Ever since CoStar acquired the U.S. real estate portal Homes.com in 2021, the residential real estate industry has been wondering when the Washington-based behemoth would start to throw its considerable resources into marketing the platform.
The answer appears to be the 11th of February—Super Bowl Sunday.
The Zillow and Realtor.com challenger released a series of teaser previews of a fresh advertising campaign on YouTube over the weekend. All three feature the date of the Super Bowl on their end screen.
CoStar's splurge promises to be "the biggest campaign in real estate" with the company claiming it will invest over one billion dollars in advertising across major networks and sporting events to drive awareness of the Homes.com brand and leads to realtors' listings.
The TV advertising slots will feature notable celebrities including SNL's Heidi Gardner and Schitt's Creek actor Dan Levy (both of whom actually starred in a parody sketch of Homes.com competitor Zillow for SNL back in 2021).
Also appearing in one advert is none other than CoStar CEO Andy Florance who makes his makes his debut in a 30-second preview clip in a board room waiting for a mystery celebrity:
Homes.com is aiming for nothing less than a complete overthrow of the status quo in residential real estate marketing in the United States. The portal differentiates itself from incumbent market leader Zillow by using a 'freemium' business model similar to those used in other markets around the world.
Unlike Zillow, which sends user leads to buyer agents who may not know the listing the user enquired about, Homes.com send leads to the listing agent with that agent only paying the portal if they wish to upgrade their visibility or buy extra premium services.
Prior to the latest announcement, CoStar had been engaging in PR efforts within the industry, with Florance launching some typically pugnacious barbs at competitors, but had not started targeting the house-hunting public with its messaging.
Earlier this week CoStar put out a press release celebrating Homes.com's inclusion on a list of fastest growing domains. Although previous traffic claims have been disputed by rivals such as Realtor.com, the traffic statistics for the upstart portal are likely to once again raise a few eyebrows when CoStar reports its fourth quarter results on February 20th.