Realogy Holdings — the public real estate conglomerate whose brands include the Corcoran Group, Citi Habitats and Sotheby’s International Realty — is buying technology company ZipRealty for $166 million.
ZipRealty is an Emeryville, Calif.-based company that has about 1,700 agents and 23 brokerage offices, mostly on the West Coast.
The Madison, N.J-based Realogy is buying the IT company mostly for its technology, which generates leads at a very early stage. ZipRealty also enables agents to schedule showings and communicate with prospective buyers. This purchase is aimed at helping Realogy follow up more quickly on its internet leads.
“We like their software platform, which this industry lacks,” Richard Smith, Realogy’s chief executive, told the Wall Street Journal. “It can fulfill a void that we have recognized for some time.”
If Realogy had to develop its own technology it would have taken three or four more years, Smith told the newspaper. “This accelerates the process that we were already deeply involved in.”
The transaction is expected to close in the fall. [WSJ] – Claire Moses