Zillow partners with Yahoo! Real Estate and extends Premier Agent

July 9, 2010
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zillow wide Zillow partners with Yahoo! Real Estate and extends Premier AgentZillow announced late this evening that it has inked a deal with Yahoo! Real Estate to expand Zillow’s real estate search to Yahoo! property hunters. This deal also extends Zillow’s Premier Agent product offering to Yahoo!. The number two and three most popular real estate sites combine to make a powerful foe to Trulia’s recent partnership with CNNMoney.com announced yesterday.

Recently, Zillow’s data accuracy was called into question after Forbes released unfiltered Zillow property data, bringing the state of Colorado to a boil having been listed as the second worst selling market in the country as sourced by Zillow. Forbes later pulled all related articles after Colorado Realtor Kristal Kraft and others went after the allegedly flawed interpretation of Zillow’s data.

This brings us to the age old question of whether Zillow, Trulia and others should be used as source for any absolute property data, and why a partnership with Realtor.com, America’s most popular and reliable property search portal wasn’t more appealing to media giants Yahoo! and CNNMoney.



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We also wonder if this is really good news for agents regardless of the added agent exposure of Yahoo! Real Estate and Premier Agent when you consider Realtor branded Realtor.com is an advocate for Realtors, and companies like CNN and Yahoo! minimize the Realtor Association in general.

What are consumers gaining by these partnerships? We presume more headaches on a wider scale when they realize the data they may be generating may be flawed. One of the reasons for the flaws, again, are third party aggregators that provide agent and Realtor tools offering syndication that fails to expire on its own or is left forgotten after the property is sold or removed from market.

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Weigh in...

  • http://virtualresults.net Drew Meyers

    “why a partnership with Realtor.com, America’s most popular and reliable property search portal wasn’t more appealing to media giants Yahoo! and CNNMoney.”

    Flexibility. Realtor.com is tied to MLS restrictions to a degree and has legal agreements that would prevent Yahoo/CNNMoney from creating the rich user experiences they want for users (definitely the case w/ Yahoo more so than CNNMoney since CNNMoney is essentially just using the Trulia Publisher Platform). Things such as putting FSBOs on the map next to agent listings would never be possible if partnering with R.com. And if it were to ever happen (not likely), it would take years to get done.

    • http://agentgenius.com Benn Rosales

      I’d love to see RDC become the source for 3rd parties completely. One hurdle, unlimited, and absolute. My lips, God’s ear, I know, but it could happen, right?

  • http://propertymarbellaapartments.com/ Property Marbella

    It can be a good thing to do this now when the market is little slow in the crisis time with all foreclosure and short sales. Maybe it can help the market a little, who knows.

  • http://www.realcentralva.com Jim Duncan

    Benn – whether the data are flawed or not may prove to be irrelevant. If critical mass shifts away from Realtor.com/NAR the accurate day may be deemed less valuable.

    What are the NAR’s/Realtor.com’s current strategic partnerships?

    • http://agentgenius.com Benn Rosales

      Well, let’s see, for NAR, we look to Houselogic and you see a nice array of partners like HGTV and a few others. I cannot speak for RDC really, but I think the most powerful partner both of these entities (which are not one in the same btw/ftr) have are aboout 1.1 million Realtors who. Together they own the marketshare, divided I’m not so sure.

      Good for Realtors to play in the Zulia sandboxes? I’m not so sure. No one is stopping them, but I wonder to what end?

  • http://www.bawldguy.com BawldGuy

    I’ve yet to see Zulia’s value. What am I missing here?

  • http://www.joelane.com/ Joe

    I do not think these national real estate sites should be used for local information. Nor do I thing Google should place them over a local real estate agent in their serps. It’s really frustrating for us to see these sites rank over local real estate sites when these national RE sites have very generic information for the communities we serve.

    At best, these sites should be used for very general information, but any real estate information needed for accuracy should be sought elsewhere.

    Having said all this, real estate agents who place the lion’s share of the marketing of their listing into these sites are easy targets for us. During a listing presentation we show the prospective seller how we will utilize these national sites, but only as backup. Their home will be primarily marketed on our own personal site where most of the local traffic is visiting. Yup, if they want their Kennewick home sold, then go to where ‘kennewick wa homes’ or ‘kennewick wa real estate’ is getting the search traffic. :)

    • http://flatfeerealty.com Fred Romano

      “I do not think these national real estate sites should be used for local information. Nor do I think Google should place them over a local real estate agent in their serps.”

      That’s cute – but makes no sense. Realtor.com is a national site right? They have lots of local info too right? Google indexes Realtor.com right? If you really think most people are hitting your personal site for “listings” then I think you need to re-think, because they are on the big sites.

      • http://www.michaelbertoldi.net Michael Bertoldi

        If he had said this for buyers then it would make total sense. Although the listing part makes it a little different. But if his point comes down to the fact that local real estate websites have better, more accurate information than the huge sites, I think he’s correct.

  • http://MoCoRealEstate.com Bruce Lemieux

    Big yawn.

    A web consumer is still given an ocean of home search choices with or without these partnerships. Many consumers will find Trulia and Zillow through several channels, but I expect that most will quickly discover that both are very, very poor places to find accurate listing data. So to a home buyer, I don’t believe these partnerships will have an impact on anything.

    I would expect these partnerships to have an impact on where online ad dollars are spent. But to Realtors and consumers? No one will notice (or care).

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  • http://flatfeerealty.com Fred Romano

    Bruce – It’s not even the inaccuracies – it’s the fact they they don’t have ALL the Realtor listings the same way R.com does. Consumers want to see all the listings, not just some.

  • http://www.bawldguy.com BawldGuy

    Fred — You make a valid sounding point, but as I think about it, I’m confused. If they’re at the big sites for the listings, who’s making all the money from buyers lookin’ for listings using IDX’s on personal websites/blogs? Thanks

    • http://flatfeerealty.com Fred Romano

      Don’t be confused – I think IDX on one’s personal site is fine, I just don’t think many buyers use them because most agents require them to “sign up” for such a service = annoying emails from agents after I sign up. In past experience with this, I had more activity with my IDX when I allowed everyone to view listings without signing up. The drawback is that I can’t “track” them and contact them.

      My listings are syndicated to every major RE site and overall most buyers I talk/email with are using Realtor.com since they know it has ALL the listings offered by agents. I see links (clicks from consumers) from Realtor.com being referred to my site everyday, compared with other sites like Trulia or Zillow which only pop up once in awhile.

      If they want a FSBO, they will go to one of those sites to search for them. There are always options.

      • http://MoCoRealEstate.com Bruce Lemieux

        Incorporating an IDX into a web site so that buyers find and then contact you is a really tough nut to crack. I feel like I’m continually trying new things to improve my “buyer capture net”, but always feel like I’m missing the mark. I don’t get much of anything from my syndicated listings and very little from Realtor.com. One thing that has worked well is to incorporate dsIDXpress listings (Diverse Solutions) directly into my WP neighborhood pages. Still – it’s a constant work in progress.

  • http://MoCoRealEstate.com Bruce Lemieux

    Their listing data is inaccurate in two ways: 1. it’s incomplete, and 2. many ‘active’ listings aren’t available since sold/contract/etc. status’ often don’t update. So for a consumer, any site that’s based on syndicated listings is a horrible place to look for a home.

    IDX-based sites are better since they are sourced from MLS data and are constantly updated with listing updates – new price, new status, etc. Of course, most consumers don’t know this. But many figure it out when they discover that a site is missing listings.

    Zillow, Trulia, Yahoo, etc are not in the business of providing a consumer service. They only care about having lots and lots of property data which attracts visitors so they can sell ad space (and recently selling services to agents). Their business model doesn’t care about data quality.

    Who profits from IDX-based sites? We do. I get several calls a week from buyers on my site looking at IDX-based listings (not my listings) wanting for more info. I guess I could use a free syndicated plug-in, but I actually want to provide a value-added service. Still, I guess we — agents, brokers, zillow, trulia, etc — all have the same goal: attract buyers on the web through other’s listings, and then attempt to monetize the contact. *They* want to monetize the contact by selling ads. *We* want to monetize by picking-up a client and then selling a home.

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