a product analytics tool?
As our product became more mature, we needed a product analytics solution to understand how users behave and react. Since we have a lean approach to product development, it is impossible to build a product without measuring success. We decided to seek a product analytics solution to measure activity across our services. From there, we could optimize our product roadmap and improve our products.
Why did you choose Mixpanel?
We chose Mixpanel because it is incredibly easy to use. Mixpanel allows us to democratize data access across the product team and reduce the need for dedicated data experts. Our product managers, product designers, and product engineers can run analyses independently or collaborate using one product analytics solution. Contrary to other tools, we can fully customize Mixpanel for each event that we need to measure. We can create a specific setup of events and properties to get the most out of the tool.
What are some of the questions you and the team are using Mixpanel reports to answer?
Buying a house is one of the most important purchases a person makes in their life—it’s not like buying a pizza. The process is complex and can take several months. There are many variables and interactions that need to be tracked in a product analytics tool. On the other side, we need to consider how our business works: We generate leads for real estate agents. The big question is: How can we activate users to send more contacts and more frequently?
Measuring how to get users to send more contacts involves a complex series of variables, so we focus on a simple metric, which is MLV (total of listings viewed in a month per user). Thanks to Mixpanel, we have quantified the correlation between MCS (total of contacts sent in a month per user) and MLV, so we know what’s the propensity of sending a contact based on the number of listings viewed. Contrary to the MCS metric, influencing the MLV metric is simpler. That’s why we can consider the MLV as our “focus metric.”
For example, using Mixpanel, we figured out that the more filters used during the discovery process, the more likely it is for users to see more listings and contact an agent.
How critical is Mixpanel to your team’s daily workflow?
A tool like Mixpanel is a must-have. It allows our team to dig deeper and work from one data source. If you have a lean methodology, it’s absolutely necessary to have a product analytics solution. Mixpanel democratizes access across our team of product managers, product designers, and product engineers which are critical to our success. The result of all of this is an improved capability of our teams to understand what makes sense to build–and especially what doesn’t.
You don’t need an extensive training process with Mixpanel. Teams can get up to speed in a few weeks.
What integrations do you currently have connected with Mixpanel?
We needed to have an advanced tool to interact with our users. In parallel with the introduction of Mixpanel, we introduced Braze, a customer engagement platform. The native integration between Braze and Mixpanel is excellent. We can move segments from Mixpanel to Braze and monitor how the campaigns in Braze perform at a deeper level.
What’s your favorite new feature release that Mixpanel made in the past year?
We love the ability to create cohorts in the Funnels tool by directly selecting the portion of the graph for the users who converted or who didn’t convert. The new Dashboard, which now solves the problem of organizing the reports in a proper way, is also an excellent feature. It’s flexible enough to differentiate the reports by area, department, step of the user journey, etc.
What advice do you have for someone evaluating a new product analytics tool?
Make Mixpanel accessible to your entire organization. Mixpanel makes it much easier to collect info about the behaviors of the users who use your platform. This is crucial to develop a flexible environment where you can discover problems and build the right solutions. A product analytics tool like Mixpanel is a gold mine that can generate enormous value in the long term. Limiting the access of this info only to a small set of your employees won’t maximize the return of this investment, so opening it up to all teams is important.
Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently to help your organization become more data-informed?
Before officially signing our agreement with Mixpanel, we wanted to run a short proof of concept (POC). The objective was to understand the complexity of integrating the user events we wanted to track in order to evaluate how much effort the initiative would require.
We spent just 10 days integrating and running the POC. However, during the POC, I didn’t realize how important it is to involve other people in the organization from the get-go to help them understand Mixpanel’s value. Perhaps if I had involved people more at that stage, our transition process could have been even faster.