Zillow + Trulia: Why it reminds us to build more on the Experience!

Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Realty of Fort Myers & The Islands Broker BK3099912

From the desk of:  Joe Kendall Broker Associate with Right Choice Realty.

Zillow + Trulia: Why it is NOT the End for Agents | Keeping Current Matters

A few weeks ago, Zillow announced the acquisition of Trulia. Today it was stated that the deal has been approved. Some industry experts are predicting the end of the real estate business as we know it. They used words like “checkmate” and “kill shot”. Though we agree that aspects of the industry will be forced to evolve perhaps quicker than they had hoped, we believe this will be an evolution...not a revolution. No one needs to die.


Will companies and agents need to massage the way they do business? We think so. Marc Davison, the co-founder of 1000WATT Consulting, put it best when he explained that Realtors needed to:

“…focus on brand marketing, content marketing, data-driven advertising and other more intelligent means of engaging home-buyers and sellers.”

Sites like Zillow/Trulia give the consumer the dots (data) of real estate. Like Davison, we believe the consumer needs the real estate professional to ‘connect those dots’.

I did not have to go far to find anecdotal evidence proving this hypothesis. Here are some examples.

Here is a story from Massapequa, New York

Five years ago, my older son and his wife bought their first home. They found that home on Zillow and told their agent, "this is the home we'd like to live in”. The agent helped them decide on a target price. She helped them negotiate that price with the seller. She found the industry professionals they needed and coordinated the inspections, the walk-through and the appraisal. She helped them work with an attorney and a mortgage professional.

She was their agent and represented them throughout the entire purchasing process. She made sure that they were confident and comfortable at every stage.

They found the house online; that was the easy part. They needed an agent to help them with the hard part: actually getting the house without headaches or stress. My son and his wife truly believe she was worth every penny of her commission.

Here is a story from South Beach, Miami

Two years ago, my wife and I were thinking about buying a winter residence in South Beach. Every day, my wife searched the listing portals for condos for sale. We got a really good feel for South Beach and even picked out a few buildings we liked. However, even though I have been in the industry for over 30 years, we called a real estate agent who specialized in South Beach.

She explained to us how the fiscal responsibility of each building’s board would impact future “special assessments” (something we hadn’t even considered). She explained how proposed new construction might impact the ocean views of certain properties. She helped us find the perfect spot and guided us through the entire buying process.

The nights my wife and I spend eating dinner on our balcony overlooking the ocean would not have been possible without our agent.

Here is a story from Meadville, Pennsylvania

Just this month, my younger son got his dream job; coaching women’s basketball at the collegiate level. It required him to relocate out of state. He needed a twelve month rental. He searched ZillowTrulia and Craig’s List. He got a feel for the types of units available and the rental costs. But when it came down to it, a local real estate agent named Vic Kress found my son a great place in a sensational building in a perfect location. My son is signing the lease today.

Just the other day, when someone questioned my son on how difficult it was to find a place so far away in such a short period of time, he answered:

“I have a guy down there that is looking out for me.” 

That’s what real estate professionals do. They ‘look out for’ their customers and help them through the process.


Technology has definitely given consumers easier access to information about the housing industry. But it needs to be put to good use with experience in the market place.

However, I believe that buyers and sellers need more than just information. They need an analysis of how that information impacts their family in how it impacts their lifes, their futures. Every family should feel confident when buying or selling a home. We as real estate Agents must reach out to these families and simply & effectively explain a complex housing market to them.

I believe It's all about the following:

Educating the Client with Knowledge and Bringing a Great Value to Their Experience ! 

This is what will guarantee the Realtor existence, which can not be replaced by Attorneys or a Bank!

I look forward to having coffee and talking about our local real estate market.


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 Listing and Selling Southwest Florida Homes, Condos Waterfront & Luxury Homes!



Joe Kendall BROKER "Broker Joe"

Keller Williams Realty Fort Myers & The Islands,

16 years of experience to offer You!

Fort Myers / Fort Myers Beach / Cape Coral / Bonita Springs / Naples/ Sanibel Island 

Search all the homes for sale located in Southwest Florida here

Phone 239-560-0726

Email BrokerJoe@Me.com  



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David Shamansky
US Mortgages - David Shamansky - Highlands Ranch, CO
Creative, Aggressive & 560 FICO - OK, Colorado Mtg

I am with you Joe some things are simply too big to fight with or argue over. Like the feds I could go on for days but the bottom line is they exist and we have to deal with what they tell us so I can complain or I can follow instruction. While I want to do the first I always do the 2nd

Feb 17, 2015 09:20 AM #1
Wayne L. Brown
Franklin Advantage Inc. - Alpine, CA


I will reserve my comments about the recent purchase of Trulia until we get more into it.  That said, I am somewhat concerned due to the "Severe Burning" that Zillow gave to me and other lender several years ago on their lender chat boards.

At that time after helping to build up Zillow in the ranks, and good information to the consumers, we lender were left in the dust so to speak.

One thing is certain............Constant Change..........we either adapt or hang it up.  Personally, I have always been a "Survivor".

Thanks for the post.

Feb 17, 2015 09:28 AM #2
Fred Griffin, on leave of absence from ActiveRain
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

The only thing that is certain, is that nothing is certain.

Feb 17, 2015 11:40 AM #3
Troy Erickson AZ Realtor (602) 295-6807
Good Company Real Estate www.ChandlerRealEstate.weebly.com - Chandler, AZ
Your Chandler, Ahwatukee, and East Valley Realtor

Joe - Excellent post. Buyers may be able to find a home online, but they typically cannot purchase a home online. Even if they could, would they want to, without anyone looking out for their best interest, I think not. People need real estate agents to help them buy and sell their homes, and I do not see that changing anytime soon.

Feb 17, 2015 12:14 PM #4
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