Two weeks ago, there may have been some hope that Opendoor’s ($PRIVATE:OPENDOOR) suite of online features provided an advantage in the pandemic. The iBuyer could close deals in a matter of days, automating plenty out of a complex process, along with all the hand-shaking and sociality that attends them. 

But if there’s any hype for Opendoor, it did not happen on Facebook or Twitter. Save for a bump of neutral chatter in early March (which it shared with just about every online real estate company), Opendoor’s Facebook ($FB) figure has completely bottomed out in recent days, after declining steadily throughout the year. 

Even as Opendoor continues to list houses for sale, the buzz probably will not return until our national situation normalizes. If there ever was a small moment where customers could have used the iBuyer to sell at a pre-recession price, it passed with little fanfare. 

As for Compass ($PRIVATE:COMPASS), its social uptrend can be partially attributed to the media presence of CEO Robert Reffkin. A few days before his company's layoffs, Reffkin drafted an open letter to Congress asking for real estate agents and independent contractors to be included in the relief measures. Reffkin also announced he was reducing his own salary to $0, with the rest of his board taking 25% cuts. 

During this period, their engagement took off - shooting from just under 3K to almost 4K. Surprisingly, almost none of this had to do with the layoffs, and nearly all of the chatter is positive. The jump proceeded a two-month period where Compass overtook Opendoor in chatter, and a run in February where they doubled their own numbers. 

Compass announced last month it would lay off 15% of its staff and cutting 80% of its Compass Concierge division, which deals mostly with hands-on work like improving and staging the company’s properties. Job postings are down slightly from their January peak.  

Zillow ($Z), on the other hand, has seen Facebook Talking About Count shooting up in recent days - despite ceasing its iBuying program to automate home purchases onto its platform. This could simply be a factor of more folks flocking to the website to eye potential properties in the market downturn. 

As the online property marketplace continues to see shifts in the wake of both the pandemic, and reduced interest rates expected to support future homes sales, each of these companies has an opportunity to drive chatter and engagement - and it could be critical to the startups that survive the market downturn. 

About the Data:

Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales. 

Further Reading: 

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