Realtor.com braces for battle with Zillow as revenue grows 30%

Digital real estate services continued to drive News Corp’s earnings streak, according to the company’s first quarter of fiscal 2022 results released Thursday.

Digital real estate services continued to drive News Corp’s earnings streak, according to the company’s first quarter of fiscal 2022 results released Thursday.

These services include Move, the parent company of realtor.com, and REA Group, based in Australia, which saw their revenues increase by 30% and 62%, respectively.

The media conglomerate’s revenue rose 18% year-on-year to $ 2.12 billion as the company maintained profitability after several quarters of net losses at the height of the pandemic. News Corp chief executive Robert Thomson said in a statement: “The first quarter of fiscal 2022 has been the most profitable of its kind since the relaunch of News Corp in 2013”.

Robert thomson

“Digital real estate services were once again a source of express growth, with REA Group and Move benefiting from robust growth in yields, increased audience and expansion into adjacent areas,” said Thomson. “The US real estate market is strong, with price increases moderating more properties on the market and longer listing times, which is in our favor.”

“When it comes to Zillow’s flip-flop house, we’ve always focused on digital markets, not bricks and mortar and certainly not sorting out the septic tank or covering cracks in the walls,” a- he added. “We focused on our core competency and never took excessive balance sheet risk or pursued what seemed to us to be very low margin returns. “

During the first quarter, Move and REA Group raised $ 426 million. Move revenue grew 30% per year to $ 180 million thanks to the continued growth of realtor.com’s referral services and lead generation products. The portal’s referral services generated 32% of Move’s revenue in the first quarter, as lead volume fell 18% amid market normalization.

Despite the decline in lead volume, News Corp said realtor.com’s SEO and lead generation services continue to be the primary driver of success. “The traditional lead generation product continued to experience strong agent demand, leading to improvements in sales and performance, while the benchmark model benefited from a record average home and sales value. a volume of transactions, ”the earnings report explained.

Realtor.com traffic remained strong, with the site’s average monthly unique users increasing 7% year-over-year to 97 million.

David Doctorow

In a blog post published minutes after the results report, Realtor.com CEO David Doctorow said the platform is poised to lead the proptech space because their concierge model, the traditional products of Lead generation and marketing continue to gain the attention and loyalty of consumers and real people. real estate professionals.

“I am even more convinced that the open market and the collaborative approach of Realtor.com is the best way forward for everyone in the real estate industry – consumers and professionals,” Doctorow said. “Our company sits at the intersection of high technology and human touch, and Realtor.com aims to make the most of technology – by making it easier to buy, sell and rent homes and improve the means. through which agents, brokers, lenders and securities providers support their clients and collaborate on closing.

“We are playing the game for the long haul, looking market by market how we can best serve the agents, brokers and the millions of buyers and sellers who visit Realtor.com every month,” he added.

The CEO also addressed the recent downfall of Zillow Offers and subsequent doubts about Zestimates, saying the company’s seller’s market will continue to be the best place consumers can turn for accurate and reliable real estate data.

“While one of our competitors recently had to shut down their iBuying program, our seller market is open for business,” he said. “It’s open to iBuying businesses as well as brokers with iBuyer programs, but instead of capturing owners and channeling them into a closed system, we’re helping people know all of their options and make a choice that’s right for them. agree – whether they decide to accept an iOffer or sell their home on the open market with an agent who can best help them.

“The integration and evolution of technology in any industry creates enormous opportunities for progress, but can also produce unintended negative consequences, and the real estate industry is no exception,” he added. . “This is why Realtor.com displays three AVMs from widely respected sources on most of the listings for sale on our site.”

Overall, News Corp. for the quarter amounted to $ 2.5 billion, while net income increased 468%, from $ 47 million in the first quarter of 2021 to $ 267 million in the first quarter of 2022. The EBITDA of the company (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) increased by 53%. year over year to $ 410 million.

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