Realtor.com parent company Move Inc. saw its fiscal third-quarter revenue increase 5 percent year over year to $170 million on Thursday, making it the second consecutive quarter of single-digit gains amid a shifting real estate market.
Much like the previous quarter, Realtor.com’s referral model and the traditional lead generation products represented 85 percent of Move’s revenue (+7 percent YoY). The referral model, in particular, benefited from record average home values as it generated 28 percent of total Move revenues in fiscal Q3 2022, up from 25 percent the previous year.
News Corp’s earnings are two quarters ahead of the rest of the industry since they operate on a fiscal calendar that runs from July 1 through June 30, the company explained.
Despite the downturn in growth from fiscal Q4 2021 and fiscal Q1 2022, which saw revenue boosts of 68 percent and 30 percent, respectively, News Corp CEO Robert Thomson said he’s banking on Realtor.com’s ability to innovate and develop more products that serve consumer’s digital real estate needs.
“The ebb and flow of market forces is not unusual, and we believe the opportunity for Realtor.com and News Corp has never been greater, as the digitization of the property market continues apace and current trends are likely to expedite that evolution,” he said in a statement. “Our product innovation has accelerated, our scale has increased, and we are in the early days of venturing into relevant adjacencies with large addressable markets.”
Alongside issues with revving its revenue back near previous highs, partially due to a $3 million negative impact from Top Producer’s divestment, the portal experienced a downshift in user activity.
Based on Move’s internal data, Realtor.com’s average monthly unique users on its web and mobile sites declined 3 percent year over year to 95 million. As a result, lead volume fell 22 percent, which Move said reflected “a continued tough comparison to the prior year when lead volumes increased over 40 percent year-over-year.”
Moments after the earnings call, Realtor.com CEO David Doctorow released a lengthy blog post focusing on the ways the portal is helping consumers and real estate agents keep the “dream of homeownership alive and well” amid market headwinds.
“We’ve heard anecdotally from agents that their relationships with buyer clients have changed dramatically from just a few years ago,” he said while mentioning the site’s average monthly unique users rebounded to 100 million in March. “A search that once took eight weeks may now take eight months or more.”
“Finding a home that’s right for you and your family can be an emotionally charged journey under the best of circumstances,” he added. “In today’s market, agents are becoming ad-hoc personal counselors and even part of their clients’ extended families as they share what can be a rollercoaster ride toward homeownership.”
Doctorow said Realtor.com is laser-focused on addressing affordability and inventory issues through several programs that help consumers access down payment assistance, financial coaching, and alternative buying and selling options through companies through iBuyers and power buyers like Divvy Homes, which Realtor.com has a partnership with.
The portal also shared they’ve partnered with the Homeownership Council of America’s Equity Down Payment Assistance Fund to provide homeownership assistance for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) and low- to moderate-income homebuyers.
Realtor.com has already contributed $100,000 and will match every donation to the fund through June 30, 2022, up to $100,000.
“In the face of these challenges, Realtor.com wants to help more people build wealth through homeownership, and we’re not alone,” Doctorow said. “Working together with agents, brokers, lenders, builders, and organizations committed to this cause, we will continue to innovate around solutions that bring people home.”
Overall, News Corp. revenues for the quarter were $2.49 billion, a high watermark for the fiscal Q3 and a 7 percent increase from fiscal Q3 2021. The company’s EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) increased 20 percent year over year to $358 million.