Market Share - Realtor.Com vs Zillow vs Trulia

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Rankin Realty at Lake Powell, LLC

Over the last couple of months this topic has come up several times between a group of friends. There are some who really dislike Realtor.com and some who love and swear by it. The same goes for Zillow and Trulia.

So.... the question

Market Share of Consumers (not agents) that use:

Realtor. Com

Zillow or

Trulia.

Yesterday the question what posed as well: what percentage do the branded sites like C21 and ERA have in the market place. Granted one can only get listings there as part of the Realogy umbrella, but how big of a player are they?

As agents we need to be where the buyers are but is one service much more superior to the others?

 

Comments (28)

Virginia Hepp - Mesquite NV REALTOR
Desert Gold Realty - Mesquite NV Homes For Sale - Mesquite, NV
Mesquite NV Homes and Neighborhoods - Search MLS

Heather - ERA seems to be getting good google results lately for their listing pages - and they do them automatically for us, what is not to like about that?  :)

Dec 28, 2008 09:37 AM
Heather Rankin
Rankin Realty at Lake Powell, LLC - Page, AZ
Lake Powell Real Estate

Virginia - I am curious tho, what percent of potential buyers would randomly go to era.com as opposed to Realtor.com. You are right, I love the automatic posting feature we have going on. That works great for my Utah listings but my AZ license is with an independent brokerage, so we don't have access to that.

Part of the recent conversations have been around the fee that Realtor.com charges to have a featured listings, as opposed to the one photo listing generated by the mls and picked up by Realtor.com.

Dec 28, 2008 11:36 AM
Virginia Hepp - Mesquite NV REALTOR
Desert Gold Realty - Mesquite NV Homes For Sale - Mesquite, NV
Mesquite NV Homes and Neighborhoods - Search MLS

Heather,

I am sure a very small per cent would look for ERA as opposed to the others.  But when people search for keyword terms like Mesquite Nv real estate, ERA comes right up.

My last listing came from exactly that - they googled, ended up on ERA, liked my description and called me.

But are we really talking about 2 different subjects?

Plus, I do not like to pay for anything.  :)

Dec 28, 2008 12:45 PM
Anonymous
Sharon Tucker

Education is the key to the consumer.   We are real estate professional need to let the consumer understand the difference and how the information is complied.   We need to blog about it and let everyone know that a professional has different and up to date information.   We know the area, condition of a home, how it compares to another home, price differentials (short sales/foreclosures), we know the inventory...   We need to educate the consumer that the information is only that... information.. some times like anything in life.. garbage in garbage out..

Thanks...   Sharon Tucker, Broker ERA Tucker Associates, Inc. Nanuet NY www.tuckerera.com

 

Dec 28, 2008 01:54 PM
#12
Heather Rankin
Rankin Realty at Lake Powell, LLC - Page, AZ
Lake Powell Real Estate

Virginia - Yes, it probably is two different subjects. I am being sort of vague about the conversation to avoid direct quotes. One thing is some Realtors feel like clients just automatically go to Realtor.com making other sites not valuable. By valuable I mean the time put in for results gained. I ,for one, am more focused on Google results than results within Realtor.com.

Sharon - Education is the key. I would think that is the key that prompted most of us to start blogging in the beginning. Being the areas go-to person is my goal and it requires excalty what you mentioned, total market and area knowledge. Cheers!

Dec 28, 2008 05:09 PM
Sara Bonert
Zillow - Atlanta, GA
Real Estate Internet Marketing

Hey all, Sara from Zillow here.  First, let me take a stab at the question originally posted , then I will talk to the Zestimates which was brought up in the comments.  You are right that the attitude towards all the sites can be so diverse!

Hitwise's latest stats(Nov 2008) rank the top sites, in terms of traffic as: 1-Realtor.com, 2-Yahoo Real Estate, 3- Zillow, 4- Zip Realty, 6- ReMax, 7- Homegain, 11- Trulia.  Century 21 and Coldwell Banker are the only other brands that show up in the top 25 regularly. 

Our own internal traffic numbers(source: Omniture) showed about 5.3 million unique visitors in November, a 44% increase over November 2007.  To answer your question about how many of these are actually shoppers, verses agents, that is hard to tell for the various sites without actually asking each one.  We know that about 2/3 of our audience says that they will be in the market to buy or sell in the next two years and we estimate about 1.2 million agents, lenders and other professionals use Zillow each month.

Interestingly, we found in a Nielsen study that 95% of the people that use Zillow don't go to Trulia or Realtor.com.  So while you may feel that one service is better than the other, it is still wise to differentiate your marketing plan to reach as many people as possible, which should mean using multiple services. 

With regards to the Zestimates - we actually post our accuracy numbers on the site and link to them behind every Zestimate we publish.  You can drill down to see the median err rate for your county on this accuracy chart.  We determine the err rate by looking at what the Zestimate was on the day the home closes, then comparing that to the actual sales price.  I actually just wrote a post called How Accuracte Are Zillow's Zestimates.  But this chart is very helpful to agents when explaining why you shouldn't use a Zestimate in an official capacity. 

 

 

Dec 29, 2008 04:46 AM
Keith McMullin
Port Aransas Realty - Port Aransas, TX
Port Aransas Real Estate

That is interesting info regarding Zillow readers not visiting Realtor.com and/or Trulia.  I would have assumed prospects would browse various sites.  Thanks for the traffic data.

Dec 29, 2008 05:30 AM
Heather Rankin
Rankin Realty at Lake Powell, LLC - Page, AZ
Lake Powell Real Estate

Sara - Thank you for taking the time to respond. You actually hit directly on the point I've been making to the folks who were part of the original, non-online, conversation - diversify. Personally I want to be where the consumers are be it Realtor.com, Zillow or Trulia or a myriad of others. However I don't want to have my listings on sites that do not link back to me, or get so watered down through transfers, the potential client has no hope of finding me.

Also thank you for the traffic data. It goes to the idea that folks get used to something and will return time and time again, once comfortable.

I've not used Zestimates but have had clients mention them. I'll check out the links you sent and forward them on to the  others. Once again, thanks for the response. Cheers!

 

 

Dec 29, 2008 06:55 AM
Sara Bonert
Zillow - Atlanta, GA
Real Estate Internet Marketing

Great point about making sure you get link credit back.  That is MUST for agents on these third party sites.  Also, you sure make sure you are getting search engine credit (or google juice) when you add these links.  Here is a great article about this, if you don't know what I mean, on geekestateblog.com- http://www.geekestateblog.com/are-your-listings-hurting-or-helping-your-google-ranking/.   The more links you put out there, the better potential to be found in search engines, which is so important for a local agent.

Dec 29, 2008 07:21 AM
Heather Rankin
Rankin Realty at Lake Powell, LLC - Page, AZ
Lake Powell Real Estate

Sara - Yes, I have followed the rel="nofollow" debate specifically re Trulia for some time now.  Thanks for the link to the article - good discussion going on back and forth there.

The whole link-back issue is many faceted. While SEO is a huge part of this, actual clients being able to find me is as well. I use Postlets and note that they do not use rel="nofollow" - however the website link is burried a bit and anchor text reads "website". Given that, i still love the service.

The nofollow at Realtor.com mentioned in the article is a bit disturbing as well.

 

Dec 29, 2008 08:00 AM
Spencer Rascoff
Zillow - Seattle, WA

Spencer from Zillow here. Really interesting discussion. Heather, I totally agree with you about diversifying, especially with respect to listings. I think agents and sellers shold make sure their listings are everywhere a potential buyer might be. Listings syndication is the way to go. Don't just assume that your MLS will take care of it; MLS listings only go to IDX sites (i.e., other brokerages). Agents also have to make sure there listings are on sites like Zillow (either through their own manual uploading of the listing or through their brokerage, or through a listings aggregator or MLS). Heck, I'd even make sure my listing was up on Craigslist -- you just never know where a buyer might find the listing in this difficult market. But you are also right to pay attention to the business models, business practices and ethics of these various websites as well.

 

BTW, I like your blog's background.

 

 

Dec 29, 2008 08:14 AM
Heather Rankin
Rankin Realty at Lake Powell, LLC - Page, AZ
Lake Powell Real Estate

Spencer - Thanks for adding in here. I manually make sure my listing are on Zillow and Trulia and yes, Craigslist (have taken some local heat for that decision). 

Also, our MLS is small as we are literally in the middle of nowhere. Page, AZ is the most remote town in the lower 48 with a population over 5000. So, Big Water, Utah, is then 17 miles West of the middle of nowhere!. Lake Powell is a HUGE attraction with over 3 million visitors a year, thus a draw for Page, Big Water and surrounding communities.

The background is a shot of Lake Powell I took as a storm was building last summer. My main blog at www.lakepowellrealty.net is eventually going to have a section of just photographs. Pretty lucky to live here!

Dec 29, 2008 08:40 AM
Spencer Rascoff
Zillow - Seattle, WA

Gorgeous

Dec 29, 2008 08:54 AM
Logan_Utah_Real_Estate_ Cache_Valley_Homes_for_Sale
RE/MAX Excel - Logan, UT

Zillow is a joke.I hate meeting with sellers that have looked up the "value" of their home on Zillow. You spend 20 min. explaining why there home is not the value they got off Zillow.

I like to put my listings on Trulia and about 10 other real estate sites. I don't get a ton of traffic, but I like my sellers to see the different places their home is listed.

I find Craigslist to be one of the best at bringing traffic to my site.

Dec 29, 2008 09:36 AM
Linda Tremblay
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc, PA License #AB065488 - Doylestown, PA
Associate Broker - Bucks County, PA Real Estate Services

I post on many sites.  If you use postlets, it goes out to about 10 others and that includes Craigslist. However I still think that the number one place consumers go is Realtor.com

Dec 29, 2008 10:55 AM
Heather Rankin
Rankin Realty at Lake Powell, LLC - Page, AZ
Lake Powell Real Estate

Logan Utah - Ya, it's tough when you get sellers like that. It can be used as an opportunity to show your local market knowledge tho. In the end you look great!

 

Linda - Yes, it would appear Realtor.com has the biggest bang. Besides Postlets going to ten or so sites, Postlets themselves are now being indexed by Google. I have also uploaded Google analytics to my Postlets site - most for fun, but proves somewhat interesting.

Going to look into the realtor.com rel="nofollow" item today

Dec 29, 2008 12:21 PM
Anonymous
Russ Sweet

Regardless of the traffic it receives Realtor.com's prices are ridiculous. If you look at the per listing price for enhanced listings its about $40-50.00 in my case. I doubt it costs that much to maintain an on-line data base. If you really want an interesting comparison, what do you suppose the per record expense is at Zillow/Trullia? The entire fee structure makes no sense. Enhanced listings are simply a way to get more money out of subscribers. What percentage of your enhanced listing fee goes to your "customer service rep"?

The enhanced listings package should be standard and billed at a reasonable/transparent and published price.

Jan 20, 2009 01:04 AM
#25
Heather Rankin
Rankin Realty at Lake Powell, LLC - Page, AZ
Lake Powell Real Estate

Russ  -

I will add that for a new person starting out in this market, the prices at Realtor.com are not in the ballpark. I was chatting with a Realtor the other day, 25 years in the business, who is almost out of money. She is good, but the market is slow. People are hurting all over and if there is a way to get around the costly adverts, many of us are choosing to do it

Jan 21, 2009 04:13 PM
Joe Prager
Keller Williams Realty - Gainesville - Gainesville, FL

ZILLOW RULES - READ ON:  I got an out-of-the-blue sales call from a TRULIA rep tonight, who tried in vain to pitch me "zip code realtor listings" on their site.  I am listed on Zillow already for one of the zip codes in my area, and have had minimal success with that in the 45 days of the service, only two real leads so far.  But one lead was a solid buyer lead, so that was worthwhile.

TRULIA offers the same service, but not at the SAME PRICE. In fact, their price was an unjustifiable 33% higher.  Worse, they wanted upfront payment for 6 months service IN ADVANCE to get any kind of discount.  No amount of haggling had any effect, so I declined their offer, and said I need to think it over.

AM I GLAD I DID!   This article published yesterday on THESTREET.COM says that TRULIA gets 33% LESS UNIQUE VISITORS than ZILLOW does!  So, Zillow RULES!

http://www.thestreet.com/story/11674570/1/trulia-vs-zillow-the-battle-for-online-real-estate.html

 

 

Aug 28, 2012 12:14 PM
Brad Andersohn
Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty - Fairfield, CA
ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876

Hey Joe - Brad from Zillow here.

I know I speak for everyone here at Zillow when I say thanks for being part of the Z-family. Looks like you're off to a good start. Congrats on your contacts/leads, there will be more where those came from ahead.  Our traffic increases month over month and the mobile access and search for homes on our mobile app is growing like gangbusters. 

I read the reviews and checked out your profile, website, and blog etc. (loved your day with a REALTOR on Facebook too)

There's a few ideas I'd like to share that might help you increase your contacts and leads overall, feel free to contact me at your convenience if interested. 707 646-1876 or email me at brada at zillow dot com.

Now I'm off to read the article you linked above in your comment.
.. 

 

Sep 01, 2012 01:43 AM