Realty Times: " isn't bringing any game." Ouch.

Services for Real Estate Pros with Zillow


Blanche Evans, the well-regarded senior editor of Realty Times, and one of the 25 Most Influential People in Real Estate according to REALTOR Magazine, tears into today in an editorial.

She writes: "For a tech company, is surprisingly out of touch. Why should agents be excited about paying for privileges they can get for free elsewhere? There are other sites like Zillow climbing up's back that offer agents a lot more for free. ....On, they don't even get their names on their listing unless they pay enhancement fees. Other sites are willing to provide all kinds of enhancements ---including agent profiles for free. Zillow takes listings from feeds and individual. No limit on photos, tours, videos or anything else. They even provide agent profiles for free. It's such a good deal, Zillow has seduced major franchisors Realogy and Keller Williams, along with ZipRealty, Prudential California and dozens of top regionals. In six months, they've added two million listings and counting."

She concludes: "Zillow isn't the number one real estate destination site yet, but it's got momentum. isn't bringing any game. They need to come up with something better than four free photos, and quick."

Thank you Blanche for the kind words and astute analysis.



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Samson Properties - Bowie, MD
I don't make promises.I deliver results.SOLD HOMES website to me is not impressive. And I think that they can do wayyy better than what they have. Maybe they should talk to people at Zillow and Trulia and ask them what they are doing because apparently what they are doing works. Great post.

May 21, 2008 09:04 AM
Bryant Tutas
Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC - Winter Garden, FL
Selling Florida one home at a time

Spencer, Blanche is right on the money. is waaaay behind the times. Not only Zillow but Cyberhomes as well are leaving them in the dust. Cyberhomes is the sleeping giant in my opinion.

May 21, 2008 09:17 AM
Lyn Sims
Schaumburg, IL
Real Estate Broker Retired

God I totally agree! They are so behind the times it's pathetic. They are also ( trying to get my company to do an entire agent scenario for a lower price.  We voted it down.  I personally don't bother with anything in except to add a tour which the buyers now expect.  They don't offer me a thing in the way of innovation.  It's a shame that they are "connected" with us & "disconnected" with us at the same time!

Hate Zillow!

May 21, 2008 09:22 AM
Carolyn Gjerde-Tu-Davis
Lyon Real Estate - Davis, CA
Ca Real Estate gets a lot of traffic and the name is recongizable.  It is very sad that our national association who should have provided this information as a benefit to its members instead allows to gauge its members.

May 21, 2008 09:30 AM
Ida McCarthy
Ida McCarthy-Lombard Real Estate - Lombard, IL has been around for so long, and now it's taking advantage of us all with their fees.  I pay for thier site because it's almost like I HAVE TO.

I've said this before, when I go on a listing appointment, I ask the seller where would they MOST like their listing to appear?  Well, when they quit saying, I'll try whatever they tell me.

Most people I talk to never heard of Zillow.

May 21, 2008 10:08 AM
Missy Caulk
Missy Caulk TEAM - Ann Arbor, MI
Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate

I quit doing enhanced listings this past year, hasn't hurt one bit. I still think consumers think of it. Love Blanches articles, glad she said it.

May 21, 2008 11:29 AM
Linda Tremblay
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc, PA License #AB065488 - Doylestown, PA
Associate Broker - Bucks County, PA Real Estate Services

Does that mean that we should all stop getting robbed by them and put our information elsewhere? With the change in the market, I am doing away with things that do not bring a ROI

May 21, 2008 11:32 AM
Ann Cummings
RE/MAX Shoreline - NH and Maine - Portsmouth, NH
Portsmouth NH Real Estate Preferrable Agent

Hi Spencer - thanks for bringing Blanche's article to our attention.  I had missed that one somehow.

I pay to enhance my listings on, and just got a notice to renew.  Still thinking about whether to do it or not.  I do get leads from it, and have made money from my listings being up there in the enhanced state.  I like the stats I get on each of my listings up there, and I like that I can add so many pictures.  But, do I like having to pay for that?  Not one bit, but I consider it one of the places that my marketing money spent actually does bring me a return.  That's not to say I'll continue doing that forever. 

There are plenty of free places to put our listings, but very few of them have the name recognition and exposure that has, for the moment.


May 21, 2008 11:40 AM
Alan Robinson

Finally someone decided to spell it out clearly. Maybe having been put on blast, will wake up?!?

May 21, 2008 01:06 PM
Lane Bailey
Century 21 Results Realty - Suwanee, GA
Realtor & Car Guy

While I do think Zillow has a few things it needs to address, it sure does beat the poop out of  But, is that really an accomplishment?

May 21, 2008 03:07 PM
Roland Woodworth
Blue Cord Realty - Clarksville, TN
Blue Cord Realty

Spencer: Seems like Zillow is starting to do very well. I keep hearing about it

May 21, 2008 03:52 PM
Bob & Carolin Benjamin
Benjamin Realty LLC - Gold Canyon, AZ
East Phoenix Arizona Homes

We used to use and their enhanced feed, but all that seemed to enhance was our money into their pocket. We never got any leads that were of any substance by paying for the added features there.

May 21, 2008 06:40 PM
Scott Schang
Broadview Mortgage Corporation - Long Beach Team - Long Beach, CA
Educating & Empowering Consumers

You still have to admit that drives crazy traffic!  If you're a blogger there - you can get a ton of hits and drive them to your site, and that's free.

Zillow is also a great site.  There are always ways to find fault, especially when someone/something is so visible - and that's the point right?

We tend to look at these sites/services as professionals - through the eyes of the consumer it's all the same.  Gen y and gen x are looking for fast/now, easy to find, an assumption of anonymity and when they have a want to be the first one available to answer them.

That's the beauty of both Zillow and Realtor - consumers flock to these sites!  This is an opportunity for every great mouse trap maker.

Great debate!

May 21, 2008 07:03 PM
Marcia Kramarz
Re/Max Executive Realty - Medway, MA


Well it does appear their pricing per company is more cost effective than each agent being charged separately - But if Zillow offers that much - We should be there too - I'm checking my Zillow account NOW!

May 21, 2008 10:52 PM
RE/MAX Shoreline - Portsmouth, NH
Buying or Selling? Ann & Jim are the local experts

The simple answers to Blanche's qustion  is "eyeballs". is the most visited real estate specific website.

"comScore ranking of total unique visitors for December 2007: Rank Site


2 MSN Real Estate

3 Yahoo! Real Estate






9 HPCInter@active


May 22, 2008 02:32 AM
Stuart Dobson - Thornton, CO

I'm not a fan of the either...I'm tired of the endless solicitation calls.  And their 'Market Builder' program has produced a grand total of ZERO business for the $2,000 invested.

May 22, 2008 08:40 AM


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I don't know if people really use to search listing guys. I have gone to it only because I offer virtual tours. "Could not find the information I wanted on their site. The site really does suck" when I was searching for a house I went strait to that is obviously local to me. My search went like this on Google. "Panama City FL MLS" and it came back with most of the brokers websites. Let me offer you a suggestion to increase your marketing. Give a liberal amount of information about your listing. Take lots of good photos and for god sakes do not user your camera phone. Someone is paying you good money to sell their property at least invest in a 3 mega pixel camera.

If I wore choosing an agent to sell my house I am going to go look at there listings at a bare minimum.

I am going to want virtual tours of quality or none at all.

I am going to want good photos.

I am going to want my listing on the MLS very detailed.

I am going to want to consistently be in something like homes and land magazine.

Beyond that everything is gravy.

Oh by the way what are some of you thinking

This is not a virtual tour

Do not use music on your site. People hate this. I know you love music on "Your website or tour" but when you go to someone else you hate it too. You are just paying for an extra feature that everyone hates. I am not into paying for crap that people do not like. But hay; it's your dime.

This is what I mean by crap from virtual tours. If you can't buy anything better than this why waste your money.

I want something like this at a minimum damn it. or this

and these are what I consider poor quality.

Ah what do I know?

Good luck everyone; sorry about my tangent




Jun 12, 2008 02:34 AM

Brett Shaw from Cyberhomes:

You bring up an excellent point.  Why would anyone pay for features on  Shouldn't that be included in my REALTOR dues twice a year?  Personally, I can get much more relevant information from sites like  It's free and very insightful not only to agents but clients as well.  As far as paying to have your name on your own listing on, that's just stupid.  Spencer is right in that this feature is free pretty much everywhere else.  This is not a competitive advantage for them.

Aug 15, 2008 07:08 AM
Marty and Laurie Gale
Utah Realty - South Jordan, UT
Utah Realty | 801-205-3500 |

I subscribe to for my Listing exposure. But sometimes I wonder if it is worth it.

May 14, 2010 03:15 AM
Robert J. Russell
Robert J Russell Companies - Dallas, TX

Thank you to everyone who posted about this topic.

For the last 10 years I have been paying for the Enhanced Listing Package with - and for this I have gotten - 0 - nada - nothing - nuthin of value because of it. I too think there are too many competing sites out there that are just as good as that get just as much exposure.

I think on Nov 1 - I am going to say BuhBye to!

Oct 29, 2010 03:54 PM