REMI Releases Real Estate Marketing Tips After Zillow's Purchase of HotPads

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The Real Estate Marketing Insider comments on news that online real estate site Zillow has announced the purchase of HotPads, which deals extensively in real estate rental and has released a list of tips for Real Estate Marketing Professionals.

The Real Estate Marketing Insider released its statement on NASDAQ's news that Zillow, the online real estate database and listing site, will purchase HotPads, a San Francisco-based real estate rental listing site, for $16 million. REMI congratulated Zillow on the purchase, saying the addition of HotPads’ rental inventory to the nationally-recognized Zillow database would be excellent for buyers, particularly those not quite ready to buy and recommended that real estate professionals trying to implement online marketing strategies look closely at Zillow’s reasons for the purchase.

HotPads is a real estate website that, much like its buyer Zillow, lists real estate for sale online. HotPads reputation is great, having received 2.8 million hits in October alone; and its overhead is small, with only 19 employees at its San Francisco headquarters. The company’s expertise in mobile real estate marketing - HotPads features five smartphone applications - will be useful to Zillow, the online real estate giant that is trying to remain competitive with other realty websites.

One of the greatest benefits to Zillow of acquiring HotPads is the latter’s database of rental properties. Zillow has actively tried to supplement its extensive inventory of for-sale properties with more rental offerings, having purchased other entities specializing in rentals, like RentJuice, purchased earlier this year. HotPads’s inventory of properties is about 70% rentals; the inventory includes homes, apartments, and San Diego rentals on the beach. Experts agree that this infusion of rental properties into Zillow’s catalogue should boost rental business for the website, whose rental inventory, the Zillow Rental Network, is already the largest on the web.

Zillow stands to benefit from this acquisition in many other ways as well. For all its success, Zillow struggles with younger clientele. Not surprisingly, this demographic is less likely to buy a home right now, even with the market and mortgage conditions at prime levels; young people can have trouble getting a mortgage no matter what the interest rates, and still generally prefer to rent. HotPads caters to younger users, and the engineering team (which is being retained by Zillow) is used to their search and browsing habits. The addition of this new perspective and these new talents to the Zillow team should make the product more universal and accessible, and the bulking of its rental catalogue will help Zillow cater to a wider base of property seekers. For Zillow users, the benefits of this merger are tangible, and should be visible right away.

Real Estate Marketing Insider's released statement is as follows, "For real estate marketing professionals, the takeaway is simple here: real success in online and mobile marketing for real estate comes from a diversity of listings, catering to all income brackets of homebuyers and to rental markets as well. REMI recommends that online real estate startups trying to match the success of Zillow and HotPads:

1)    Start with a diverse set of listings in different income brackets.
2)    Try to maintain a small staff at a major-city office.
3)    Include younger professionals on their marketing and engineering staff to help cater to younger buyers.
4)    Pay attention to the rental market, which is especially popular with younger buyers.

If online real estate marketers can follow these steps to diversify their listings and demographic, then they can effectively use online marketing as a part of their business, helping them get more leads, sales, and commissions."

The Real Estate Marketing Insider issued a statement on the release of news that online realty website Zillow is purchasing HotPads, a startup real estate website that specializes in rental properties. Zillow will acquire HotPads’ rental inventory, as well as its engineers and designers.

About the Real Estate Marketing Insider: The Real Estate Marketing Insider is an online journal providing real estate professionals with breaking news, hot tips, and trend analysis. REMI is based in La Jolla, CA.

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