In an attempt to create the new go-to website for renters, CoStar Group Inc. spent millions on Apartments.com, with much more money to come. CoStar acquired the site last year for $584.2 million. Since then, $80 million has been spent to expand and update the site, organizing researchers to take pictures of 400,000 rental properties. In the next few years, CoStar predicts the total investment to exceed $1 billion.
The new Apartments.com was discretely put out two weeks ago, and next month, CoStar will initiate their $100 million marketing campaign with actor Jeff Goldblum. He will perform as a Silicon Valley executive bucking for the new website as a “game-changer”. CoStar truly believes the website is exactly that, with more Americans renting rather than owning. The increase in landlord spending for online apartment advertisements alone proves that this industry is starting to boom. Landlords are predicted to spend $1.5 billion online in 2015 as opposed to the $630 million spent in 2014.
The biggest competitor in the industry is Zillow, which offers both rental and sale listings. But Apartments.com tracks 770,000 rental listings compared with Zillow’s 400,000 rental listings. By specializing in rentals, CoStar will be able to keep an advantage over their competition. CoStar also mentioned that the new website is more accurate than others as a result of their new software and researchers, and is able to update 90,000 listings per day.