Real estate search portal Zillow boosted website and mobile traffic to new highs and added nearly 5,000 real estate agents to its subscriber base in the first three months of the year, helping the company surprise analysts with a 70 percent jump in revenue from a year ago, to $66.2 million.

Those gains came at a price, as a massive 2014 consumer marketing campaign helped drive a $6.3 million first-quarter loss— less than analysts had predicted. Investors bid up Zillow’s share price in after-hours trading, helping the company’s share price recoup some of the 9 percent loss for the day.

At 52,968, the number of Zillow “Premier Agent” subscribers at the end of March was up 56 percent from a year ago. The portal grew its subscriber base by 4,654 agents in the first 90 days of the year, or about 52 a day.

Each of those agents was also spending more — $286 a month, on average, compared with $259 at the same time a year ago. Nearly 60 percent of new Premier Agent sales in January, February and March came from existing Premier Agents buying more advertising, the company said.

Revenue generated by Premier Agent subscriptions was up 77 percent from a year ago, to $46.2 million. Display ad revenue was up 62 percent to $12.9 million, and revenue from Zillow’s Mortgage Marketplace grew 45 percent, to $7.1 million.

Average monthly unique users during the first quarter were up 51 percent from a year ago, to 70.7 million, with mobile and Web traffic peaking in March at nearly 77 million. Traffic continued to grow into April, with close to 79 million monthly uniques.

Sales and marketing expenses were also up 76 percent, to $35.9 million, as Zillow embarked on a $65 million 2014 TV, radio and online advertising campaign.

“We’re continuing to ramp our marketing investment, and plan to be firing on all cylinders through the busy spring and summer home shopping season, which also helps increase value and opportunity for our agent and broker partners,” Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff said in a statement.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to remove an erroneous reference to Zillow’s first quarter loss exceeding analysts’ expectations. Analysts polled by Thompson Reuters expected the company would lose 24 cents per share, or 50 percent more than the 16 cents per share loss the company reported.

Show Comments Hide Comments

Comments

Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive marketing emails from Inman.
Success!
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
Don’t miss out! Inman Connect Las Vegas starts today and you can catch all the excitement with a virtual ticket.Register Now×
Limited time: Get 30 days of Inman Select for $5.SUBSCRIBE×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription