Zillow has entered into a definitive agreement to buy New York City-rental website Naked Apartments for $13 million in cash. The acquisition would bring a second NYC-focused property search site under Zillow’s roof, while offering the listing portal access to innovative tools for renters and agents, including one of the most successful showings on demand schedulers available to consumers.
- Acquisition will offer Zillow access to innovative tools for consumers and agents, including a successful showings on demand tool.
- NakedApartments would join StreetEasy as Zillow's second New York City-centric property search site.
Zillow has entered into a definitive agreement to buy New York City-rental website Naked Apartments for $13 million in cash.
The acquisition would bring a second NYC-focused property search site under Zillow’s roof, while offering the listing portal access to innovative tools for renters and agents, including one of the most successful showings on demand schedulers available to consumers. The acquisition is subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions and is expected to close in the next few weeks.
“Naked Apartments is a strong brand that is pushing the innovation boundaries to help renters find a home quickly and easily, which complements our mission at StreetEasy, said Susan Daimler, general manager of Zillow Group-owned StreetEasy, in a statement.
Zillow bought StreetEasy, one of the most popular for-sale and rental listing sites covering New York City, for $50 million in 2013. Naked Apartments is the biggest New York City rental-only website, according to Zillow.
Naked Apartments and StreetEasy “complement each other really well and we’re excited about the possible synergies between teams and platforms,” Zillow said in an email.
Growing both brands together “will allow us to combine our knowledge of the unique New York City rental and sales markets to put even better tools and information in the hands of consumers,” said Daimler, who is also vice president of Zillow Group New York.
Zillow cited Naked Apartments’ “Viewings on Demand” feature as an example of one of the rental site’s tools that provides “timesaving ways to find apartments and connect with real estate professionals.”
Viewings on Demand lets users schedule rental showings from the site’s listing pages. The tool was facilitating several thousand showings a month in the summer of 2015, with 55 percent of viewings resulting in a client seeing multiple apartments with an agent and 12 percent leading to an “application/close,” Naked Apartments previously told Inman.
When a renter requests a showing on Naked Apartments, Naked Apartments fires off the request to a number of real estate agents. The first to respond gets the lead. Close to half of showing requests made through Naked Apartments were answered within five minutes in June 2015, according to the site. And about 7 out of 10 were answered with 30 minutes.
A batch of other apps and services have sprung up to enable showings on demand, including CurbCall and AgentPair.
“Naked Apartments has taken to simplifying the sometimes-hectic process of connecting with an agent to view a listing in NYC, which can fly off the market in a matter of hours,” Zillow said of Viewings on Demand in an email.
Asked if Zillow might implement Viewings on Demand into for-sale listings on zillow.com and trulia.com (Zillow Group owns Trulia), Zillow said it had nothing to share about “features being added across platforms as the transaction has yet to close.”
“We will be working through details of possible integrations once the acquisition closes,” Zillow said.