Robert Thomson, director and CEO of Realtor.com owner News Corp, is getting tired of CoStar CEO Andy Florance’s claims that his upstart Homes.com has taken the no. 2 spot behind Zillow.

Robert Thomson

Florance has boasted multiple times over the last several months (see here and here) that recent investments have pushed Homes.com past Realtor.com (and Redfin, as well) among U.S. real estate portals. Florance cites traffic statistics from Google Analytics, which the AIM Group can’t verify.

In News Corp’s most recent earnings call with investors, Thomson said: “I would point out that in March, according to Comscore, a verified third-party source, Realtor’s unique users grew 5% month-over-month, comparing very favorably to Homes.com, which experienced a decline in the same period. Moreover, Realtor.com is 1.4x bigger in terms of monthly unique users and has approximately 3x the page views and minutes per visit.”

Andy Florance

He added (using words the AIM Group verified as real): “Independent verification ensures statistical sumpsimus, not metrics mumpsimus.”

Thomson’s pushback is especially understandable given the two companies’ recent history. In early 2023, CoStar sought to purchase Realtor.com, with some reports putting the sales price at $3 billion. CoStar likely saw it as a quick way to build traffic for its new for-sale residential business. At  the time, Homes.com had monthly visits of about 22 million, compared to more than 124 million for Realtor.com (per SimilarWeb, the AIM Group’s go-to for traffic comparisons).

In the midst of talks, News Corp posted disappointing quarterly results for Realtor.com, and CoStar backed out of the deal.

“Yes we were indeed courted. We were indeed wooed,” Thomson told investors at the time. But he added: “We’re getting on with it.”

According to April SimilarWeb numbers, Zillow had 333 million visits, Realtor.com 133 million, Redfin 112 million, and Homes.com 50 million.

 

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