Profile picture for taffytoast1

How will the Zillow/Trulia merger affect real estate brokers?

Curious
  • July 29 2014 - US
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Answers (13)

Profile picture for Dunes ..
Good thing for Zillow "if we really "cared about the consumer,"" isn't the case

  • July 31 2014
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It's not about NAR, SV, it's about local MLSes providing complete listing information to their markets. Realtor.com isn't complete, either, you know.

I'll leave it to y'all to debate whether more is better, especially those of you who are not in the business of representing sellers on the sale of their property. In my view, if we really "cared about the consumer," we'd publish the listings with the LISTING BROKER as the sole point of contact, because s/he is the person that knows the most about the property.
  • July 31 2014
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Profile picture for sunnyview
"I wonder how web surfing is more informative than actual neighborhood surfing..."

Web surfing can tell you things that agents can't/won't. Free and reduced lunch numbers, past sales prices, school ratings/reviews, second mortgage/piggyback loan info, zip price trend up/down, crime maps and sex offender info is available--just to name some information you will not/cannot get from your agent.

I walk neighborhoods, talk to grocery store folks, chat with neighbors, visit local school at pickup time, look for local information and find street level information valuable, but not all do. If realtors want to keep the market share some clients are bound to demand more than they get now. If Realtor.com won't provide more service without attitude, other sites may. 

Then I guess consumers will decide the model not the monopoly. That's the way the free market goes.
  • July 30 2014
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But it is all the same info. just cut and pasted into different media molds. And, on Zillow, the info is either public data, that comes from the RE transactees, but is limited, or much more detailed data, that somebody has been collecting for decades, and analyzing since before Rascoff's parents were born, and that happens to be the REA's.

They collected before it had any media value. They essentially collected for free for the public entities that needed it. They collected it as a transactional lubricant, and as a way to aggregate willing Sellers. I'm not sure which reason came first, but I suspect the aggregation of Seller's may have been an afterthought, to appraisal comps.

The fact that the media companies can take the REA's own data, and combine it with stuff the average person could find online, at a website their taxes pay for, and make the public like it better that way is a fad, or sign of the death of logic.

It could be cruddy web site design, name association (anything but REALTOR), or smoke and mirrors.

But if it is all the same data, there aren't any additional choices for the RE consumer regarding RE. There are merely choices of where to go look at the, supposedly, same list of stuff. That's not more choices. That's smoke and mirrors. And the REA's don't care where you look at their list of stuff, as long as you can, particlarly since the list of stuff is a business expense to them, not a business.

I wonder how web surfing is more informative than actual neighborhood surfing, and less spoon feedish than collecting a Homes and Land Magazine, and the Classified ads but ... And, I'm dang near sure, Zillow and/orTrulia wouldn't exist, if it weren't for that horrific Bubble thing we just went through. Redfin might, they started out with a different plan, and hit on the spoon-feeding goldmine by accident. Ironically, if it weren't for the dotcom bubble, this dotcom would probably be a dotorg, at best.

Realtor.com may have figured out that spoonfeeding is a goldmine, too. They are running ads that say "accuracy matters" and are starting to buck the smoke and mirrors crowd. That's my 6% worth.
  • July 30 2014
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Profile picture for sunnyview
"But, for significant purchases? Yes, and the more sources of information the better."

I agree. Just look at the impact that Amazon had on sales of all sort of things. The better they present them online, the higher they come up in a web search, the more reviews are available for the consumer, the more quality items sell.

Seems many homeowners stay stupid through the sales process. Maybe some of them want to stay in the dark, but it seems many more would benefit from choosing their house wisely.
  • July 30 2014
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Profile picture for SoCal Engr
More choices aren't always a benefit. At least, not to the consumer!

That's an "it depends" statement. It's not a benefit to an uninformed consumer, or a consumer who prefers to be spoon fed information (and then, blame the feeder for any subsequent poor decisions).

With the vast amount of information now available, it can indeed be overwhelming to just jump into the deep end of the pool, especially when the information is in conflict.

As ever, the onus is on the consumer to assess sources of information, to determine the level of credibility to attach to these various sources, and then to gather/collate information to support their decision making process.

Does it make sense to do this for each-and-every consumer decision? No, of course not. But, for significant purchases? Yes, and the more sources of information the better.
  • July 30 2014
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Profile picture for sunnyview
"Actually, ideally, we wouldn't post our listings here at all."

How does that fit into the typical marketing cliche of the more exposure the better? The NAR better have a plan for marketing a better mousetrap. Consumers are obviously welcoming choice. 

Maybe the NAR should consider providing the customer with what they seem to want. Zillow, RedFin, Yahoo homes--not one of them are the NAR or Realtor.com controlled, but they all seem to be gaining online market share. What does that say about the desires of the market?
  • July 30 2014
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Actually, ideally, we wouldn't post our listings here at all.

The net effect to the consumer is that s/he spends more time at the office computer searching sites for listings because some sites are incomplete (Zillow). At least in the Seattle market, there is no better site for searching listings than a brokerage site that downloads from the NWMLS.

Based on open house traffic, about a quarter of visitors to my open houses report that they found the listing on Zillow, which sounds good, but it also tells me that these folks are missing a lot of listings by not using a brokerage site like Redfin, which is where half of visitors tell me they've found the listing.

More choices aren't always a benefit. At least, not to the consumer!
  • July 30 2014
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Profile picture for Blue Nile
"providing our listings to these sites for FREE and basically charge us for getting leads back is ridiculous." -

You are right, it is ridiculous that you get to post your listings for "FREE"; you SHOULD be paying $500 per month per listing!  How much do you pay your local newspaper for running one weekend a small listing ad?  Perhaps $300?

Surely your listing gets more exposure on this media site than your local newspaper?  It costs money to run a media outlet and provide "DISTRIBUTION"!  And surely you are paying to put it in your local MLS as well by paying membership dues?

There certainly wouldn't be as many "stale listings" nor as many "scams" if those listing would just pay "fair market value" for the listing service!  Maybe if they got paid a decent amount for each listing they might even take care of 100 of the known 2000 bugs on the website?

And as they say, if you can run a better website for less, why don't you "just do it"?  Nobody is stopping you.
  • July 29 2014
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Profile picture for Dunes ..
"Agents should deny"


And yet ya pay them to be a Premier Agent and post your listings here ;)
Many agents have shaken their pitchforks and said the same thing since 2007/8 yet here we are and so are they...

I personally didn't think we'd be discussing Zillow buying Trulia...but a month or two ago Move/Realtor.com was talking to Trulia so if nothing else this could be viewed as a defensive move by Zillow..

What Zillow will do now, how far they wish to take this/push this?
Imo is still up in the air because I think this is all happening fast for Zillow and even they haven't had time to weigh all the options or consequences
  • July 29 2014
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Agents should deny their listings be displayed on all VOW/IDX Sites like Zillow and Trulia.  We need to bring more value to the table and providing our listings to these sites for FREE and basically charge us for getting leads back is rediculous.  
  • July 29 2014
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Profile picture for Blue Nile
Initially, not likely at all.  The merger won't occur until 2015 anyway, if the vote is in favor.
http://zillow.mediaroom.com/2014-07-28-Zillow-Announces-Acquisition-of-Trulia-for-3-5-Billion-in-Stock

Eventually?  Zillow may offer broker "package deals" for "exposure" on both sites.  And inevitably eventually without significant competition, Zillow will raise the prices for "premier agent status".

And for brokers that choose to keep their listings off of sites like Trulia and Zillow?  They may eventually find that Realtor.com and their local MLS is not sufficient for their local market anymore.

Zillow currently gets about 4% of agent/broker advertisement dollars.  They are "hoping" to increase that percentage.
  • July 29 2014
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Following. :) I am interested in thoughts on this as well. 
  • July 29 2014
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