VivaReal is an online portal for real estate based in São Paulo, Brazil. Their clients are real estate agencies and agents who are looking to publicize their residential and commercial listings to prospective buyers and renters. VivaReal began as a startup four years ago and has rapidly grown to having more properties (across 13 cities) than any of their competitors. They know the Latin American market inside and out and have their sights set on becoming the most trustworthy real estate company in Latin America.
VivaReal is experiencing this early success by creating value for their agents and their customers by making everything within their portal fast and easy. They have top-notch real estate expertise, the best technology, and provide thorough on-site resources (like an advanced search tool, advice on how to sign a contract and what to look for in an apartment, and up-to-date news and interviews about real estate trends) that help make the buying process worry-free.
Email is the core engine of VivaReal’s business strategy. It drives user acquisition and grows awareness for their properties with transactional email being their main revenue driver. They send anywhere from 10-15k transactional emails to agents a day. These emails are predominately from clients who are interested in properties that are listed on the site. These clients will get in touch with agents and agencies through their site (via email) to relay their contact information and what property they’re interested in.
With email serving as the main form of communication, agents not only expect, but need to receive a significant number of leads from prospective clients on a weekly basis. If they don’t receive these leads due to lost emails, they’ll cancel their contract with VivaReal. So, VivaReal has to guarantee that their emails get through to their agents so prospective clients can become buyers.
However, transactional emails aren’t the only emails VivaReal relies on getting delivered; marketing email is also important to their business model. A weekly newsletter is sent out to potential buyers that highlights properties that might be of interest to them. These emails are customized to each recipient and help keep them engaged throughout the buying cycle.
Before switching to SendGrid in June 2011, VivaReal sent email through an in-house email infrastructure. Like many other startups find, setting up and maintaining an in-house solution proved to be a costly drain on both their time and resources. And once their email volume grew, so did their delivery problems. They were using too many servers and their critical emails just weren’t making it to their clients. Unfortunately for VivaReal, those lost emails directly correlated to lost business opportunities.
VivaReal knew that they needed an external solution that could help them scale—one that could reliably deliver their emails, build trust between them and their agents, and could provide real-time analytics and visibility into their email performance. Also, with their rapid growth rate, they needed a solution that required minimal manual upkeep and that provided 24/7 support in case they needed it.
VivaReal’s engineers chose SendGrid because they knew that SendGrid was a developer-focused company that specialized in transactional email. With delivery being their main concern, they knew that the leader in transactional email delivery could successfully help them scale.
Since switching to SendGrid in June 2011, VivaReal has benefitted from:
Increased Deliverability: The most immediate result that VivaReal saw when they switched to SendGrid was a marked increase in their delivery rates. They went from a 60% delivery rate with their old in-house solution to an 88%-90% delivery rate with SendGrid. When every email is a business opportunity, this is a significant difference.
Improved Customer Satisfaction: With this substantial increase in their delivery rate, VivaReal’s agents don’t have to worry about losing business because of lost emails. They can rest assured that VivaReal is providing them with secure email that will help them bring in business and will keep their clients happy.
Seamless Scalability: From June 2012 to May 2013, VivaReal’s email volume grew 116%. They now send up to 600,000 emails a month and enjoy a 99/100 sender reputation score according to SendGrid and ReturnPath’s SenderScore. This value means that VivaReal is known for sending legitimate, trusted email that's received very low spam complaints and experiences low bounce rates. This is a significant change from when VivaReal handled their email inhouse.
Time savings: Implementing SendGrid was easy. SendGrid did all of the work for VivaReal, so they could concentrate on growing their business, not monitoring their email. SendGrid covered all of their email deliverability basics, so they didn’t have to. These include, but are not limited to:
• Reputation monitoring
• Internet Service Provider (ISP) outreach
• Mail stream authentication
• Providing secure mail servers
• Real-time analytics dashboard
• Best practices resources
And whenever VivaReal has a “what if” question, they know they can rely on SendGrid’s extensive documentation and around the clock customer support.
In-depth reporting metrics: With SendGrid’s advanced reporting metrics, VivaReal has been able to take advantage of optimal times to communicate with their users. For their marketing newsletter, they use the Web API to track clicks and opens. These metrics have helped them determine the best time of day for them to send so they can optimize engagement with their recipients. They found out that their agents review their listings on Monday—so VivaReal now send stats to agents about their listings on Monday mornings.
With all of these improvements, VivaReal is now looking forward to scaling even more with SendGrid as they set their sights on being the go-to online portal for real estate in Brazil.