A California-based property search startup, VivaReal, is growing rapidly by setting its sights on the Latin American real estate market, according to the New York Times.

Launched in May 2009, the company’s site receives 600,000 monthly visitors, with that number increasing more than 20 percent each month, according to the Times.

The company’s site is divided into five sub-sites dedicated to different geographic areas: Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, the U.S., and a site for expats looking to buy or rent property in 12 countries in Central America, South America and the Caribbean.

The U.S. site is dedicated to the nation’s Spanish speakers, which numbered 31 million as of 2005, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Listings for the site currently number more than 300,000, far exceeding those on the other sub-sites.

Internet usage in Latin America is growing rapidly, with 31.9 million Internet users in Brazil alone as of September 2009, an increase of 22 percent from the same period the year before, according to comScore.

Real estate professionals and consumers alike can post basic listings with up to three photos for free on the site, except for individual listings in select cities in Mexico. For additional features such as a detailed property page, up to 30 photos, and better search exposure, the site charges between $15 and $30 per listing per month for the expat, U.S. and Mexico sites. Fees on other sites vary. The company reported that it expects to reach profitability by the third quarter of this year.

Bilingual Marketing Group, which owns VivaReal, is based in Sebastopol, Calif., and has offices in Colombia and Brazil.


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