Ebay of Real Estate Technology Startup

Ebay of Real Estate Technology Startup

When Auction.com launched its first online auction, it was a day that would begin a period of rapid growth for a real estate technology startup company that would come to be known as the “eBay of real estate.”

While THO was originally hired for a short-term project intended to fill a staffing void at a crucial time in the company’s opportunity for growth, the firm quickly proved its value as a six-month project blossomed into a nearly six-year partnership that required proactive campaigns, identifying and leveraging opportunities as well as successfully navigating challenges as they occur. The firm worked with the company through its rebranding to Ten-X, and it continues to be an industry innovator today.

THO supported Auction.com with strategic communications counsel and an intense media relations effort throughout the six-year relationship, resulting in major media in and around the country. One significant change that the agency helped them navigate was the investment from Google Capital, which was a major $50 million investment.

The Challenge

While the investor certainly garnered a high level of name recognition, the size of the investment did not lead to “automatic newsworthiness,” and thus, significant coverage for the client. While the investment may have appeared average in the industry, THO recognized its potential to have a significant and lasting impact on technology, e-commerce and real estate.

Further complicating the challenge was the requirement that Google Capital, an arm of the public-traded company, could not offer exclusives to the story. As a result, THO had to plan an entire media tour based on embargoed information. This was particularly challenging when trying to satisfy our primary goals of attaining coverage in top consumer and financial press outlets, as well as securing live network interviews.

The Solution

To effectively communicate the story of Auction.com and highlight the game-changing nature of Google’s investment, the strategy centered around reframing the investment as a solution. Recognizing the potential impact on technology, e-commerce and real estate, we strategically positioned Google’s involvement as a validation of Auction.com’s potential and a catalyst for industry transformation.

By leveraging compelling storytelling and targeted media outreach, we successfully positioned Auction.com as a key player at the intersection of real estate and technology. Our approach focused on showcasing the transformative power of Google’s investment and its implications for the entire commercial real estate industry. This strategy allowed us to overcome the challenge of limited newsworthiness associated with the investment size, respect Google’s confidentiality requirements and generate impactful coverage for our client.

Through our proactive efforts, we were able to create greater value for an “average” investment and create a compelling narrative that resonated with top-tier media outlets.

The Results

THO’s strategic communications strategy for Auction.com delivered impressive outcomes for this real estate technology startup, capturing the attention of influential publications and securing coveted broadcast interviews. Our targeted approach resulted in nearly 85% of reporters from the identified target outlets covering the Auction.com investment, showcasing the effectiveness of our strategy. Additionally, we orchestrated a highly successful 24-hour media tour, which resulted in prominent placements on key media platforms.

  • Auction.com CEO conducted interviews on the sets of CNBC and Fox in New York, while Auction.com President simultaneously conducted a live interview for Bloomberg TV in San Francisco.
  • There were major features in USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg and Reuters.

In addition to these tier-one placements, Auction.com garnered extensive coverage in various business, consumer and trade publications, further solidifying its presence in the industry.

Leeza Hoyt

~Leeza Hoyt