Syndication – Agent Friend or Foe?

by Karen Snyder


Growing consumer audience – that’s the common goal behind this year’s multi-million dollar national marketing campaigns for leading real estate search portals Zillow, Trulia and realtor.com. But increasing the number of consumers isn’t the only thing those three should consider. Agent satisfaction with listing syndication could use a boost, as well.

Spending nearly $40 million on advertising last year is likely what grew Zillow’s market share from 9.17 percent in early 2013 to 15.71 percent this past January, according to Experian Marketing Services data. Market share data is based on all real estate-related traffic from desktop computers. Capturing about half as much, Trulia came in with 8.31 percent, and realtor.com carries 7.21 percent of the market. 

With consumer marketing campaigns this year of $65 million for Zillow and $45 million for Trulia, it’s clear that competition for listing syndication is fierce.
Realtor.com is currently airing its first-ever national television ad campaign, though the company is not saying how much they’ve invested. The ads highlight their “Find It First” campaign, touting the accuracy and “freshness” of its online and mobile app data. Realtor.com also benefits from having its branding packaged with that of the National Association of Realtors’ national ad campaign.

We all know those three are the go-to portals for listing syndication, but is it Zillow, Trulia or realtor.com that generates the highest number of solid leads for Chicagoland agents? Which provides the most accurate and timely data? And are search portals the best use for an agent with a limited marketing budget in today’s economy?

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  • Andrea Geller says:

    I think you are mixing up 2 separate conversations here. Syndication and third party portals are 2 different conversations. Syndication is how listings get somewhere and is a discussion on them choices brokerages are making about listing distribution. The third party websites are tools and advertising platforms that brokerages and agents can use to generate consumer contact/business just like they do print but with more bells and whistles. The fundamental question are third party portals effective platforms for agents to spend their marketing dollars? For the most part syndication is a decision at a brokerage’s management level.

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