Interview with Janina Hopfer
CMO at Homegate
Interview with Janina Hopfer
Homegate’s rebranding was an important milestone in its history. Janina Hopfer, Homegate’s Chief Marketing Officer, talks about the meaning of the rebranding, the motivation for it and what’s coming next.
What’s your name, what’s your role at Homegate and how long have you been there? What did you do before?
I’m Janina Hopfer, I’m 37, I have a daughter who is nearly four years old and I live in Berlin. I joined Homegate in June 2020 and therefore started my job working almost exclusively from home. I started my present career in 2003 at ImmobilienScout24 in Berlin. I spent almost 13 years at that company and, during that time, I learned about all the different areas of marketing, from event management and B2B marketing to managing the marketing team for the Austrian real estate platform immobilienscout24.at. My last post before Homegate was with a very well-known estate agent for luxury new-build homes, where I was in charge of brand management. In this role, I was able to gain some experience on the customer side and see what an estate agent requires and expects of a real estate platform.
How did you end up joining Homegate?
I came to Homegate because I wanted to get back into the digital world and the platform business. Plus, the move to Switzerland fitted in very nicely with my previous experience in the DACH region. Homegate is facing challenges similar to those that ImmobilienScout24 faced a few years ago, and I am able to contribute my expertise in this area wonderfully.
What was your first impression of the Homegate brand?
When I first visited the Homegate website, I found that, overall, it was very well organised, clearly structured and user-friendly. Also, the colleagues I met in the first few months, both in real life and online, were all very open, curious, eager to learn and passionate about their work. The branding itself, on the other hand, seemed a little outdated to me. It doesn’t really reflect the spirit of optimism in the background.
What does the rebranding mean to you?
I think that this is a milestone in Homegate’s history. Over the last 20 years, we’ve been able to build a very good partnership by working together with our customers on equal terms. When it comes to our users, people looking for a new home, we have to keep reminding ourselves that looking for a new apartment or house is a very emotional experience. People go through such highs and lows throughout the house-hunting process and, by the end, they are hopefully very happy when they find their new home. But it’s this very emotionality and openness towards different target groups and life situations that we haven’t been able to fully address with the present branding. Over the last 20 years, Homegate has also evolved into a very diverse and international company. We are still very much a Swiss company and we want to emphasise that, but our employees bring so many different perspectives and experiences to the table, and it’s enormously important to us to ensure that these are incorporated into the further development of our platform.
How will Homegate change as a result of its new look?
The new look will enable us to display our inner values to the outside world. It will also make the recent technical developments, which have been taking place in the background over the last few years, visible to users and customers. Our logo now no longer consists of an X, but rather of five colourful squares, which fold together to form an open box. This represents new possibilities, opportunities and ideas. Our new imagery puts people and their stories front and centre. For our customers, we are, and will continue to be, the strong partner they need at their side, always on a level playing field. With the new imagery, we also want to make it clear that we have a complete overview of the Swiss property market and therefore always keep abreast of what is currently most important to our customers.
What can we expect from Homegate in future?
With this rebranding, we also want to make a promise for the future: our vision is to enable everyone living in Switzerland to use Homegate to make the right decisions when it comes to housing and living. That’s our passion and we will continue to invest in the smartest features in future, while filling the box with the tools all our customers and users need to make the best possible decision.
You can find detailed information about the rebranding here.