How real estate agents met a giraffe thanks to LinkedIn

Ferdinando van de Panne (Connect Holland) happy with lead generation by Fendorse.

“My experiences with LinkedIn were already very good. I am quite active on it, you can expand your network in a targeted way. The campaign we did with Fendorse shows that you can build your reach much better with LinkedIn than with email.”

So says Ferdinando van de Panne, Business Lead at Connect Holland. The innovative and successful digital agency located in Rotterdam called Fendorse to generate leads for a completely new product: the automatic email processing tool Giraf.ai with a focus on the real estate sector.

Successful pilot

“It was a pilot for us in terms of cooperation with Fendorse, and it was certainly successful. With this campaign, we wanted to investigate whether and how we could make the best use of the possibilities that LinkedIn offers,” explains Ferdinando. He is a specialist in the field of cloud solutions and artificial intelligence.

As Business Lead at Connect Holland, Ferdinando was at the cradle of Giraf.ai. This is an email processing system based on artificial intelligence, developed specifically for real estate agents. “They receive so many e-mails that they lose the overview in their mailbox and are answering many repetitive e-mails. The time they save thanks to Giraf.ai, they can now really spend on their customers and service.”

Op zoek naar klanten én informatie

The product did not yet exist and the real estate sector was relatively new to Connect Holland. “When working with Fendorse, we were not only concerned with getting in touch with potential customers. We also wanted to get more information from the market: is there a need for such an email processing tool? In addition, we wanted to get in touch with real estate agents, so they could give us input on how Giraf.ai would provide the most value for them as well.”

The idea for Giraffe.ai came about after Connect Holland, in partnership with Postillion Hotels, brought an AI employee to life using natural language processing techniques and machine learning. Michiel, the ‘next-gen reservation assistant’, processes and responds to reservation requests by email. Seven days a week and 24 hours a day. Customers receive a fitting quotation quickly and correctly. Connect Holland and Postillion Hotels won a Silver Dutch Interactive Award for it in 2019.

Appropriate and personalized response

Giraffe.ai was built completely from scratch to take into account the needs of the real estate industry. It recognizes incoming emails based on AI and provides an appropriate response. That response is personalized based on the email and the availability of the properties. This status is extracted via a link from brokerage software such as Pararius Office. Giraf.ai integrates with the existing email program of the real estate agency, which retains full control over its own mailbox. Moreover, it can be linked to the other software the company uses, whether that is a CRM or ERP system, and to databases (for example, for objects or photos).

The power of LinkedIn

Central to this was Ferdinando’s personal LinkedIn account. “We started looking for relations from my first, second and third line who are active in real estate and sent them a message, tailored to how well we know or don’t know each other. All geared toward an initial meeting to gauge interest in Giraffe.ai and then offering a demo of the product.”

Fendorse’s approach proved to work, cleverly leveraging the power of LinkedIn. “With an email bomb, you only interact with someone once, through LinkedIn that person sees you pass by in their timeline regularly. And other people, in this case from real estate, see that I am linked to colleagues in their market. So they automatically have more interest.”

“In total, the campaign generated about 25 leads. I hadn’t attached any concrete numbers to it beforehand, but with this result I am definitely satisfied. Moreover, it has also given us more insight into whether we are actually responding to a need of the brokers. We got quite a bit of input and some very good relationships have been established. I estimate that two or three of these relationships will join us as soon as the platform is ready this summer. Others prefer to wait and see.”

Follow-up order

“The project was also very pleasant,” continues Ferdinando. “In terms of communication, it went very well: they are constantly on top of the ball and the flexibility was great. For example, an extra agenda was created so that they could shoot appointments directly from Fendorse into my agenda. Exceptions were also arranged effortlessly.”

Satisfaction can also be measured by a new order from Connect Holland to Fendorse. “We have indeed already started working on the next campaign, although that is about something completely different,” Ferdinando explains. “Namely our AWS services: building complete IT ecosystems, using the many possibilities of the Amazon Web Services. There, too, we see opportunities to work together to attract the interest of existing and new relationships via LinkedIn.”

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