CoStar Starts Selling Memberships for As Mission to Take Down Zillow "inside of three years" Begins

February 12, 2024
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CoStar CEO, Andy Florance has revealed that the company's sales department will today begin selling U.S. realtors membership of the company's flagship residential real estate portal

In a typically revealing interview with local agent-facing publication RisMedia CoStar's founder laid out an ambitious time frame for to overtake the market-leading incumbent, Zillow.

"We competed with and beat Zillow in the past. In the apartment space, it took us about four or five years to go from No. 5 to No. 1. So it’ll take a couple of years, but we absolutely plan on being number one, and we are excited about it. We think we can do it inside of three years."

Florance also revealed that CoStar's long-anticipated billion-dollar marketing campaign, which kicked off last night during the Super Bowl, was in the planning for eighteen months and that he personally selected actors Dan Levy and Heidi Gardner for leading roles in the commercials because they were involved in a 2021 skit making fun of Zillow.

The mission to overtake and then de-throne Zillow appears to be well and truly underway. After buying the portal for $156 million in 2021, CoStar put its money where its PR line was as it wound down the portal's pre-buyout monetization model which was similar to Zillow's.

Now the monetization of will ramp back up with the much-touted "your listing, your lead" model, which will see listing agents get free leads only paying if they wish to upgrade their visibility or buy extra premium services. Florance confirmed that CoStar's sales staff will start selling memberships for today (Monday).

Florance also confirmed that the project to build out's neighbourhood content is now complete. The project reportedly involved visiting 21,000 areas in person and 400,000 drone flights. The project is a big driver of organic traffic and also the reference point for the "we've done your homework" tagline which appears on the new commercials.

Although stats from Similarweb (above) may suggest otherwise, CoStar claims to have already taken the number two traffic spot in the U.S. market behind Zillow. With expected to deliver improved traffic and revenue numbers when CoStar reveals its Q4 numbers later this month, Andy Florance offered a juicy quote for industry spectators.

"I think Zillow is highly confident that they are unassailable, which I hope they continue to think."

February 12, 2024
Since March 2020 Edmund's job has been to read about, write about, collect data on, analyse and generally know about real estate marketplaces and the companies that run them. Before that he worked at the aggregator Mitula Group (which became Lifull Connect) for five years.

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