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November 07, 2012

Craigslist Loses on Housing Ads, But Still Doing Well

By Robbie Pleasant, TMCnet Contributor

Craigslist is the go-to website for finding all sorts of goods and services, from trashcans of Styrofoam peanuts to houses. Well, not so much houses anymore, as revenue from its real estate listings have fallen over 23 percent from last year.

According to a report from AIM Group, Craigslist pulled in $9.9 million from its real estate listings in 2012. While this is still a lot of money, it made $13 million the year before, so it is quite a drop from before. In spite of that, its overall finances are still looking good, even if the real estate branch is sickly.

Image via Shutterstock

It’s clear that Craigslist is feeling the hit, as it has been attempting to combat any threats to its income recently. Padmapper, a housing search tool, takes listings from Craigslist and similar sites to make a map and extra search tools, which prompted Craigslist to take legal action and add an “exclusive license” to its terms and services. Following that, Craigslist made a similar “Map View,” which does the exact same thing as Padmapper, but only for Craigslist listings.

Still, Craigslist is projected to make record profits in 2012, with an estimated $126 million. The bulk of that comes from its jobs listings, which has gone up 13.7 percent, while therapeutic services also contributes a healthy slice of that income. All things considered, losing income on its real estate listings won’t kill the site.

That hasn’t stopped it from trying to improve, of course, as competition is fierce. Up until now, its basic services and layout have remained mostly unchanged, but with competition from Padmaper, Blocket, and more, it’ll have to up its ante to keep competing. Even Facebook (News - Alert) is rumored to make a “Marketplace” similar to Craigslist.

All things considered, things aren’t looking bad for Craigslist. Sure, its real estate listings may not be earning as much as it used to, but profits are up everywhere else on the board. With competition close, there will be tough competition ahead to keep ahead of the game.

Edited by Brooke Neuman
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