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Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com: Comparing “The Big Three”

by Chicago Agent

Mobile
Zillow, Realtor.com and Trulia all offer their own mobile apps today. This is important as a growing number of consumers are browsing home listings through their smartphones and tablet computers.

And these mobile users are more likely to contact agents than are visitors who come to the online sites from desktops or laptops. According to a recent story on Inman News, visitors who come to Realtor.com from their iPad devices are 160 percent more likely to call real estate agents, while those who come from iPhones are 300 percent more likely to do so.

While Haran wouldn’t say he necesarily has a personal favorite among Realtor.com, Trulia and Zillow, he did say he preferred Realtor.com’s mobile application.

“Realtor.com really distinguishes itself with its mobile apps,” Haran said. “Realtor.com uses touch-screen technology to make its apps stand apart from the website.”

Dollinger, too, said that he couldn’t pick a leader, necessarily, among the three listing sites. He credited Realtor.com with having some of the best mobile apps he’s seen from a real estate site, Trulia for having the most intuitive – and slickest – interface and Zillow for having the most data.

“I know that’s a pretty politically correct answer, but it’s true,” Dollinger said. “Each of the sites has its own strong points. That’s one of the reasons why it makes sense for agents to use them all.”

 

Chris Haran
Marketing Manager
Coldwell Banker, Northbrook
847.313.6753
chris.haran@cbexchange.com

 

 

Matt Dollinger
Vice President of Strategic Development
@properties
312.506.0200
mattdollinger@atproperties.com

 

 

Kay Wirth
Broker
RE/MAX Unlimited Northwest
815.479.6178
kay@kaywirth.com

 

 

Chris Pequet
Broker
Crawford Group Sotheby’s Realty
630.327.5175
chris.pequet@sothebysrealty.com

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Comments

  • Mike Russo says:

    It is very frustrating to me that brokerages haven’t figured out how to get the traffic to our own sites. But instead, us agents have to pay hundreds and thousands of dollars to buy back our leads. Something isn’t right here.

  • Great information and interesting perspective from three different real estate brokerage offices that run very different business models.Another view from a real estate broker like myself is that two of the three service providers in the article do not display the listing agent information unless you pay for the enhancement. They even go as far as steering the lead to an agent that does pay. Also we agents and brokers are continuing to provide the marketing information such as photos and listing details to these and other service providers, to find that they are taking our information to capture their own lead. They then offer this “lead” to an agent at a fee.As one that has experienced a great deal of evolution in the way our listings have been displayed over the internet, our focus and the evolution of these dynamics will be ground shaking to the industry.
    I think that each agent and brokerage needs to focus on how our listings are indexed and returned for results from the major search engines.As well, since the rate of response is so important, another focus would be how quickly and how efficiently that lead comes to the listing agent as well as the listing agents lead capture and follow-up system. I willing be looking at the release coming out this spring from RE/MAX regarding the international(RE/MAX.com) web site changes.Remember- if we do not pay attention to our business someone else will!

  • Mike,

    As you know, people have short memories and most agent domains are long and hard to spell.

    There is, however, a marketing tool that you manage and control yourself – it’s a strong domain that is licensing its brand and system to agents – all the traffic from that brand (which you “own”) is directed back to you and your business.

    There are “riches in niches”

    http://teardowns.com/agent_program

    Thanks,

    Brian

  • Dana Lambert says:

    It’s interesting how Zillow says they only want to give out accurate, up-to-date numbers…but then they don’t give any numbers out. I understand wanting to be accurate, but if there were some averages for Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com ads, it might paint an even clearer picture of which programs are the best for agents’ money. Otherwise, as stated in the article, agents are forced to buy a program to test and measure their results, with no general knowledge of what their click-throughs and lead generation should be averaging upon purchase. Blind leading the blind?

  • I have to agree with Matt and Chris about Realtor.com but overall have to wonder if this is being approached to benefit both the consumer and the agent.

    For me, I do see the most clicks on per listing off of Realtor.com but actually click to contact from the consumer be it to list or buy is much higher for me from Trulia and Zillow.

    What really stands out to me is Mike Russo’s comment. Probably the most intelligent part of this post.

  • I have been an agent at both Re/Max for 22 years and now at Coldwell Banker. Regarding Trulia if in fact you follow the system as well as Realtor.com and Zillow the listed properties that are represented by Coldwell Banker agents always pull up first in the searches and always will due to the fact the Corporation has contracts with all of these companies. That makes a huge difference in the way the leads on properties are generated. Buyers are fickle and will only maybe to to 2 pages on line and they will click on only one listing. Re/Max is a great company however it is a Franchise and does not work as one unit when it comes to marketing. Each individual agent has to market the properties and when you add up the costs of these companies it is very expensive. I agree with Mike Russo as well as the costs can add up to more then $8000 a year if you do this as an individual agent.

  • Andrew Mooers says:

    Thanks for shaking it all out, for the apples to apples, side by side size up.

  • Billy says:

    Awesome article! Where can I buy a waterfront shack on a remaining iceburg? L-cubed!

  • Laurie Ann von Wald says:

    It is a shame that our board of realtors was asleep while Zillow snuck in to compete; and I must say that Zillow did very well with their advertising making the public, and even some realty agents believe that they were the “Godfather or King” of real estate information. I am told by my buyers that the Zillow site is user friendly and I do like the way we can make our Open Houses appear there…..however, we need to blow Zillow off the table. I am always having to “explain” the erroneous information on Zillow & even on trulia. I am hoping that under new ownership, realtor.com , will make Zillow & trulia disappear.

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