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Sustainability Report 2020: Interview with Christoph Barniske, Director of Product Development

Christoph Barniske is Director of Product Development here at ImmoScout24. For the Sustainability Report 2020 we talked to him about which role sustainability plays in our business and specifically in product development.

What role does sustainability play in your day-to-day work?

Christoph: Whenever we launch or develop a product, we have sustainability in mind. The reason is simple: We have been digitising the way properties are sold for over 20 years with ImmoScout24. In addition to better efficiency and transparency for our customers, this contributes to sustainability. For example, customers can now view a property virtually without having to book a date and time. Energy efficiency is also an important concept for the entire real estate industry. That is why on ImmoScout24, we highlight exceptionally energy-efficient properties in the search.

Do you also get inspiration from your customers and users? From your colleagues?

Christoph: We stay close to our customers through surveys, user tests and personal contact. Likewise, our colleagues in customer services pass valuable information on to us. This feedback helps us make our products and services even better. We receive other ideas from our colleagues at our Hack Weeks. In this format, all Scouts have the chance to develop new technology and product solutions away from their daily work routines, including ones that bring additional value to society. In 2020, a team worked on measures to combat discrimination in the property market. One proposal was a translation service on the ImmoScout24 site.

How has COVID-19 affected product development this year?

Christoph: Most of our services are already digital and free to use. This was of course a great advantage when the lockdown was in place. We have updated some of our products and adapted them to this extraordinary situation. For example, our customers have been able to view properties by streaming video in the ImmoScout24 app since May 2020. We have also made it possible to enter into rental contracts digitally with ImmoScout24. This saves time and paper. And no face-to-face meetings are necessary. 

For more info, please check out our sustainability report 2020 here.

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