Google to Scoop Up Real Estate Sites

Google is obviously very focused on local broadly but also some key verticals within the segment. One of those is real estate.

There were a number of sources recently that asserted Google was interested in buying Trulia. (Maybe it still will.) 

However at the Inman Real Estate Connect show in New York, Google’s Sam Sebastian reportedly said the following: “We’re actively looking to acquire one to two small real estate companies a month.”

Here are the top US real estate sites according to Hitwise:

On this list are many sites that Google can’t buy because they’re not independent. For example, Rent.com is eBay, ServiceMagic is IAC and so on.

My guess is that Google will buy sites that offer rich functionality, have established relationships with MLS services, are already established marketing platforms for brokers/agents and/or have relatively comprehensive hooks into rental listings. Roost.com, Redfin and HotPads (not on the list above) could well be candidates. I’m gonna bet money that Roost is one that’s acquired fairly soon. 

There might also be an acquisition or two specifically in the mobile space around real estate.

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27 Responses to “Google to Scoop Up Real Estate Sites”

  1. Google Plans To Buy Its Way Into Real Estate Says:

    [...] Trulia, but Sebastian wouldn’t confirm or deny those rumors. On his blog, Greg Sterling speculates about some of the larger real estate sites that Google may be targeting, but there are plenty of [...]

  2. Google to Scoop Up Real Estate Sites « Screenwerk | All the SEO News That's Fit to Tweet! Says:

    [...] is the original post: Google to Scoop Up Real Estate Sites « Screenwerk Share and [...]

  3. earlpearl Says:

    Well that is one way to further diversify income streams. Prices should be cheaper than if the real estate economy was flourishing. Google can easily afford one (or many) of these sites, enhance it, promote it, get it highly visable and then ride its activity when real estate heats up again.

  4. Ed Kohler Says:

    I was there and what I heard was a statement that Google would continue to make acquisitions at that rate. He wasn’t talking specifically about real estate acquisitions. However, this was during an exchange about Trulia, so I can see where it may have been misinterpreted.

  5. Real Estate watcher Says:

    NASDAQ: LEDR is my dark horse. It’s not much of a consumer brand like Zillow but has as many or more MLS deals than Zillow and Google could get it for a steal. Their market cap is essentially equal to their cash on hand and less than total current assets. http://in.finance.yahoo.com/q/bs?s=LEDR&annual. Zillow raised a boatload of money on a steep 2007 valuation so they are going to require a lot more to buy and Google would probably be overpaying relative to the value they’d get.

    LEDR have multiple websites including justlisted.com, housevalues.com and others.

  6. Greg Sterling Says:

    Ed:

    Yes that’s Google’s regular line. I can also see if that was the context how it might be misinterpreted. Clearly the report I saw interpreted the comment entirely in the real estate context.

  7. Google Bulking Up In Real Estate – Looking To Buy Several Online Real Estate Companies Monthly Says:

    [...] to have Google’s bank account. Google, looking to grow in the online real estate sector, is planning to buy numerous companies in the space, monthly.Every VC that has made a bet in the real estate sector [...]

  8. Google Bulking Up In Real Estate – Looking To Buy Several Online Real Estate Companies Monthly | Internet Marketing Solutions | Dawson Barber Says:

    [...] nice to have Google’s bank account. Google, looking to grow in the online real estate sector, is planning to buy numerous companies in the [...]

  9. jdhomes Says:

    I was at the conference and listened to the interview and Sam Sebastian did NOT say “We’re actively looking to acquire one to two small real estate companies a month.”. Take out the words ‘real estate’ and the quote would be what he actually said…but then I guess you wouldn’t have anything to write about.

  10. Correcting the Google Real Estate Story « Screenwerk Says:

    [...] Estate Connect show have come forward or made comments now that this needs to be clarified: “Google to Scoop Up Real Estate Sites.” I wasn’t there and was writing based on vicarious information. Here was the quote, [...]

  11. Mituri despre SEO #4 | tudor.totolici Says:

    [...] Google to Scoop Up Real Estate Sites « Screenwerk [...]

  12. Top Posts — WordPress.com Says:

    [...] Google to Scoop Up Real Estate Sites Google is obviously very focused on local broadly but also some key verticals within the segment. One of those is real [...] [...]

  13. Who will Google buy in online real estate? Says:

    [...] and Greg Sterling offers his own analysis in this post. Roost.com, Redfin and HotPads are all possible [...]

  14. Google and the Real Estate Squish : Beyond Search Says:

    [...] read in “Google to Scoop Up Real Estate Sites” that some talk about Google purchasing real estate services. My research indicates that [...]

  15. dbaratech Says:

    Roost? It’s pretty much smaller than http://homes.trovit.com…..I don’t think so….

  16. Katie Lance Says:

    Here is a link to the actual presentation from Sam Sebastian at Connect NYC. I’m posting it to clear up any confusion!

    http://www.inman.com/news/2010/01/20/google-rpr-and-future

    Thanks!
    Katie Lance, Marketing Manager, Inman News

  17. Het einde van woningsites - Corporatie NL Says:

    [...] ze eenvoudigweg op internet, dat deden ze toch al. Maar er zijn ook berichten dat Google internet vastgoedsites opkoopt. Op die manier wil Google meer gegevens aan de zoekresultaten kunnen [...]

  18. Portugal Property Says:

    Nice article…Good Read…I Google get into the game of Real estate, we’ll have an even tougher challange of Ranking in the Golden Number one shot..One hopes Google stay away..

  19. Aaron Majors Says:

    That’s kinda scary for a realtor with an internet lead generation business model

  20. Silver Coast Property Says:

    Google are definitely going for vertical markets and have just apparently made a bold move into online travel. Good posting and nice blog.

    David

  21. Houses for sale in Houston Says:

    Google has to make money there is no doubt about that but no matter how big it gets, it still needs to remember that the user is what gives it power. If Google continues to use its own resources to manipulate the rankings to its own end then one day very soon it may end up like an Alta Vista

  22. Property Portugal Says:

    If I were Google, I wouldn’t buy any existing companies, I’d just put myself in first position. A simple real estate platform is all that is needed and a good business model, probably called Google MLS.

  23. Beverley Says:

    Google doesn’t really need to buy into real estate. If it wants to do it gradually and not overnight, they just need put forward the right combination of functionality and usability for people to populate the ‘property’ site for them and the property will flood in!

  24. Mike Woods Says:

    Does anyone know if Google has acquired any real estate companies? It seems as thought they have left the real estate vertical since shutting down their own real estate search.

  25. imoveis nos EUA Says:

    You need to take part in a contest for one of the best blogs on the net. I’m going to highly recommend this website!

  26. google.com Says:

    Hmm is anyone else having problems with the images on this blog loading?
    I’m trying to determine if its a problem on my end or if it’s the blog.
    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  27. Greg Says:

    This is my old blog and it’s no longer maintained. Go to Screenwerk.com for the same content. Everything is there and it’s updated

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