Idealista.com, the leading real estate portal in Spain, has enjoyed 15 years of positive revenues. “[Since] January 2003, there was not a single month, not even in the worst years of the real estate crisis, that we incurred a loss,” co-founder and spokesperson Fernando Encinar (LinkedIn profile) said in an interview with Marketing4Ecommerce.

Fernando Encinar, photo courtesy Idealista

In a lengthy Q&A, Encinar discussed the founding, development, and evolution of Idealista; which was purchased by venture capital firm Apax Partners in 2015 (we reported on the sale here).

He highlighted the company’s commitment to remaining a no-frills, consumer-focused site. “Some people criticize us for not being a ‘pretty’ website… but our users appreciate being able to easily find what they are looking for.”

Encinar spoke more about this in an interview with La Informacion. He discussed SpotAHome‘s recent $40 million funding round and said that Idealista has no interest in emulating its entry into transactions.

“From the beginning, we didn’t want to, or get close to, the transaction model,” Encinar said. “We’re going to continue [this way].”

He told La Informacion that while transactional businesses like SpotAHome “make a lot of noise” Idealista prefers to focus on its existing subscription-based business model.

The site’s primary source of revenue is monthly fees from professional real estate agents. Private sellers can list up to two properties for free, then pay for additional listings. Encinar also said the company has started earning revenue from mortgages and data in recent years.

According to La Informacion, Idealista (which rarely shares revenue figures) has enviable profit margins. In 2016, it reported, the company had profits of 18 million ($20.8 million U.S.) on revenue of 40 million ($46 million U.S.).

 

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