In earlier editions of the Swanepoel TRENDS Report we advised that successful IPOs (Initial public Offering) usually generate significant cash for companies, and we predicted that Zillow’s IPO would lead them to outplay most of their competition by rolling up and acquiring the necessary assets to become the dominant player in the industry.
Well they’ve definitely started doing exactly that. In November 2011 Zillow announced its acquisition of Diverse Solutions, which provides listing content and property search functionality. In May 2012 they acquired RentJuice (now called Rentalpro), a company that offers tools to property management companies. The acquisition helped
springboard Zillow into Zillow Rentals in October 2012, a marketplace and suite of tools for rental professionals.
In October 2012 Zillow purchased Buyfolio (now called Agentfolio), which provides agent and buyer tools that make online shopping for a home easier and more organized. The site gives homebuyers a simple, real-time snapshot of their home search, and allows the buyer’s agent to add local knowledge, notes and additional listings. Either party can drop properties into “the folio” or comment on other properties that were also added. Coordinated showings of the properties can result, and each property can be flagged for follow-up or elimination from consideration.
In November of the same year, Zillow acquired the map-based rental and real estate website HotPads. In the same month they also acquired Mortech, a 25-year-old software and services company that provides mortgage-related solutions to lenders, bankers and credit unions. It was Zillow’s first acquisition in the mortgage arena and enabled them to offer promotion and productivity tools to professionals in the mortgage industry. These tools will aid mortgage professionals in business management and the conversion of prospective borrowers into actual borrowers. This latest acquisition augments the growth of the company’s loan market, Zillow Mortgage Marketplace, which in 2012 received nearly 12 million loan requests.
With the large real estate search portals beginning to offer more tech tools to agents—Trulia agrees to buy Market Leader and Realtor.com acquired TigerLeads Solutions—it can only benefit you if you understand their services and how to effectively utilize them to your benefit. The bottom line is that their footprint is only going to get bigger.
You can learn more about how to utilize Real Estate Portals in our 2013 Technology Report, available at RETrends.com