Housing.com sees 4-fold jump in monthly traffic from pre-Covid level: CEO

Its CEO Dhruv Agarwala said Proptech Housing.com saw a fourfold jump in monthly visits to its website to more than 20 million compared to the pre-COVID level upon revival of demand and rapid adoption of digital tools in the real estate sector.

Housing.com, owned by Australian-based REA Group and US-based News Corp, is one of India’s leading property rating portals.

REA India operates three portals — Housing.com, PropTiger and Makaan.com.

In an interview with PTI, REA India CEO Dhruv Agarwala also attributed the growth in traffic in the past three years to investments in branding, advertising and marketing activities.

He said the increase in traffic on Housing.com has helped in a sharp rise in REA India’s total revenue during the 2021-22 (July-June) and current financial year.

Agarwala predicted that REA India’s losses will start declining from the 2023-24 financial year from July.

REA India’s turnover increased by 92 per cent during the 2021-22 financial period to nearly Rs 300 crore, of which 80 per cent came from Housing.com and the remainder from two other portals.

“Largely driven by the digital acceleration, the site’s traffic has increased exponentially and has seen a quadruple growth since February 2020,” said Agarwala.

He said that since October 2021, Housing.com has maintained the first position in terms of traffic, which in turn has led to the growth of its revenue and market share.

Housing.Com’s conversion rates have improved, Agarwala said, resulting in lower consumer acquisition costs.

“COVID has positively impacted people’s attitudes towards home ownership and also towards the use of digital media, thus a large part of our stakeholders is online,” he said.

This not only benefited the company, but the industry as a whole, he added.

“During COVID, we invested a lot in technology, brand building, our core products, SEO and apps strategy, which worked in our favor as both our customers and consumers adopted the online channel,” said Agarwala.

He noted that the strategy helped increase traffic and reach a larger audience.

“From 5.4 million monthly traffic in February 2020 to 20.3 million as of March 31 (according to a similar website), our site has seen exponential growth,” said Agarwala.

Housing.com said it is hiring to strengthen the team, along with investing in technology as well as brand promotion to become the market leader.

Asked when the company will become profitable, Agarwala said, “Our revenues have doubled in the last financial year to about Rs 300 crore.”

He added, “This year again we witnessed strong growth in the first six months of our financial year. We recorded a 45% growth in revenue between July – December 2022 registering a turnover of Rs. 197 crore.”

“We’ve shown an improvement year-on-year in EBITDA margins over the past several years, and fiscal 2023 will be our year of peak EBITDA losses in absolute numbers. This means that starting in fiscal ’24, We expect to see our absolute EBITDA losses decrease,” he said.

In December 2020, the Australian REA Group acquired a controlling stake in Elara Technologies, which earlier owned these three gateways, and renamed it as REA India.

The company helps consumers through the entire home search journey from initial search and discovery to financing to the final step of closing the deal.

Founded in 2012, Housing.com is a full stack proptech platform for homeowners/home seekers, realtors, developers and realtors.

Provides listings for new homes, resale homes, rentals, plots, commercial space and shared living spaces in India.

Founded in 2011, PropTiger.com is a housing brokerage firm. Makaan.com is an advertising platform.

(Only the title and image for this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard team; the rest of the content is generated automatically from a shared feed.)