Morgan Stanley estimates realtor.com is worth $2.5 billion, News Corp. CEO Robert Thomson said in a recent interview. That’s more than double the $950 million that News Corp. paid for the listing portal’s owner, Move Inc., two years ago.

Robert Thomson

Robert Thomson

Morgan Stanley estimates realtor.com is worth $2.5 billion, News Corp. CEO Robert Thomson said in a recent interview.

That’s more than double the $950 million that News Corp. paid for the listing portal’s owner, Move Inc., two years ago.

A News Corp. spokeswoman told Inman that Morgan Stanley released the estimate in an August report. A Morgan Stanley spokeswoman couldn’t immediately confirm the estimate, saying she was reaching out to an Australian analyst who may have been its source.

If accurate, the valuation provides validation of the realtor.com acquisition as the media giant continues to retool the listing portal’s consumer experience and real estate agent products.

Thomson’s take on the realtor.com acquisition

In an interview at a global media conference hosted by financial services company UBS, Thomson said News Corp. took over a “laggard in the market,” and while “renovating the house while living it,” turned realtor.com into the faster-growing listing portal.

He cast News Corp.’s digital real estate services portfolio — which includes REA Group and real estate marketing services spread across the world — as a core part of News Corp.’s growth strategy in the years ahead.

Realtor.com in particular should be a key source of growth for News Corp., he said.

Recent changes to realtor.com and Move’s real estate software portfolio should accelerate that growth later this year, he added.

Realtor.com has had to change its product and product-marketing strategy to Realtors, while “fixing the tech underpinnings of the company,” he said.

He cited the recent debut of “Advantage,” realtor.com’s revamped listing ad product, as progress on this front.

Advantage “looks better, feels better, is better — but also provides real-time feedback for Realtors about click-through about leads, which are the most important thing for a Realtor that wants to make a sale.”

He said News Corp. has also invested in improving realtor.com’s user experience.

“The user interface has to be the best there is, so there was renovation necessary in that area as well — but longer term. We’re very, very confident,” he said.

Thomson added that News Corp. is taking a look at Move’s portfolio and making decisions about various assets — and the TigerLeads sale late last month to Commissions, Inc. is one example of the types of deals that could result.

Thomson noted that selling TigerLeads “will have a slight impact on revenue this quarter” in the interview.

Email Teke Wiggin.

Editor’s note: A previous version of this story incorrectly referred to “TigerLeads” as “TigerLead.” 

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