We recently published a report on the businesses that real estate portals get into that are adjacent to their primary function of marketing homes. Below is a chart showing the types of adjacent revenue streams portals are involved in from the report.
In looking through 180 products and services from 55 of the world's leading property portals we saw a lot of cut and paste lead generation for mortgage providers, moving companies and insurance specialists. Portal companies will almost always take the time to build the basic products for the industries that are closest to real estate transactions it seems.
We did also come across quite a few interesting products and services out there being monetised by some leading real estate portals. Some are very market-specific and probably won't end up being copied elsewhere but some, we thought, were pretty ingenious...
Portal: Magic bricks, India
The ancient science of Vastu Shastra is big business in India where many homeowners are willing to pay a special consultant to come and advise them on the layout of a room or office to create the perfect environment with positive energy.
Magic Bricks (and other portals) have used their position as a popular destination site for homeowners to build a directory for consultants to market themselves to homeowners with the directory's results pages looking very similar to those of the portal's main real estate vertical.
Portal: Imovelweb, Brazil
Like many in Latin America, Brazil's real estate market is restricted by a lack of trust and restrictive barriers to property ownership. A partnership signed in October 2021 between leading portal Imovelweb and digital property platform netspaces is hoping to change that by tokenising some properties. The idea is that prospective owners can purchase 20% of a property at a time while paying only the amount referring to the balance of the outstanding part in rent.
Users looking to sell their homes are encouraged to do so by effectively turning them into tokens.
"In this way, we help to democratize access to private property, providing those who do not have the standard credit for financing approval the opportunity to acquire a property without proof of income and with flexible installments”, said Leonardo Paz, CEO of Imovelweb
Portal: Daft, Ireland
Conversational commerce is a term that we may be hearing a lot more of in the coming years. Irish real estate portal Daft has partnered with home-buying assistance platform Lintil to create a product that guides homebuyers through the entire process via conversational commerce.
In helping Irish home seekers on their journey via an online chatbot, Daft's home assistant generates leads for surveyors, mortgage lenders, utility providers and others.
Portal: Lifull, Japan
If you think about it, flowers could perhaps be considered a semi-adjacent industry to home purchases. After all, what better to bring as a welcome gift to someone who's just moved in?
The Japanese portal company Lifull has plenty of interesting side-hustles and their flower delivery service is just one of them. The user signs up for a subscription service and gets fresh, seasonal flowers delivered to their home each month.
Portal: Homes.co.nz, New Zealand
This product from Homes.co.nz is essentially a sponsored Pinterest board where all the images come from property listings currently for sale on the portal.
Users can come to get some inspiration for their own home furnishings and in doing so maybe click through to see the listing or click on the sponsor's logo to go and do some shopping of their own.
Shout out here to British portal Boomin's Property Playground product which is similar but looks more like a marketplace and has specific paid links which send the user to individual product landing pages on third party websites.
Portal: Imovelweb, Brazil
Another product on this list which addresses another issue specific to the Brazilian market. Imovelweb has a partnership with Usu Campeão, a company that helps residents of informal settlements legalize the possession of their homes.
The portal acts as a lead generator for the service which helps Brazilians go through the complicated paperwork around proving ownership of their home in an informal settlement. Seems like a win for all parties to us and a great example of how a portal can be a proponent of positive change in the market it operates in.
Portal: Boliga, Denmark
Around the world, real estate portal bosses regularly protest that they are not planning to muscle in on transactions and take their agent customers' main business of selling houses away from them.
Not so in Denmark where users of the Boliga portal are invited to try to sell their own homes without an agent - yes, those same agents who pay to put their listings on Boliga's portal. The product offers an FSBO product that includes advertising on the portal, email advertising, sales advice as well as help with energy certificates, surveyors, listing photos, solicitors and for sale signs.