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CoStar Group’s Apartments.com Whisper

Jun 03 2015 Financial, Idea Proposals
CoStar Group’s Apartments.com Whisper
 

Research Question: Are property owners satisfied with their ROI and quality/quantity of leads from CoStar’s Apartments.com?

Report Available: June 19, 2015

 

Blueshift’s initial research shows Apartments.com’s popularity exploded in March due to website improvements and effective advertising. Bookings and website traffic soared as a result. But it remains to be seen whether the company is bringing in satisfactory ROI for its property owners or how those property owners rank the quality and quantity of leads they receive from the website.

 

Observations

  1. Rents are still rising throughout the U.S. but at a slower rate. The average rent increased by just 0.64% to $1,194 per month in Q4 2014. Throughout 2015 demand for apartment rentals is expected to remain strong, and apartment supply will increase by 300,000 units. CSGP has begun to greatly benefit from the high demand for rentals as a result of its 2014 purchase of Apartments.com, which recently experienced record bookings in March.
  2. Apartments.com’s strong presence in mobile and its website overhaul recently helped it become the No. 1apartment rental website in traffic. The company’s TV ads featuring Jeff Goldblum and its Huffington Post ads also helped the increase. Apartments.com realized an 827% increase in net bookings in Q1 andproduced 66% more leads. These outstanding results helped CSGP’s overall revenue jump 34% to $159 million.
  3. An abundant number of apartment rental websites are fiercely competing for business and higher SEO results. An Ohio real estate investor reported that Z and Trulia are generating the most leads, while newspaper classifieds generate the highest quality leads. Craigslist and FB are frequently mentioned as popular lead generators, although Craigslist leads are perceived as lower quality. Other property managers accuse Apartments.com of favoring larger companies, and many have struggled with technical nuances of the site such as the amount of time it takes a listing to appear.

 

Are property managers who advertise on Apartments.com benefitting from the site’s increased exposure? Are they pleased with ROI and quality/quantity of leads? To gain insight into CoStar’s Apartments.com, Blueshift will gather data and issue a market research report from independent sources in the following areas: large property managers/owners, small property managers/owners, competitor listing sites, and industry specialists.

Companies: CoStar Group (CSGP), Zillow (Z), Facebook (FB), News Corp (NWS)

 

To see other ideas Blueshift Research is currently working on, please click here.