As a consumer, you probably don’t bother keeping up to date with Real Estate news or acquisitions of big name real estate advertising companies, but this one, along with the pending Zillow and Trulia merger, is going to affect the consumer, no matter which way you slice it. News Corp, a company that owns big name media outlets all throughout the world, including Dow Jones & Company, as well as the Fox Entertainment Group is purchasing Move Inc., the company that runs realtor.com. This acquisition will revitalize how consumers search for homes on the Internet.
Recently, third-party websites such as Zillow and Trulia, have become the punching bags of regional, national, and local real estate brokerages. Brokerages have been pulling their listings left and right from these third party websites, citing inaccuracies in listing data and the syndication techniques as reasons behind ending the relationship. Zillow, being the number 1 real estate website (in traffic) still reigns supreme, and Trulia being acquired by Zillow means the companies will continue to be powerhouses in the market, pooling resources while keeping separate web entities to give consumers more options when searching for their next home.
You may ask, “why are all the real estate brokerages moving away from Zillow and Trulia?”. The answer is, they are tired of inaccurate listing data, and paying to get the leads from their own listings. Unfortunately, since the birth of these real estate search powerhouses, consumers have flocked to the websites to harness the ability of looking at homes on the market throughout the country in one place. The problem for the consumer is, once on the website, you really don’t know if you are looking at accurate data, which causes big problems for customers and brokers alike. Let’s say you are searching Zillow, and find a home you fall in love with. The pictures are immaculate, the floor plan looks supreme, and the neighborhood is in the best school district in your area. You look to the right, pick an agent, and click to contact with them. They call you back after receiving your information, just to tell you that the home you fell in love with, for a price that seemed almost to good to be true, sold 6 months ago, and is not on the market. This is a big problem, as it not only causes delays in the home buying process for the consumer, but it also takes time away from the agent who is focusing on getting homes sold.
The acquisition of Move Inc to New Corp will, hopefully, revitalize the trusted resource for searching homes on a third party website. The way that realtor.com syndicates is directly from the MLS, which means that the data seen by agents in the area, is available on Realtor.com to consumers to freely search.
There still is no comparison of third-party websites to a brokers personal website, as iDX supported broker websites are direct feeds from the MLS, with the most up to date local listings. You can always trust a brokers website.