Douyin Real Estate Is Undergoing New Structural Adjustments, Transitioning to Online Business

Multiple insiders revealed that Douyin Real Estate underwent a new round of structural adjustments in February this year.

Following the adjustment, Douyin’s real estate business is divided into two departments: Real Estate Department One and Real Estate Department Two. The former head of the vertical business in the real estate industry at Ocean Engine, Zhou Hongzhen, has transferred to Douyin’s real estate department as the head of Real Estate Department One, responsible for business and sales. The operational direction of Real Estate Department Two is a port sales model similar to Anjuke.

Both department heads reported to Zhu Shiyu, the person in charge of Douyin’s real estate and home decoration. The former head of Douyin’s real estate, Liu Juan, now serves as the head of production operations center.

This means that the Douyin real estate business has fully transformed into an online business, with CPS and advertising becoming its main business directions. CPS stands for cost per sale, which is an online real estate transaction commission model. In simpler terms, it means using live streamers to help real estate developers sell properties, mainly new homes.

The reporter sought confirmation from ByteDance on the above information, as of the time of publication, there has been no response from the other party.

According to reports, the business model of Douyin Real Estate has undergone several adjustments. Previously, Douyin Real Estate’s business included two directions: Xingfuli and Douyin Real Estate. In 2020, Douyin Real Estate’s Xingfuli business benchmarked Beike, entering new house and second-hand house transactions through self-built teams, investments, and other forms. The model of Douyin Real Estate is similar to Anjuke; real estate agents and brokers can open ports, pay the platform fees to publish property information, and obtain sales leads.

But by the end of 2021, Xingfuli withdrew new home sales in various places. In terms of second-hand housing transactions, Xingfuli invested in Maitian Real Estate in 2021 and opened an offline real estate brokerage store “Xiaomai Real Estate” in Fujian. In May 2023, Xingfuli transferred more than 200 stores to Maitian Real Estate and exited offline second-hand housing transactions.

Last December, Xingfuli and Douyin Real Estate merged to form the Douyin Real Estate business platform, transitioning to a new CPS business model.

Before the transformation of real estate on Douyin, Kuaishou’s real estate business ‘Ideal Home’ had already taken the lead in implementing the CPS model. According to data previously disclosed by Kuaishou Ideal Home, the average transaction conversion rate of Kuaishou real estate anchors is between 20% and 30%.

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According to sources close to Douyin Real Estate, Douyin Real Estate has recruited a former business leader from KuaiShou’s Ideal Home and started piloting the CPS model in Chengdu last year. At the December launch event last year, Douyin Real Estate introduced the ‘Superior House’ system to help real estate creators more effectively achieve content acquisition, lead management, and conversion follow-up.

An insider from ByteDance analyzed that the withdrawal of Douyin’s real estate business from offline operations and its full transition to online is a result in line with ByteDance’s internal ‘business focus’ strategic direction. Last year, ByteDance CEO Liang Rubo shared the company’s new strategic goals at the 11th anniversary annual meeting, stating that in the coming year, the company will focus on investing in its information platform and e-commerce as its two core businesses.

In addition to the offline exit of the real estate business, another business under Zhu Shiyu’s responsibility, Douyin Home Decoration, has also adjusted its operational direction.

Last month, Douyin’s self-operated home decoration business Zuhaojia suspended offline operations and stopped taking new orders. Customers who have signed contracts but have not yet been executed are currently being communicated with for refunds. An industry insider revealed that Zuhaojia will introduce high-quality home decoration companies in the future, transitioning from a platform model to a supervision mode and starting pilot projects.

From a business logic perspective, both the real estate and home decoration businesses of Douyin have abandoned the heavy offline business model and transitioned to the light-asset online model, which ByteDance is more adept at.

A person in charge of an agency cooperating with Douyin’s real estate CPS program said that from the perspective of the anchors, Douyin’s real estate content is not down-to-earth enough, it is more high-end, and there are significant differences in style compared to real estate economic institutions. ‘Real estate agents are more rough and down-to-earth.’

The head of the above-mentioned organization stated that currently, Douyin Real Estate has set relatively clear performance goals for its partner institutions. Although Douyin has a large amount of traffic, Douyin Real Estate is still a new platform, and it is difficult to determine the conversion rate. Some partner institutions of Douyin Real Estate also have some complaints.

According to feedback from multiple partners, the real estate system prepared for launch by Douyin was called “Haoduofang” initially, but due to its lack of usability, it was later iterated with a new system called “Juhaofang”.

“Kuaishou Ideal Home has been exploring CPS for over a year, and its products and services are relatively more mature. In the future, Douyin Real Estate will still need to follow in the footsteps of Ideal Home.” said the head of the above-mentioned organization.

Last December, the information released at the Douyin Real Estate conference showed that by December 2023, Douyin Real Estate had already landed in over 25 cities nationwide. In 2024, Douyin Real Estate will expand its cooperation scale and its business will land in 50 cities, introducing over 100 partners.

The CPS business of Douyin real estate has set targets for 2024, including the number of cities opened, the scale of new properties developed, and transaction volume.

One partner said that the total transaction volume set by Douyin Real Estate this year is not high, mainly following Kuaishou’s Ideal Home, which achieved a total transaction volume of around 50 billion yuan last year.