Product Roundup: Zillow, Dubizzle, Lifull, Homming, Homesearch

April 26, 2024
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The portal wars accelerated in earnest in this week's product roundup, while we've spotted two more "money-focused" updates from Dubizzle and the Spanish proptech Homming.


Zillow launches ad campaign to rival CoStar

Zillow has announced an ad campaign celebrating the persistence of buyers in difficult market conditions.

The "Home Just Got Real" campaign will run in Q2 and Q3 of 2024, including TV ads showing how hard agents and buyers work to find their perfect home.

Jen Berger, VP of Creative and Performance Media at Zillow, said:

"There’s no way around it – buying a home today is challenging – so it was important that we approach this campaign from a place of authenticity and empathy to show the unfiltered reality of what it takes to get home.

"From the initial spark of possibility to the ultimate triumph of getting a home, we want buyers to feel empowered knowing Zillow can give them the confidence and resources to navigate their unique path to homeownership."

Zillow's campaign will butt heads directly with CoStar, which launched its own $1Bn ad campaign with a Superbowl halftime ad in February of this year.


Dubizzle launches offset mortgages to reduce interest pressures for consumers

UAE-based marketplace operator Dubizzle will allow mortgage seekers to use an offset mortgage to ease financial pressures around interest rates.

Under an offset mortgage, borrowers can connect their savings account with the loan repayment account, allowing them to overpay and therefore expedite their mortgage repayments using their savings.

Offset mortgages are a risk-reward proposition for homebuyers. Despite typically being offered at a higher interest rate than a traditional fixed-rate mortgage, the upside is that the creditor can minimise the total amount of interest that would ordinarily be paid over the mortgage term.


Lifull adds Chat-GPT relocation assistant

Japan-based Lifull Co. has teamed up with financial services group, broker and investment bank Nomura to integrate Nomura's AI Answer Plus product into the real estate portal Lifull Home's.

AI Answer Plus is a ChatGPT-powered tool that answers prompts about buying and selling property. The tool, developed in tandem between Nomura and Lifull, is currently in beta mode.

Toru Fukuchi, managing director of Nomura Real Estate Solutions, said:

"Our company has been actively promoting digital strategies, but with the conclusion of this basic agreement regarding real estate digital transformation partnership, the addition of Lifull digital transformation know-how will dramatically strengthen our driving force."


Rentals Proptech Homming teams up with TaxDown

Spanish proptech Homming has partnered with tax specialist TaxDown to let its customers access tax advice for its short- and long-term rental properties portfolio.

Homming users can file their income tax returns online and access a 20% discount on any of TaxDown’s four plans — Pro, Live, Expert and Full.

Jorge Montero, co-founder and CEO at Homming, said:

"The alliance with TaxDown reinforces Homming's commitment to making the comprehensive management of properties more efficient, and within this process, facilitating the tax return is something that provides great value to our users. This alliance generates a strategic benefit for both companies and for all Homming users." [Translated from Spanish]


Homesearch launches a product that turns historical contacts into leads

UK PropTech Homesearch has released a product that it says turns cold contacts into future instructions.

The new tool, called Re:Contact, identifies known contacts who live in the vicinity of areas where there have been recent transactions, but are themselves struggling to sell or rent—then triggers a notification for agents to call, email or message their contacts.

Re:Contact consists of four specific tools: to identify contacts living in the same area as recent successful transactions; to identify agents’ CRM contacts struggling to sell or rent with their competitors; to identify when an agent's contacts reach an anniversary in their current property; and allowing agents to download a list of on-market properties in their areas that are selling or letting with their competitors.

Giles Ellwood, CEO at Homesearch, said:

"The cost of direct mail has risen significantly in the past two years. As well as that, our clients tell us that 'every agent is sending generic on-market letters' - meaning they are struggling to stand out.

"Re:Contact allows agents to reach out to their contacts in truly personal ways, like using WhatsApp, text, handwritten notes, or even personal visits for those agents who like to be on the ground in their patch.

"Our successful trials of the product in Q1 2024 showed that 53% of clients’ CRM contacts had not been engaged since prior to 2020. These clients, combined with the power of Re:Contact, are an absolute goldmine for agents,  allowing them to both lower their costs-to-prospect and win more instructions.

"Agents can now Re:Contact the people they already know immediately and move that relationship forward."

April 26, 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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