CoStar's US Challenger Homes.com Claims Extraordinary 567% Year-On-Year Traffic Growth

March 20, 2024
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CoStar claims that its U.S. residential network of portals recorded 149 million unique visitors in February, with the fledgling Zillow challenger Homes.com achieving a 567% year-on-year increase.

The company claims that the figures, measured through Google Analytics, show that its much-touted 'your listing, your lead' model is resonating with American home hunters.

“The latest traffic data for the Homes.com network is a validation of our unprecedented investment in building the most comprehensive and agent, seller and buyer friendly residential portal on the market,” said Andy Florance, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of CoStar Group.

“Our ‘Your Listing, Your Lead’ model, which works for agents rather than against them to preserve their local knowledge and relationships with buyers, is extremely popular and resonating well with brokers across the country. We are thrilled to see such a positive response from homebuyers and sellers as well.”

CoStar kicked off a $1 billion investment into Homes.com with several Super Bowl ads back in February. Today's announcement is the first indication of the company's return on investment and a warning to rivals Zillow and Realtor.com.

Although a press release trumpeting the traffic upsurge did not give a specific figure for Homes.com, its enormous year-on-year growth likely puts it within striking distance of the traffic numbers at Realtor.com. While Zillow regularly records unique monthly visitor numbers of well over 200 million, Realtor.com recorded 74 million in Q2 of 2023 according to filings from parent company News Corp.

While CoStar has been accused of using every trick in the book to grow traffic at Homes.com, the Washington-based company certainly knows how to grow visitor numbers at a challenger portal. Its flagship multifamily rentals portal Apartments.com was bought for $585 million in 2014 as a challenger and grown into a market leader over five or six years.

The real barometer of CoStar's tactics in the U.S. residential market will come with the company's Q1 numbers in May. CoStar wound down Homes.com's previous monetisation model between 2021 and 2023. Earlier this year it flicked the switch on the 'your listing, your lead' model and started selling memberships.

March 20, 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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