Services & Business

The Top Real EstateInfo Portal Brandin Japan

The Recruit Group's principle enterprise, with total sales of over 695 million dollars

Our reach has expanded to include websites, apps, marketing journals, free papers, and all manner of mediaThe Recruit Group specialized in the category of "sumai" (a Japanese term that refers not only to housing, but also the larger residential environment) early on by publishing the housing information magazine Jutaku Joho in 1976. This was followed up in 1996 with the launch of the world's first Internet real estate service. In 2009 this was integrated into a housing-related service under the brand name "SUUMO" (an acronym formed from the phrase "Support Useful & Unique for Most One"). The Recruit Sumai Company, currently provides various sumai-related services like the buying, selling, and rental of real estate, order-made housing, and renovation under the SUUMO brand through market journals, free papers, websites, and applications.

As of 2015, SUUMO has the greatest brand reach in Japan, and boasts online sales of 580 million dollars, putting it the top level of the global real estate info online matching business.

Our reach has expanded to include websites, apps, marketing journals, free papers, and all manner of media

At first we experienced failure after failure. We had to make our structure IT compatible in order to earn trust.

We were involved in projects and continued to take on challenges even before the brand was established

We started in a time where fundamental marketing strategies in the real estate industry had yet to take shape by helping real estate companies find customers through information magazines, and by disclosing real estate information that had previously been hidden to consumers (beginning with properties for purchase at first). Our readership grew dramatically when we later added rental, order-made, and renovated properties, as well as introduced a free paper. We had been moving towards online parallel to this since the early 2000s, but we didn't fully shift our real estate information online until the launch of the SUUMO brand in 2009. Unfortunately, at first we faced repeated setbacks like slow search speeds and system crashes. These experiences led us to reform our organization so it was more IT-compatible, which in turn allowed us to gain the trust of our clients and customers.

Strengthening our ability to edit data and developing new, unprecedented search methods such as searchable indexes and tables, ideas for finding housing based upon the customer's desired lifestyle, and various online search conditions are goals we have pursued voraciously in the nearly forty years since we first published our housing information magazine. This attitude hasn't changed even though IT has stepped to the forefront. While there are many other similar services out there today, we here at SUUMO are proud that we created the default standard for marketing and searching real estate information in the industry.

Koji Kawamoto
MP Management Division, Net Business Department
Recruit Sumai Company

"We have spent 40 years developing new ways of searching and strengthening our ability to compile data"

The population of Japan is approximately 127 million people.
Nearly 11% of these people use SUUMO

unique users


SUUMO now has 14 million unique users a month, which means that approximately 11% of the population of Japan (approximately 127 million people) is using the service. As this number demonstrates, SUUMO has achieved overwhelming trust and recognition in the Japanese real estate industry.

For example, inspection of clients isn't necessary when posting information on an American real estate portal site, and anyone can show off properties as long as they register for an account (even if the information isn't actually distributed). Furthermore, every site displays the same properties since data is sampled from shared databases within the American real estate industry.

On the other hand, all of the 30,000 clients currently registered with SUUMO in Japan are evaluated. Checks are conducted daily to ensure that all posted data is sufficient and that non-existent properties are not listed. Real estate information is also handled in such a way that it's impossible to post all properties from a single database somewhere since such information is circulated in a more confidential manner in Japan.

In other words, thoroughly evaluating clients and inspecting information has allowed us to earn a high level of confidence from customers and provide only attractive information that can't be found with other services. We currently offer 60 to 70% of all information on the distribution market for old or rental property, and 100% of information for newly constructed property. Our goal is for ensure that customers know they can find the best real estate in Japan on SUUMO.

We actively develop unique UI, such as features that allow people to search and explore a map of the area they want to live with their fingertips

One of the reasons SUUMO has attracted so many users is that we have solved issues in the real estate industry and handled property information in a way that is all our own. In particular, we have many unique endeavors that surpass those of other brands around the world.

The important thing for customers looking for property is being able to search efficiently for their new home, which is why we placed specialized teams in our UI/UX department to make this a reality. This team not only thoroughly pursues usability in ways such as developing the search methods we've picked up since our magazine days, but also by implementing compatibility with universal applications and Google Now quicker than anyone else in the world.

As if that weren't enough, our original brand mascot "SUUMO" and his family has proven popular online, in commercials, and on advertisements appearing in trains and stations. So, we also stand apart from the crowd in terms of brand engagement thanks to reinforcing the idea that SUUMO equals searching for real estate.

Our original mascot "SUUMO" appears in the media and contributes to marketing

We have also actively invested in big data analysis and have formed a dedicated team that not only enhances the accuracy of our data matching, but also finds ways to put it to use supporting our clients. For example, sometimes real estate companies closely tied to a region will distribute fliers listing information on the properties they offer. In cases like this we can use big data to analyze the behavior history of customers in that area and provide the company with data on the most effective times and places to give out fliers. So, we also provide sales promotion assistance from the client's standpoint.

As the aforementioned examples demonstrate, SUUMO is a brand that is both customer and client-friendly.

We will continue to support people's lifestyles in an ever-evolving housing environment

In the days to come, we will not only strive to remain the top real estate information portal brand in Japan, but also progress to become just as beloved worldwide. This is why are engaging in new projects every day.

Japan is one of the first developed nations to become a graying society, with two-thirds of the population expected to be 65 or older by 2020. This is why we've started a service providing housing information for senior citizens. Also, over 10 million of the nearly 50 million households in Japan are now dual income, and this ratio is expected to become even greater in the days to come. In light of this situation, we fully launched a service that supports outsourcing of household tasks in 2015.

Though the current state of housing sales in Japan is such that, compared to newly constructed properties, used housing currently holds only a low share of the housing circulation market at 14.7%, it is expected that as Japan's society ages the used and rental housing will become the mainstream in the circulation market, as is currently the case in America. So, we already have plans to expand our support services in view of this trend.

Our staff took part in some of the renovation of our company communication space

The Recruit Sumai Company and SUUMO originally started with a narrow focus on the sumai category and helping clients find customers. We later established ourselves as a brand while handling services that were once conducted by real estate agencies by collecting information on properties and introducing it to customers in a unique manner. Our achievements will in turn lead us to further expand the range of our client business purpose outsourcing. The state of housing changes on a daily basis, so SUUMO will continue to undertake new challenges in order to grow beyond the sumai category to support the enrichment of the entirety of people's lives.

An information service for those considering buying, renting, or remodeling a home, building a custom home, or selling real estate.

See also