Although many marketers think (myself included) that the novelty of deal sites like Groupon and LivingSocial is wearing a bit thin (seriously, how glamorous will coupon-clipping ever be, even if you do it with friends...?), Keepsum.com has a new approach to the whole social commerce idea.
At the same time, the viral marketing buzz of daily deals remains a great way to generate exposure for new businesses and tools, and Keepsum offers deals strictly for the real estate industry. The tools they offer seem quite relevant to my needs and their mandate is fairly simple:
KeepSum is a group-buying service for business owners in the real estate industry. We offer up to 60% savings on the products and services you already use (and those you've been saving up for) to run your small business. We've got deals for almost every part of your business, including:
- Accounting Tools
- Training and Education
- Printing and Marketing Services
- Social Media Tools
- Tech Tools
- Website Development
- And anything else you think you may need
We're small business owners too and we know there are only two ways to increase your profits:
1- Increase sales and/or
2- Reduce expenses.
I look forward to seeing if this industry specific deals site develops, and the whole deal sites remain a viable business model in the long run.
It’s not enough for pioneering social bookmarking site Delicious to get acquired (twice). No, VHT just had to go ahead and buy Dwellicious, an oddly named service that enables people to bookmark, tag and organize real estate properties online in the same vein.
The acquisition, terms of which were not disclosed, makes a lot of sense. VHT provides technology and services for marketing real estate online, and will integrate Dwellicious into its ImageWorks online marketing platform to provide brokerage clients with a tool for communicating with home buyers.
Dwellicious uses social bookmarking to help home buyers share their favorite properties on Facebook, Twitter or other social media services. Buyers can organize, monitor and compare listings, make notes, add tags, and share and discuss properties with friends, family and real estate professionals.
VHT ImageWorks is used by more than 100,000 real estate professionals across the United States.
Real estate listings site Zillow has just filed additional documents with the SEC indicating the initial range for the company’s upcoming IPO. Zillow’s price range will start at $12 to $14 per share, giving the company a $378 million valuation. The company aims to raise as much as $55.7 million in the IPO. Zillow will begin trading under the symbol “Z” on the NASDAQ.
In three years, online real estate marketplace Zillow has transformed its revenue model from a heavy reliance on display advertising to a stronger position as a broker of mortgage deals and a seller of subscriptions. The success of that pivot, apparently, is what positioned the company to go public.
Seattle-based Zillow yesterday filed an S-1 to raise $51.8 million, a figure dwarfed by the company’s total venture backing as well as its total losses: since 2004, it’s raised $87 million from VCs and racked up $78.7 million in red ink.
Zillow’s prospectus shows a clear shift in its revenue mix from one primarily based on advertising to a more mixed model where fees and subscriptions are taking over as the major revenue streams. In 2008 the company began offering Zillow Mortgage Marketplace, a subscription-based product connecting borrowers with lenders. In 2009, Zillow earned 22 percent of its revenues from the marketplace and 78 percent on display advertising. Last year the chunk earned on display dropped to 57 percent; marketplace revenues more than doubled. That ratio is likely to continue to shift away from display.
That’s not to say Zillow’s display ad business is shrinking—the business grew by 27 percent this year. But it certainly shows the company has no plans to exist on display alone. In total, Zillow earned $30.4 million last year, a sum that unfortunately doesn’t outstrip costs. The company came in just this side of unprofitable, a factor that hasn’t hindered the IPO performance of other recent VC-backed IPOs. Zipcar, for example, went public last week to great fanfare; its shares surged 58 percent in first-day trading, despite the company having lost $14.1 million in 2010. Clearly, public market investors are hungry for fresh product. Mix that with a six-year-old venture capital investment, and the motivation behind Zillow’s S-1 is clear.
Zillow’s $87 million in venture backing, spread across three rounds of funding starting in 2005, hasn’t been refreshed since 2007, when Legg Mason wrote the company a $30 million check. Prior investors, who plunked down money when Zillow’s revenue stream was so display dependent, include PAR Capital Management, Benchmark Capital and Technology Crossover Ventures.
Technology Crossover will acquire $5.5 million of the public shares in Zillow’s IPO, according to the S-1.
Today, we’re announcing an exclusive agreement with hyper-local real estate website Blockshopper.com to power its real estate ads and expand the online reach of agents and brokers.
This partnership between Move, Inc. and Blockshopper will make it easier than ever for home buyers and sellers to find Realtor experts in specific neighborhoods, search for houses online on a block-by-block basis, and get accurate, up-to-date information on houses in any Blockshopper neighborhood or subdivision.
Move will start offering two BlockShopper products later this year:
- Local Notes—allows Realtors to make notes on properties, which can be shared through social media.
- Agent News Releases—a tool for Realtors to write about their listings, sales and more to appeal to home buyers and sellers. Blockshopper currently covers 20 local markets, with more to be added soon. The site is part of a growing movement on the web to focus on local coverage.
We’re happy to be joining with them as they grow, and we look forward to the launch of Local Notes and Agents News Releases. Stay tuned for more updates and announcements, and Happy Househunting!
We are proud to announce that MapThatPad now interfaces with New York based real estate listing website, UrbanEdge. In fact, as you see in the image above, UrbanEdge listings have an image right on the website which allows you to save it! So you have three ways to save an UrbanEdge listing into MapThatPad: click on the icon on the listing as shown above, copy-past the listing URL, or use the MapThatPad bookmarklet.
Just like us, our friends at UrbanEdge are committed to making the apartment hunting process easier. First of all, apartment hunters want real listings of real apartments with real addresses and that is exactly what they provide. Also, let's face it, broker aren't for everyone - they can be pushy, misleading, and ask for a fee. UrbanEdge works directly with the owners and property managers of the apartments listed on their site. This means that their database is real and kept up to date. You don't have to click through multiple listings for the same apartment posted by different brokers or owners as on other sites. Simply put: no brokers; no re-posts; no fees; no bs. They also have a great Renter's Guide section that helps newbies navigate through some treacherous real estate terminology and a Neighborhood Guide that helps New-Yorkers and New-New-Yorkers learn what's what with different neighborhoods. So, overall they're a great resource for your NYC apartment hunt - make sure you give them a try on your next one! We sure are fans.
ForRent.com will integrate its apartment listings into Facebook Marketplace through a new partnership with online classified provider Oodle.
The company began powering classified ads on Facebook about 18 months ago to help boost usage of the social network's marketplace section launched in 2007.
ForRent.com, which has more than 50,000 apartment listings, aims to harness the social interactions of Facebook users to drive leads and referrals for property managers and owners nationwide that advertise through the site.
ForRent.com listings also appear on Oodle.com, which is integrated with Facebook Marketplace so that logged-in Facebook members can use the same features as on the social network, like posting comments or sharing apartment ads with friends. Oodle, which has 14 million users overall, also powers classifieds on AOL and MySpace.
"Our partnership with Oodle provides a human element to our customers' listings and brings a trust factor to the rental process, since users can see how their friends and friends of friends are connected to listings, ask questions, receive feedback, make comments and respond to listings," stated Brock MacLean, senior vice president, national sales and development at ForRent.com.
In addition to standard listings, apartment advertisers will have the option to upgrade to Marketplace Expert, a package offering priority placement in search results, more photos, online video, advanced social interaction reporting, and Facebook page development, among other services. That option will be offered free for a limited time at the outset.
Oodle CEO Craig Donato emphasized that it's crucial for building managers and apartment owners to establish a presence on Facebook. Dedicated pages for their properties can attract fans and help generate word-of-mouth among users and connections between residents they may know on Facebook. The pages will also provide another way for people to access and act on a company's apartment ads.
"We're trying to promote the benefit of using Facebook to this community," said Donato, who noted that monthly traffic to Facebook Marketplace had gone from about 100,000 to 6 million since Oodle started running the service. The company added more social features to the marketplace in December.