Proptech firm Housing.com has seen a four-fold jump in monthly traffic on its website to over 20 million compared to pre-COVID level on demand revival and fast adoption of digital tools in the realty sector, its CEO Dhruv Agarwala said.
Housing.com, owned by Australia's REA Group and US-based News Corp, is one of the leading real estate classified portals in India.
REA India runs 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 made in branding, advertising and marketing activities.
A surge in traffic on Housing.com has helped in a sharp rise in the overall revenue of REA India during the 2021-22 fiscal (July-June) and the current financial year, he said.
Agarwala projected that losses of REA India will start coming down from the 2023-24 fiscal starting July.
Turnover of REA India rose 92 per cent during the 2021-22 fiscal to nearly Rs 300 crore, of which 80 per cent came from Housing.com and the rest from two other portals.
"Driven largely by digital acceleration, traffic on the website has increased significantly and has seen a 4X growth since February 2020," Agarwala said.
Since October 2021, he said Housing.com has maintained the number one position in terms of traffic, which in turn has driven its revenue growth and market share.
Agarwala said the conversion rates on Housing.Com has improved, leading to a reduction in the cost of consumer acquisition.
"COVID has positively impacted people's attitudes towards home ownership and also towards using digital media and hence a large chunk of our stakeholders have come online," he said.
This has benefited not only the company but also the industry as a whole, he added.
"During COVID we invested a lot in technology, brand building, our core products, SEO and app strategy, which worked in our favour as both our customers and consumers adopted the online channel," Agarwala said.
He noted that the strategy helped in boosting traffic and to reach out to a larger audience.
"From 5.4 million monthly traffic in February 2020 to 20.3 million as of 31st March (as per Similarweb), our website saw tremendous growth," Agarwala said.
Housing.com said it is hiring to strengthen team, besides investing in technology as well as brand promotion to become the clear market leader.
Asked about when the company will become profitable, Agarwala said, "Our revenues doubled in the last financial year to around Rs 300 crore."
"This year again we have seen strong growth in the first six months of our financial year. We clocked 45% revenue growth between July - December 2022 recoding a revenue of Rs 197 crore," he added.
"We have been showing YoY improvement in our EBITDA margins over the last several years and the 2023 financial year is going to be our year of peak EBITDA losses in terms of absolute numbers. This means that starting FY24, we expect to see our absolute EBITDA losses decrease," he said.
In December 2020, Australia's REA Group acquired a controlling stake in Elara Technologies, which earlier owned these three portals, and renamed it as REA India.
The company assists consumers through their entire home seeking journey all the way from initial search and discovery to financing to the final step of transaction closure.
Housing.com, which was founded in 2012, is a full stack proptech platform for homeowners/home seekers, landlords, developers, and real estate brokers.
It offers listings for new homes, resale homes, rentals, plots, commercial spaces and co-living spaces in India.
Founded in 2011, PropTiger.com is a housing brokerage firm. Makaan.com is an advertising platform.
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