Profile picture for Dunes ..

"Zillow:It's Not Just the Ridiculous Valuation-it’s the Ridiculous Business Model"

So what do the Pros.. the paying customers think about

The Report from Citron Research

Zillow (NASDAQ:Z): It's Not Just the Ridiculous Valuation—
it's the Ridiculous Business Model

Does it influence at all decisions about where to spend Ad dollars?

(Topics discussed in Report)

What Do Insiders Know That You Don't Know?

Zillow: A Business Whose Best Days are Behind it

Business Model: a Finite Audience, and a History of Failure

A Company Already in Decline: Visitor Growth Flagging

and much more

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September 26 2012 - US
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Profile picture for Dunes ..
I'd just like to know if the unique visitor # is actually based on anything semi-legit, if it's the total supposedly from just this site or a combination of sites...
How is #1 site determined/claimed? So the # is important?
Is the Realtor,com number of views from that site or a combination of Move Inc. sites?

Agents (The Marketing experts ;)..put their Marketing Dollars where/why?  (They do think about where they put those dollars don't they?)
The #1 site might attract those dollars..have an advantage?
It's #1 based on what?
And the info it's based on comes from where..is based on what?

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October 03 2012
Profile picture for Pasadenan
Again, they each use the 3rd party analytics source of their choice, and count what they want, and publish to try to make themselves look better.

But RentJuice is not going through Google Analytics, so I doubt that I.P. addresses accessing that site are included.

I'm guessing Postlets is included as they reference google analytics, but if you subtract that out, the number is in the same magnitude, so it won't make any notable difference.  Same for that site that caters to specialized Realtor services.

Whether Yahoo Real Estate is included or not can make a major difference.  In the past, they said it was.  Presently it doesn't indicate it.  I'm thinking they should have removed it since Yahoo is not owned by Zillow, but is just a partnership arrangement.  That will be the hard one to separate if they haven't already.

By the way, doubleclick.net is owned by
   DNS Admin
        Google Inc.
        1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
         Mountain View CA 94043
        US
        @google.com +1.6502530000 Fax: +1.6506188571

Both Google and Microsoft have their hands deeply embedded into Zillow.  Zillow could not exist without these two companies.  I don't like what Google and Microsoft do regarding collection of private data of users on the internet.  But I know no way to completely avoid it yet.
Someone suggested "startpage.com", but they pass just as much info directly to Google as if one was using a Google search to start with.
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October 03 2012
Profile picture for Dunes ..
"they each use the 3rd party analytics source of their choice, and count what they want, and publish to try to make themselves look better."

It appears so...and then based on that they are #1 or
#2 or #3

Then Agents/Agencies (Marketing Experts..SPEND THEIR Marketing Dollars here or there for exposure/leads because X is the #1 RE Site, based on "they each use the 3rd party analytics source of their choice, and count what they want, and publish to try to make themselves look better."

Impressive Marketing all around..don't be hindered by Reality Marketing ;)
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October 03 2012
Profile picture for Pasadenan
Looking at homes.yahoo.com ....

The analytics reference is:
http://o.analytics.yahoo.com/p.pl

(They appear to be doing their own)
(It is a "script" if scripts are on, and an "image" if scripts are off; they get the info either way).

The references to Zillow are a bit obscure; there are apparently some other website URL's related/owned by Zillow:

http://show.partners-z.com
http://photos1.partners-z.com
http://yre.zenfs.com
http://www.zillowstatic.com

(Showcase ads on Zillow copy over to Yahoo using the zillowstatic.com URL's)

Still no easy way to tell if Zillow is still counting the visitors to homes.yahoo.com as part of their "marketing outreach".
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October 03 2012
Profile picture for Dunes ..
Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive ;)
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October 03 2012
Profile picture for Pasadenan
I never believe anyone that claims they are "#1", regardless what their claim is about.  I might believe a 3rd party making such a statement about others, but then it will depend on the "vested interests".

Regardless, one always needs to read the footnotes on such issues, and it still won't say.

The question is not "who is number one", the question is simply what will be "effective" in accomplishing the desired outreach at a reasonable cost.

I'm not into advertising at all, and primarily don't believe in it, so in most cases, buying based on #1 in unique I.P. address visitors counted by two separate independent 3rd party analytics companies based on entirely separate criterion is myopic, or perhaps even foolish.  But what is the big deal about spending $50 to try it out?  If it doesn't provide a benefit worth the expense, they just don't bother renewing their subscription.

Besides, no Realtor is concerned about total # of IP addresses used to access the site in a month!  They want to know how many "buyers" and "sellers" are specifically in their service area!  Perhaps they are given those details when discussing Zip Code purchases for "Platinum Premier Agent" status... but I wouldn't know; I didn't call them.  And my area gets extremely good exposure (over 95 thousand page views to my home details page) but other areas, such as Virgina, get almost no exposure.  (I tried to help someone get better exposure there, but you can't get people looking if they are not even present).
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October 03 2012
Profile picture for Dunes ..
Well that is your opinion/take about who's concerned about what and what's important..not..who..what and I've given mine

I believe I can safely add one other members opinion
"Don't care"
I'm sure many agree with him ;)

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October 03 2012
Profile picture for Pasadenan
But I still care about the percent distribution of the revenue sources...  one of my primary interests in this site has always been "how to make a new internet business work", and a major factor in that is "revenue stream".  And being opposed to advertisement based revenue, knowing how the revenue it coming in does make a difference to me.

It also may indicate "conflicts of interest" and "vested interests of supposedly non-biased parties".
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October 03 2012
Profile picture for Pasadenan
partners-z.com

Is owned by Zillow, since at least August 2010.

zenfs.com
is owned by Yahoo.

zillowstatic.com
is owned by Zillow, since at least December 2009.

partners-z has the old mailing address listed with Godaddy and ICANN, and has not properly updated it.
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October 03 2012
Profile picture for Pasadenan
According to Jill Simmons on the 7/3/12 Zillow Blog about Zillow becoming the exclusive provider on Rental listings on Yahoo, after Zillow's acquisition of RentJuice...

The almost 34 million unique IP address visitors to the site does NOT include Yahoo real estate, and does not include the other websites owned by Zillow.

"That's right: Not only do your listings reach Zillow's nearly 34 million monthly unique users on Web and mobile, (6 million of whom are renters, as well as those who are dual tracking their home search) but the Yahoo! Homes audience as well."

Zillow blog
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October 03 2012
Profile picture for Pasadenan
Diverse solutions was acquired by Zillow on 11/2/11.  Zillow Blog

The ICANN listing for DiverseSolutions.com (registred through Godaddy.com) indicates "created 11/8/2000", "last updated 11/16/11".

Whois.com
Zillow is indicated as the owner of the website, but
they have Zillow's old address listed (on 3rd Avenue rather than 2nd)

Zillow moved prior to the acquisition, so it is not clear why they gave the obsolete address.

It is interesting that Diverse Solutions was located in Irvine California prior to Zillow's acquisition.

Is there a possibility that is the "real" reason Zillow opened a branch office in Irvine California in August 2012?  With the "acquisition", they already owned it, or already had a long term lease?
Zillow Blog
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October 03 2012
Profile picture for Pasadenan
diversesolutions.com is referencing the Java Script pages on google-analytics.com.

Thus Zillow does have those unique IP address counts for diversesolutions.com as well.  But as it is not a "listing" site, Zillow seems to claim they have not added those numbers to the Zillow.com IP address counts.

But seeing how Zillow estimates 30 day Zestimate change for individual houses, I wouldn't place any bets.  It is doubtful that even more than 5 employees out of over 450 employees have any clue what is counted for the monthly unique IP addresses posted on the advertising page and in Zillow's SEC filings.
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October 03 2012
Profile picture for Pasadenan
Here is the real issue for me regarding the IP address counts...

January 2011, Zillow posts "record visitors in December 2010" - 13 million.

February 2011, Zillow announces the largest real estate NETWORK (including Yahoo, with their partnership).  (Zillow also moves a lot of the scripts for Zillow.com over to Yahoo.com at that time).

Lots of mobile applications for mobile devices are brought on line that year.  Rent Zestimates are created that year.  Zillow partners with Century 21 that year.  Zillow acquires postlets allowing them to syndicate that year.  Zillow goes public in July 2011.

After the Yahoo partnership, we were seeing a "combined" site visitor number for advertisement/listing purposes.  Now it is supposedly separate?  But we are seeing over 36 million unique IP addresses in a month now (August 2012)?  An increase of 3 times in about a year and a half?

A "doubling" from "acquiring  existing Yahoo market share?
3 times due to people using several mobile in addition to their fixed connections?
Taking market share from other sites, simply due to availability of mobile?
Additional rental listings and rental searchers due to "rent Zestimates", thus increased IP address visitors for rentals?
An increase in market share due to company visibility, due to going public?

The cause and effect relationships are difficult to separate out.  Certainly, the increase in Mobile devices/applications played a major roll in increased IP addresses, but that may not represent much in terms of "new visitors".  On the other hand, it does represent some change in market share, due to other sites not offering the mobile access for their selected devices.

Yahoo was claimed to be a cause of nearly doubling the visitors after the partnership started, but is not claimed to be a factor now...  If there was a time that Yahoo counts were included, but are not now included, wouldn't there have been a time when the numbers were reduced by the Yahoo market share that was not "shared" visitors?  I didn't see such a decline in the published numbers.

I'm still inclined to believe Yahoo counts are included, even though Zillow seems to claim they are not.
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October 03 2012
Profile picture for Dunes ..


Feb 2012...Zillow reports a record month in traffic
"More than 30 million unique users visited Zillow's websites and mobile apps during January."

Zillow websites (plural)..sounds/looks like currently it's a combining of unique visits to me



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October 03 2012
Profile picture for Pasadenan
Interesting... that blog page indicates comscore.com counted about 25 million "unique visitors" to Zillow and homes.yahoo combined, specifically excluding Zillow mobile devices/applications, and specifically excluding non-real estate look-up sites (like diversesolutions, postlets, rentjuice, zillowacademy ...

That implies about 5 million is for "other", including mobile, syndication, and professional management services.

It also still is not clear if when adding, they are avoiding adding redundant IP entries...  a user that access both homes.yahoo and Zillow counts twice, or only once?  Do they count again if they use postlets?  Can they be counted 10 times without even having a redundant account?

Since yahoo's counts are being done by a different analytics party... I think it is highly unlikely they are omitting the redundancy when adding.

Personally, I believe the real count of unique users to Zillow is closer to 8 to 10 million.  But all the other websites have inflated numbers for similar reasons.

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October 03 2012
Profile picture for Pasadenan
Let's also not forget that Zillow has a partnership with AOL real estate now as well, for mortgage quotes and mortgage data...

Zillow Blog

(October 2011).

(By the way, that comscore.com comparison chart rated Zillow #3 in visitors, with Zillow at 12.9 million, Yahoo at 13.7 million, and Move inc at 13.8 million, but since Move Inc is including Realtor.com's 11.2 million, perhaps they really are all about the same with no significant difference?)

Since Trulia added mobile and estimates, maybe their market share has risen and is closer to the others?

Since only about 4 million ownership housing units transition between owners each year, maybe it is primarily the same 10 million home sellers and seekers and agents that are using all these sites?  Maybe Zillow's real difference in users is those looking for mortgage quotes and not looking at the home listings?

Zillow previously claimed to advertisers that a majority of Zillow's "audience" is unique to Zillow and not on Trulia, Realtor.com or AOL...
(I don't remember the percentage, but it was over 50% and less than 80%) I can't find that claim anymore.
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October 03 2012
Profile picture for Dunes ..
Here's Zillows win a house Facebook join the I want a house thingee
LINK

In it is...
"37 million unique users visited Zillow's mobile applications and websites in July 2012. Zillow, Inc. operates Zillow.com™, Zillow Mortgage Marketplace, Zillow Mobiles, Postlets™, Diverse Solutions™ and RentJuice"

I think that makes it pretty clear the approximation (number) is an approximation of the approximations of a combination of Sites
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October 04 2012
Profile picture for Pasadenan
Which is quite a bit different than what the "advertising" page states and quite a bit different than what Jill Simmons posted on her Zillow Blog.

And it still disagrees with comscore.com, as that indicated that homes.yahoo was included too, and Zillow's blogs certainly didn't seem to contradict that.

And still the question, does the same IP address count multiple times if they accessed more than one of these sites during the 30 days?  I'm guessing "yes".  I'm also guessing they won't tell us, even if asked outright.
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October 04 2012
Profile picture for Pasadenan
More "proof" that the IP counts include homes.yahoo ....

"Promote Yourself on the Largest Real Estate Network in the U.S.*
(Marketing at its best on Zillow and Yahoo)

* Source: comScore Media Metrix Real Estate Category Ranking by Unique Visitors, July 2012, US Data
"

agent-advertising

And I still say the IP addresses that use both are counted twice, and if they use other Zillow websites, they are counted again and again.
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October 04 2012
Profile picture for Dunes ..
Well the number is just an example imo of the smoke of Marketing ;)

My opinion....
Reality is there are not a lot of buyers but there are a lot of Agents so until the number of buyers increases substantially or the number of Agents decreases substantially many of them will search for leads or pay hoping to gain an edge..leads.
That's good for Zillow/Trulia...to a point



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October 04 2012
Profile picture for Pasadenan
Well, I searched for the "comScore Media Metrix Real Estate Category Ranking by Unique Visitors, July 2012, US Data"...

I couldn't find it.  I suppose it is only available to "paying customers".

I really would like to see those numbers to see how it compares to what Zillow indicates on their "advertising page" is "August numbers" including mobile.

I'm not concerned about the non-listing sites as that is still going to be a relatively small percentage... but I do want to see how much share "mobile" is taking, and how much of the traffic is showing up on Yahoo rather than one of Zillow's multiple sites.
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October 04 2012
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