The parent of U.S. portal Realtor.com saw both revenue and traffic drop at least 20% on a year-on-year basis over the three months ended June 30th. Notable points from the portal's parent company's latest report to the market include:
Realtor.com continues to be hit by the adverse effects of stubbornly high mortgage rates and low inventory in the U.S. residential market.
Realtor had high hopes for its referral model when it began operating the model following the 2018 acquisition of OpCity. The model, which sees the portal earn a share of agent commissions, has stagnated in terms of the overall revenue it generates ($37 million in the quarter) and in terms of the percentage it represents of the company's revenue (25%).
The story of the so-called next-gen-lead-gen model is the same at Realtor.com's rival Zillow which has yet to see the revenues from commission share take off in a big way.
Realtor.com has historically been the main challenger to Zillow's dominance of the U.S. residential real estate marketing industry. The portal is run by parent company Move, Inc. which in turn is a subsidiary of the Australian media giant News Corp which follows the Australian financial calendar.
Overall, News Corp's 'Digital Real Estate Services' segment which includes the Australian portal operator REA Group, saw revenue decrease by 14% over the quarter to stand at $383 million with Adjusted EBITDA down 5% at $115 million.
The latest results bring to a close a financial year that has seen a lot of turbulence at Move. In January there was fervent speculation that CoStar would acquire the company for around $3 billion. The deal ultimately fell through with CoStar choosing to forge its own path in its residential push with Homes.com.
Then in June, CEO David Doctorow left the company with "mixed emotions" and was replaced by long-time News Corp executive Damian Eales who has vowed to grow the business and try to retake the top spot from Zillow.