Comparing the Data

by Chicago Agent

In this issue’s cover story, we wanted to compare “the big three” – Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com, – and show agents exactly what they got for their money when it came to advertising on each site. Unfortunately, this was easier said than done.

After just attempting to find out general information (are leads tracked?
If so, how?) and receiving several non-answers and being given the runaround, it’s easy to see how agents wouldn’t necessarily know which website is the best investment of their advertising dollars. Realtor.com, for instance, doesn’t state price information on its site, and while Zillow and Trulia do, prices almost always vary or can be negotiated, depending on what ZIP codes are purchased, the amount of ZIP codes purchased and how many listings an agent wants on the site.

Finding analytical data and how leads are tracked is an even harder answer to find from these sites. We asked for an average number of hits agents get with certain ZIP codes and certain ads, but couldn’t get an answer. If the numbers were good, wouldn’t representatives from each site be forthcoming with these numbers? Zillow PR Specialist Alison Paoli gave us the clearest answer as to why these sites can’t seem to give agents an average number of page views or click-through rates, something all agents should know to when determining if their ads are worth their money or not: “We are able to provide historical data on page views by ZIP code to agents directly, but since that number is always changing, we can’t provide you with a number that will be the same next month as it is today.” In addition, she added, given the amount and types of inventory on Zillow, they “cannot compare one ZIP code to another because they are all unique (in terms of) different types of homes, how many homes are on the market, and how many homes are in the ZIP code.”

But we did all that dirty work for you, readers. For a comparison of these three sites’ programs, what each program offers, where traffic is driven, price and direct performance tracking, look no further than our charts within our cover story. And in terms of lead tracking and traffic data, we can at least give you anecdotal data, from agents using who have used all three of these sites for advertising, and which programs work best for them.

So, read our cover story, compare the data, test and measure yourself, and let us know which programs you believe give you the most for your money.

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