Zillow Acquires ShowingTime for $500 Million to Expand Home Touring Services

By Jemima McEvoy Thursday, February 18, 2021

After posting its most profitable quarter in history, Zillow Group announced on Wednesday that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Chicago-based company ShowingTime. Zillow will pay $500 million for the business, according to an announcement from the real estate marketplace company. The goal is to use ShowingTime’s home touring technology to further expand Zillow’s home-buying and selling business.

Zillow and ShowingTime logos.

What Is ShowingTime?

The company labels itself as “the real estate industry’s leading showing management and market [statistics] technology provider.” Founded in Chicago in 1999, the company has since grown its network to include one million agents across North America who facilitated more than 50 million showings last year. As reported by Geekwire, ShowingTime’s technology is used by 370 Multiple Listing Services.

ShowingTime has raised $2.2 million since launching its business over 20 years ago, according to Crunchbase, boasting investors like LaSalle Investment Management and the since-defunct Dodi Ventures. The company made three acquisitions before it was acquired by Zillow — the most recent acquisition of another company happening in September 2019.

Zillow’s Business Momentum

Zillow’s purchase of this business comes on the back of a record Q4 in which the company reported $789 million in revenue. This momentum largely stems from the coronavirus pandemic, which drove record value to the US housing market. According to a Zillow analysis, the US housing market gained nearly $2.5 trillion in value last year, which is the most since 2005. Furthermore, Redfin calculates that median sale prices are up 13% YOY (year-over-year), and the number of houses sold has increased by 20%.

The company entered the pandemic with fear about the future of its business — and was forced to temporarily suspend its home-buying services during the first half of the year — but has since seen its stock skyrocket amid what CEO Rich Barton described as a “rollercoaster” year.

Acquisition Vision

In an announcement, Zillow said it hopes the acquisition of ShowingTime and its technology, which it said many of its agents are already using, will “help increase tour volume and transactions for industry partners.” Barton characterized the purchase of this business in a letter to shareholders as facilitating Zillow’s expansion, as “ShowingTime’s technology already extends into the broader real estate industry, and we intend to grow its adoption by agents to the benefit of all industry participants and customers.”

Final Takeaways

With a shockingly strong year under its belt that reached a consolidated revenue growth of 22% despite a rocky start, Zillow is taking advantage of a good time to strike for this business acquisition. The coronavirus pandemic has facilitated a broad push toward technology, and this acquisition of ShowingTime, an established business, will help keep Zillow relevant and capable in an ever-changing real estate industry. It’s likely the Q4 reporting for this company won’t be the best it has in store.

About the Author

Headshot for author Jemima McEvoy

Jemima is a journalist who enjoys reporting on business, particularly small business and entrepreneurship.

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