A lot of people are spending time looking at homes these days, and many of them are doing it on Zillow. Traffic to the Seattle company’s Web site and mobile apps soared during March to record levels, topping 76 million visitors during the month. That was up from 50 million in March of 2013.
Zillow is in a serious battle for mindshare in the online real estate arena, competing with players such as Realtor.com and Trulia. As part of that effort, both Trulia and Zillow are engaged in a multi-million dollar branding effort. Trulia was attracting about 38 million visitors per month at the end of 2013.
Here’s what Trulia had to say about its marketing effort earlier this year.
We believe we have created a more authentic approach to our marketing efforts that will allow us to break through in the category. Most marketing in the space is sentiment-based and undifferentiated. We know that if we focus on building the best product and create a differentiated campaign we can drive all our key metrics.
And here’ more from Zillow’s Spencer Rascoff:
“We are making a $65 million bet in 2014 and a $40 million bet in 2013 that growing audience is what is going to result in us ending up with most of the ad dollars in our category.”
Zillow showed net income of $2.7 million during the fourth quarter on revenue of $58.3 million, a 70 percent increase. The company’s growing power in the industry has drawn the ire of rivals, including Realtor.com, which sued Zillow last month for hiring its ex-Chairman, Errol Samuelson, last month, and Redfin, which today sent a list of demands on how Zillow should change how it showcases listings.