Product Roundup: REA Group, Bayut, Sahibinden, Purplebricks, Zoopla, Redfin, Jitty, Zumper and BuyRentKenya

May 31, 2024
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This week's product roundup includes two big announcements from realestate.com.au, commercial analytics from PropertyGuru, a customer-friendly service for Redfin customers, and an unexpected partnership in Turkey...

 

REA Group adds an affordability filter for rentals

Realestate.com.au has added an affordability filter for its rental properties on the back of the launch of an accessibility filter for homes to buy and rent last month.

The new filter lets users search for properties that fill within rental affordability schemes including the National Rental Affordability Scheme.

Jarrod Scott, general manager of Product at Realestate.com.au, said:

"Persistent national rental market challenges and rising cost of living pressures continue to impact so many Australians. For those who are eligible for specific rental affordability schemes, our new affordable housing search filter is designed to ease some of the stress of finding a new home.

"The filtered search provides more clarity around eligibility for these properties and will ultimately also support agents in receiving applicable enquiries and applications.

"We were also pleased to add a new accessibility filter to our experience last month. Designed with the support of groups such as Spinal Life Australia, this update enables consumers to easily filter buy and rent properties with accessible features. Agents simply need to identify these features in listing copy and the property will automatically appear in a filtered search."

 

Also... REA Group relaunches Audience Maximiser product

Not content with one product launch, Realestate.com.au also announced this week that it relaunched its Audience Maximiser product to give more control to agents.

The latest redesign takes Audience Maximiser from an impressions-based package to a click-based package, all easily managed within REA Group’s customer self-service platform, Ignite. REA says the change should "drive more high-intent actions to an agent’s listing and prioritises quality over quantity to help find the right buyer, sooner."

Melina Cruickshank, Chief Product and Audience Officer at REA Group, said:

"Our Audience Maximiser product extends this reach off platform, increasing campaign listing views by 66%.

"Furthermore, the product has no need for third-party cookies; it leverages our own, highly engaged audience. This enables customers to confidently run targeted campaigns and ensures listings are seen by the right buyers."

 

PropertyGuru launches Mall Intelligence Module

PropertyGuru has launched a tool that will track the performance of circa 200 commercial spaces for the rest of the year.

The Mall Intelligence Module will offer developers and managers of real estate investment trusts (REITs) the insights and analytics they need to understand metrics including footfall and customer demographics in shopping malls.

PropertyGuru says it is also developing generative AI tools with a focus on developments and city planning across Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.

 

Bayut adds a "New Projects" page for off-plan properties

The UAE-based real estate portal Bayut, part of the Dubizzle Group, has added a new page to its website for off-plan property opportunities.

The new page includes information about projects for residential, commercial and mixed-use projects. Users can browse options and also receive advice on payment plans, price trends (and comparative trends across other local markets), and apply for pre-approval on a mortgage from the Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank.

 

Sahibinden signs unexpected partnership with Turkish technology and car manufacturer Togg

Turkish real estate portal has entered a partnership with the technology company and car manufacturer Togg, whereby drivers can use the T10X car's mapping software to find and navigate properties listed for sale and rent on the Sahibinden portal.

Sahbinden, which says it wants to be seen more as a technology business than a real estate marketplace, has also said it is open to similar deals with other car manufacturers in Turkey.

 

Purplebricks to launch ITV campaign after media-for-equity deal

Purplebricks has reached an agreement with broadcaster ITV to advertise its brand on UK television screens in return for equity in the business.

ITV, which runs an "Equity for Media" fund, has pledged up to £4.5 million to Purplebricks in return for a stake in the portal. The broadcaster previously invested £11 million in Strike—the company that acquired Purplebricks last year—in 2021.

Sam Mitchell, CEO at Purplebricks, said:

"This is an exciting moment for Purplebricks as we partner with ITV in a significant media-for-equity deal.

"“The process for buying and selling properties hasn’t changed in almost 200 years, but thanks to Purplebricks, customers are now able to sell their home for free, with no hidden costs.

"ITV will help us take that message to homes across Britain as we continue to build on the strong momentum of the past six months and look forward to further growth in the future."

 

Zoopla to spend Marketing budget on local marketing using AI, advertising and content

Zoopla, the UK's number two real estate portal, has pledged to increase its local marketing campaigns as part of the business' significantly boosted marketing budget for 2024.

The Silver-Lake-owned company has increased its marketing budget by 41% this year, and a press release has outlined Zoopla's plans to dedicate a significant portion of the budget to ensure users see marketing that is local to their area.

Zoopla will expand its number of area guides and use AI-powered, hyper-localised email marketing to complement its national campaign running until the end of June.

Nikki Cole, Director of National Sales at Zoopla, said:

"It’s no secret that Zoopla has unrivalled market and audience intelligence and our latest regional campaign allows us to showcase this to agents and consumers in their local area.

"We look forward to empowering consumers to use this insight to make better home-buying decisions, and supporting agents during these summer selling months as a result."

 

AI-powered portal Jitty adds a new categorisation option for similar properties

Jitty, the UK's first AI-powered challenger portal, has added a new property-sorting feature to its "roomscrolling" platform.

The new "Collections" feature improves the property-browsing experience by collating groups of trending and interesting properties around the UK.

Collections categories include 'Buy a Pub' and 'Charming Cottages', with Jitty saying the feature is designed to make browsing properties fun and playful.

Graham Paterson, CEO at Jitty, said:

"We’ve created Jitty’s Collections to ensure that those who enjoy browsing the property market have more opportunity to find exactly what they are looking for, and better yet, inspire them to look at homes they might not have previously considered."

Jitty uses AI to sort and filter properties for a range of metrics including room sizes, number of bedrooms and energy rating. The platform also uses Large Language Models (LLMs) to interrogate floorplans, photographs and property descriptions from UK real estate agents' websites and listings.

Online Marketplaces welcomed Paterson onto the PPW Podcast earlier this year. You can watch the full episode here.

 

Redfin launches a free rental tool for property owners

Redfin has launched the "List My Home for Rent" tool, which is free to users who want to list a property for rent in 13 markets across the United States.

Owners with fewer than ten rental properties can list in a few minutes using basic information and a bride description, then track listing views, answer enquiries, and schedule tours, all for free.

The tool is available in Chicago; Hampton Roads, Virginia; Hawaii; New York; Northern New England; Oregon; Rhode Island; Richmond, Virginia; Sacramento, California; San Francisco, Seattle; Southern California; and Washington, D.C.

Listings published via List My Home for Rent will not appear on Redfin's subsidiary portals, Apartment Guide, Rent.com and Rentals.com. However, Redfin says these listings will automatically integrate by the end of 2024.

 

US rental portal Zumper's ChatGPT Plugin now available to everyone

Almost a year after its initial launch, Zumper's ChatGPT-enabled apartment search tool is widely available for anyone with an OpenAI account.

The news was announced in a post on the US rentals specialist's site yesterday and comes eleven months after the marketplace initially announced the development of the tool. OpenAI (the company behind ChatGPT) had disabled all real estate search plugins in September of 2023 over discrimination concerns.

The plugin is now up and running again to help users find a new rental apartment.

Dubbed 'ZumperGPT' the tool is able to respond to inquiries about listings, fine-tune search results based on a variety of preferences, and deliver detailed descriptions of properties from the marketplace's listings. Users don’t need to have a Zumper account to use the plugin, but they are encouraged to set one up if they want to message or apply to the listings Zumper GPT presents.

Zumper's investors include US venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins as well as European publishing and marketplace giant Axel Springer.

 

BuyRentKenya taps Homsters' expertise to build

Ringier-owned real estate portal BuyRentKenya has announced a new tool that sees the portal work directly with developers.

Home Connect was developed with help from Dmitriy Aleksandrov and the team from Homsters. The tool connects agents directly with property developers and allows the marketplace to make a commission from deals it generates.

Homsters is a leading provider of automated sales and marketing solutions for the sale of new property developments that was acquired by Ringier in 2022 precisely to bring its know-how and technology to the online marketplace operator's portfolio companies.

Developed in Ukraine and Kazakhstan, Homsters' end-to-end marketing platform promotes new developments across all online channels, captures buyer leads, nurtures these leads, and distributes closable leads to affiliated and in-house sales teams. This allows the platform operator to earn a share of the commission on the deals it creates.

May 31, 2024
Harvey is an experienced property journalist and copywriter. He has written about the property industry since 2015, starting at The Property Franchise Group in the UK, before moving to Spain to work for Spotahome. He has blogged for the private rented sector, ghostwritten for UK property experts and written case studies for franchise owners around the UK. Harvey joined Online Marketplaces as a News Editor in 2022.

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