Why did we choose London over Berlin?
To choose the right country and city to open an office of Biz-cen I conducted a small analysis. We checked our potential audiences in each country, in accordance with our target keywords. We also made a list of potential competitors in each country. What is more, I researched different real estate reports to gather data about the real estate market in each country, such as prices per square meter. At the beginning I decided that we would try to enter Berlin, even though there was a very strong competitor there — immobilienscout24.de. They had a site visibility of around 72% on Google. I discovered later that most people had been using immobilienscout to find an office from the very beginning, and that they did not even use Google for their needs.
As such, I reached out to several contacts who had connections to the Berlin real estate market. They told me that finding an office in Berlin was not a big deal, mainly because there were a lot of free spaces there. In addition, I discovered that prices per square meter were either lower than or the same as in Moscow. Last but not least, co-workings are really popular there amongst small and middle-sized companies. Therefore, Berlin lost first place in my list of desired markets.
During the process of collecting statistics about Berlin I discovered that the London market was one of most active market in the world, with really high prices for leasers. Moreover, I realized that finding an office in London could be a problem, due to the fact that only 4,7 % of all office spaces were vacant there in 2015. In the end, I made the decision to take London as our target city. But there was a problem, I did not know anyone who had any connection to the real estate market there.