Realtor.com Sees Sixth Consecutive Quarter of Revenue Decline as It Looks to Fight off Costar and Homes.com

February 21, 2024
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The US real estate portal Realtor.com saw significant declines in both revenue and lead volumes in the last three months of 2023.

According to a financial report filed by its Australian parent company News Corp, Realtor saw revenue decrease 13% year on year to stand at $127 million while lead volumes fell 7% in the quarter.

Meanwhile, Realtor.com's average monthly unique users figure was 66 million for the last three months of the calendar year, down sequentially from 76 million in the previous period and considerably fewer than the 95 million reported by new residential rival CoStar for its entire residential network.

The results represent the sixth consecutive quarter of revenue decreases for a company that is engaged in a battle for second place in the market with CoStar, the East Coast data giant that was interested in acquiring Realtor last year.

Realtor.com has traditionally been the main rival to incumbent market-leading portal Zillow in the United States. The company's parent, Move, Inc. is owned by the Murdoch-controlled media company News Corp which is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange.

The portal operates a business model similar to that of Zillow which sees it monetise only a small percentage of US Realtors on the buy-side of property transactions. As well as selling buyer leads on a per-lead basis, Realtor.com also monetises leads through a commission-split model which it calls its 'referral model'.

Previously News Corp had reported on how much revenue the success-based model generated but has stopped doing so in recent quarters, simply stating in its latest missive to the market that revenues from the referral model declined due to the...

"continued impact of the macroeconomic environment on the housing market, including higher mortgage rates, which has led to lower lead and transaction volumes."

Recently appointed CEO Damian Eales has his work cut out to arrest the financial decline of Realtor.com and fight back against an aggressive marketing campaign from CoStar. The former News Corp executive recently told an audience at the Inman conference that he was relishing the challenge.

“When somebody brings a knife to the fight, I say that’s not a knife — this is the knife... I love it. I wake up excited and our team is energized by competition and I think that’s great for everybody in this room.”

February 21, 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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