CoStar pulls two Homes.com ads after Move challenges traffic numbers


The challenges examined Homes.com’s claims that it has 156 million monthly unique visitors and that it has double Realtor.com’s traffic. In regard to the first claim, the NAD said that it felt that the advertisement “conveyed a message that Homes.com attracts 156 million monthly unique visitors when that figure was based on combined total traffic, calculated using Google Analytics, for 16 other CoStar websites.”

According to the release, Google Analytics data shows that Homes.com itself has 110 million monthly unique visitors.  

The second claim brought by Move asked the NAD to consider the accuracy of the claim that “Homes.com now has DOUBLE Realtor.com’s traffic.” In its judgement, the NAD reported that it found that the claim was not supported since Homes.com’s 110 million monthly unique visitors is not “double” the 66 million unique visitors claimed by Realtor.com.

Notably, the NAD said that it did not consider the question of whether Google Analytics and Adobe Analytics, “both site centric data gathering tools, could both be used together to make a single comparison of website visitors.” CoStar Group relies on Google Analytics data to monitor site traffic, while Realtor.com told HousingWire in May that it uses Adobe Analytics.

The NAD also noted that it did not evaluate the accuracy and validity of Homes.com’s 110 million monthly unique users claim, or CoStar’s Real Estate Network’s 156 million monthly unique users claim. In the past, Realtor.com has been a vocal critic of the validity of these numbers, but based on the NAD’s rulings, it remains to be seen who is correct about these numbers.

“We’re pleased the National Advertising Division saw through CoStar’s smoke and mirrors and put this issue to rest with the recommendation that CoStar withdraw their false advertising claims of 156 million monthly unique users for Homes.com and having double the traffic of Realtor.com,” Damian Eales, the CEO of Realtor.com, said in a statement. “The contrast with CoStar is becoming increasingly clear. CoStar has misled Homes.com customers while Realtor.com has remained focused on growing a quality audience and quality leads for both buying agents and listing agents.”

In a release, Realtor.com says that it “encourages customers who bought a Homes.com subscription based on an audience of 156 million to go to the following 16 URLs and try to find their brand and listings: Apartments.com, ApartmentFinder, FinderSites, ApartmentHomeLiving, WestSideRentals, ForRent, After55, CorporateHousing, ForRentUniversity, Cozy.com, Off Campus Partners, Homesnap, CitySnap, Land.com, Landandfarm.com, and LandWatch.com.”

CoStar did not return a request for comment.

Last week, Realtor.com’s parent company Move filed a suit against CoStar Group and former Realtor.com employee James Kaminsky, alleging that the current Homes.com employee stole Realtor.com trade secrets to help fuel the rapid growth of Homes.com.

In an interview with HousingWire, Florance called the suit a “PR stunt,” stating that there was zero validity in the claims Move brought specifically against CoStar Group.



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