How major property portals think about mergers and acquisitions

You might be surprised by how widely their strategies vary
  • The world's largest real estate portals each have unique mergers-and-acquisitions strategies.
  • The UK's biggest portal, Rightmove, eschews M&A for organic consumer audience growth, Zillow Group buys companies whole, and New Zealand portal Trade Me uses a mix of investments and acquisitions.
  • The best portal M&A strategy is one that aligns with a firm's aptitude and vision.

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How do large residential real estate portals around the world think about investments and acquisitions? What types of companies do they look to acquire, and how do they incorporate them? As the head of strategy at New Zealand’s leading property portal, Trade Me, I dealt with these questions on a daily basis. I hunted for new lines of business, scoured the landscape for investment and acquisition opportunities and then executed the deals in my four years at the firm. I also developed an intense interest in how similar firms in other countries went about the same ventures. Property portal models differ around the world, but in general, they aggregate real estate information, allowing consumers to search for homes to rent and buy. Scratching my entrepreneurial itch In January, I left Trade Me and moved back to the U.S., my home country. With these questions still swirling in my head and my curiosity kindled, I decided to investigate. So I hit the road to find out how portals ...