We’ve all heard the bad news in the housing market that only seems to get worse. Here’s a small bright spot for a real estate blog network. Curbed.com obtained some capital to expand their market. They currently focus on New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles has healthy advertising contracts with national advertisers. Now with $1.5 million in financing they’ll expand into new cities and add staff members. According to Lockhart Steele, Curbed.com’s publisher, traffic is growing 10 percent a month.
The investors include Nick Denton, who used to be Steele’s boss, Zach Nelson, chief executive of NetSuite, a maker of business software, and Gawker Media.
Curbed doesn’t just focus on real estate property for sale, but builds community with the people who live in these cities. It really doesn’t read or look like a real estate blog, it has personality and is more than just listings. In other words, it has personality, as blogs should have. They say they cover: “Sales and rental prices, celebrity deals, new developments, amusing broker stories, hot restaurants, and the latest neighborhood gossip.”
The article points out that Zillow.com that provides estimates of home values got $30 million in its latest round of financing. Overall they’ve raised a healthy $87 million, And traffic is strong too, in the third quarter it was up 20 percent more than last year. Wait, I think this should be the headline! $30 million makes less than $2 look like petty cash.
Getting advertising and providing services to realtors or users free seems to be the best formula. Some charge for premium listings but Steve Murray, editor of the newsletter Real Trends says that’s not as effective.