Yahoo! Expands Real Estate Classifieds

Yahoo continues its efforts to diversify its advertising revenue through a new arrangement with Cityfeet.com, a provider of commercial real estate listings.

The deal will see New York-based Cityfeet syndicating its listings to Yahoo Real Estate, which will see a cut of the placement fees in return. Financial specifics of the arrangement were not disclosed.

“Yahoo Real Estate is committed to providing the most comprehensive, localized and up-to-date resource for people to buy and sell real estate,” said Elizabeth Blair, senior vice president of Yahoo’s Listings business unit. “Through our agreement with Cityfeet.com, Yahoo Real Estate has established a compelling commercial real estate destination that provides potential investors and businesses the information and tools they need to make informed real estate decisions — all in one place.”

The move expands Yahoo’s reach into real estate classifieds, which becomes the latest area of the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Web portal’s classified ad listings business to receive an update.

Earlier this year, the firm unveiled changes to its automotive classifieds site to boost ad revenues, including pricier “featured listings” that appear at the top of users’ searches. Yahoo also dabbled with adding new, fee-based enhancements to its personal ad site, but switched to a free model after user complaints.

The company also purchased itself a dominant position in the employment listings space with its acquisition of HotJobs earlier this year.

Such efforts are designed to help Yahoo cope with the sluggish advertising market, which is afflicting most online media players who derive revenue from sales of banners, buttons and other ad units.

So far, the moves to beef up classifieds as a way to compensate for shortcomings in media sales seems to be paying off for Yahoo. Last week, the company posted its first profitable quarter in a year and a half, though media revenues still lagged below year-ago levels.

For three-year-old Cityfeet, the agreement with Yahoo extends its reach to millions of new users nationally. The distributor of commercial real estate listings — chief executive Guy Shanon describes it as “to the commercial real estate listings business what HotJobs is to employment” — sold ads in nine local markets prior to its dealings with Yahoo.

Through the new agreement between the two firms, ads purchased on Yahoo now will appear across Cityfeet’s network, which also includes the online editions of U.S. dailies like The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and The Atlanta Journal Constitution.

“Brokers and property owners who list their for-lease and for-sale availabilities on Cityfeet.com will now benefit from Yahoo’s enormous user base,” Shanon said. “Today, investors and small businesses seeking property often look to the Internet first. Given that Yahoo is the most trafficked site on the Internet, we are very excited about the unparalleled exposure that we are now able to provide for brokers and property owners.”

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