RAUM & mehr – an international real estate magazine since 1996
“It’s a great idea, but do we have enough content to sustain a magazine devoted entirely to real estate?” After 21 years of producing the magazine and more than 40 issues, the answer to that question is a resounding “yes”. It was a different story back in the 1990s, when marketing and communications in the real estate industry were still in their infancy. There were no journalism awards for property publications, and promotional activities in the real estate sector were mostly initiated by brokers. Against this backdrop, the property managers at DIFA, as the company was then called, only intended to produce a short property newsletter with the aim of strengthening relationships with their customers. Hamburg-based communications agency P.U.N.K.T. challenged that view with a compelling editorial concept that would allow DIFA to cover a much wider range of topics, reflecting its role as investor, developer and landlord. DIFA grasped the opportunity and took a milestone decision that changed the face of its real estate communication activity.
The idea was to produce a professional, journalistic real estate magazine – called “RAUM & mehr” – that would showcase the company's comprehensive property expertise to tenants, business partners, decision-makers in the real estate industry and other interested parties. The intention was also to open up a new channel of communication, combined with creating and maintaining a database of readers' contact details. In 1995, our very own 24-page print publication was born. The four-colour A4 real estate magazine, which included a response element, was mailed out to a selected readership free of charge in January 1996. Its success has been impressive: more than 20 years after the first issue was published, the magazine continues to evolve. It appears twice a year, currently in both German and English, now comprises 40 pages and has a circulation of 24,000 B2B readers.
Topics of interest to tenants and prospective tenants, as well as buyers and vendors, were the main focus of the original editorial concept, which comprised all things real estate, leading to a rapid rise in the number of pages. DIFA's growing international expansion soon saw the addition of an English-language version, called “places & spaces”. For a number of years, five additional regional issues were published in Germany called “RAUM & region”, aimed at tenants in specific locations. Later, in response to globalisation and the increasing convergence of the finance and property sectors, Union Investment moved more towards providing thought leadership on key industry-relevant issues in its role as a major international real estate company and publisher of the magazine. The topics covered are now arranged under the headings “Markets”, “Concepts” and “Portfolio”, with the focus remaining on commercial property.
The magazine's content has become increasingly aligned with the investor perspective. Insightful, broad-based research, considered analysis and infographics are now trademark features. As a professional journalistic publication, the magazine addresses the latest trends, products and developments in the global investment and letting markets, thereby raising Union Investment’s international brand profile. It serves at the same time to maintain existing contacts and support new ones.
The proven editorial team includes established, independent real estate journalists. Two of them have received the annual German Prize for Real Estate Journalism, awarded since 2001 to journalists who have made a long-standing contribution to the sector. International experts from among Union Investment's prestigious business partners are also occasionally invited to share their knowledge and expertise with the editorial team.
The magazine’s popularity is regularly monitored by way of reader surveys, with corresponding adjustments being made to both content and design in response. In 2014, “places & spaces” received the Mercury Excellence Award in Gold in the Custom Publications – Business-to-Business category for the banking/finance sector. The RAUM & mehr/places & spaces titles were rounded off in 2016 by the addition of a dedicated online portal – a key milestone on the road to digitisation.