UK market leader Rightmove has wholly acquired verified resident reviews platform HomeViews for a cash consideration of £8 Million.
HomeViews is the UK's biggest community of verified resident reviews of property developments, specifically the build-to-rent sector. It helps prospective residents make more informed decisions about where to live and provides rental operators and developers with a powerful research and marketing tool to help them better understand their residents' experiences.
HomeViews collects verified resident reviews for newly built homes across the UK and already covers the length and breadth of England, Scotland and Wales. The firm runs independent checks to ensure only real residents are submitting reviews and also runs active outreach to collect reviews (as opposed to waiting for residents to write one).
HomeViews' website says the company is the UK's only verified resident review site and database with over 40,000 reviews, and 95% coverage of Build-to-rent developments.
Johan Svanstrom, CEO at Rightmove, said:
"The HomeViews team has built an impressive platform that gives consumers additional useful information to make decisions. It also provides valuable feedback for industry operators, especially in the build-to-rent sector, which is an exciting and fast-growing segment of the UK property market.
"This acquisition provides Rightmove with yet another opportunity to further enrich our market-leading property information set for UK consumers and to create new and effective relationship tools for our build-to-rent operator partners. We're very excited to have Rory and the entire HomeViews team onboard."
Rory Cramer, CEO at HomeViews, said:
"Joining Rightmove gives us a brilliant opportunity to expand our services for our partners and other stakeholders.
"Rightmove's brand leadership, its ongoing digital and product innovation, and the breadth and depth of its reach across the UK property market make this a fantastic combination. We can't wait to start working together to leverage those benefits for the rapidly expanding build-to-rent market."
Rightmove may indeed have got the ball rolling on this acquisition before CoStar Group's acquisition of OnTheMarket became public. Still, this acquisition certainly shows that the firm continues to be a force to be reckoned with, with last year's Capital Market's Day offering up a surprisingly transparent look at Rightmove's long-term strategy.
Assuming Rightmove's plan is to integrate resident reviews into its platform, this move does show an ambition to improve the depth of the quality of its listings with a particular focus on user experience—on the web and in a new home. Sorry Andy Florance, but Rightmove beat you to this one. Better luck next time?