Pretty exciting news from News Corp CEO last week about powering up Realtor.com. In his remarks at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media, and Telecom Conference, Robert Thomson shared his vision to leverage their other media assets to improve the performance of the site.
If you harken back to the web 1.0 days – or even into the early stages of web 2.0 – the top way that real estate websites gained traffic was to partner with portals that had more traffic. Everyone was partnering with sites like Yahoo and embedding search into newspaper websites to take over the real estate section of those sites. Guess what – that is still a pretty damn strong strategy.
Real Estate is a hot topic today. It always has been. The real estate areas of News Corp sites like The Wall Street Journal, Fox News, and the New York Post are among the top consumer websites on the planet. Moreover – they are highly regarded and trusted by their paying readers.
These assets owned by News Corp provide the company with a strategic advantage that Zillow and CoStar do not have. When CoStar talks about investing millions to drive traffic to Homes.com, it means that they need to buy it from companies like News Corp. The same is true of Zillow. Obviously, News Corp has bundles of remnant ad space to drive traffic to Realtor.com.
Honestly, I have always wondered why News Corp has not already deployed this strategy heavily. I always suspected that the other News Corp divisions did not want to give up that valuable space without being compensated. Afterall, the leaders of each company are responsible for selling every inch of ad space – even to internal companies.
Nobody is sure how Mr. Thomson plans to work out this program to buoy Realtor.com – but I can assure you that their customers will appreciate it when the consumer traffic spicket gets turned on to push more and more consumer leads.