Based on figures from Experian Hitwise (Serasa in Brazil), the first four months of 2014 show VivaReal.com.br with clear traffic leadership in the Brazilian property portal market.
The following graph from Hitwise shows that VivaReal has 16.5% of real estate visits in Brazil. Zap Imoveis (the real estate section of Zap) had 13.8% of the real estate visits while Imovelweb came in third place with 10.7%.
This is a significant change June 2013 (as reported here) when VivaReal was in second place with 12.4%. Based on the Hitwise numbers, the big loser is Zap Imoveis who as lost significant market share since June 2013 when they had 17% of the traffic. Imovelweb had a slight improvement since June 2013 but still significantly trails the other two players.
In addition to strong traffic growth, VivaReal also has more engaged visitors when you look at time on site. The average visit time on VivaReal is 9:40. Imovelweb is slightly ahead of Zap at 7:14 vs 6:58. The average in category comes in at 6:52.
When looking at why VivaReal has done so well on both traffic growth and engagement, there are two drivers that standout - the volume of listings on the site and the sources of traffic.
Over the last four months, VivaReal has been tracking the number of listings in the 30 largest cities across Brazil. Below is the listing count from VivaReal, Zap Imoveis and Imovelweb. VivaReal now has 2X the listings of Imovelweb and 4X the listings of Zap. What is clear is that in emerging markets, when brand is being built, the number of listings is an important driver of growth. As consumers visit the site, they want to have a high number of listings to search through. The more results they have the more confidence they have in the site as a source of property and therefore they return.
Another driver of growth is the source of traffic. VivaReal has done an excellent job of building organic traffic - that is free traffic from Google. The other sites (Zap Imoveis and Imovelweb) appear to rely more on CPC or paid traffic. This means that Google is working for VivaReal day and night in driving traffic while the other sites need to keep up the spend to ensure visitation. Long term CPC / paid traffic is an expensive and non-sustainable source of traffic.
The race is hardly over, but in less than five years, VivaReal has put itself in a strong position to win the revenue race long term. Brazil is still considered a relatively early stage market, but the offline ad spend is rapidly going online.