NAR is finally getting around to wondering if they should do something with realtor.com, and start competing with those pesky upstarts Zillow and Trulia – in fact, they’ve called a special meeting!


Todd outlined the challenge in this excellent report:


His summary:

For those companies that insist on nothing less than absolute victory over Zillow and Trulia, all the competencies in this report will need to be addressed. To do this, an internal, full-time team of highly talented software engineers will need to be employed, a commitment to quarterly releases of new web and mobile software will need to be made, and a strategy shift that moves away from playing by traditional REALTOR® rules will have to be made.

Winning a “war” against Zillow and Trulia is going to be tough. However, strategic coexistence is an viable path toward success as well. The Houston Association of REALTORS® is an excellent model for this strategy. While syndicating data to Zillow and Trulia, their partnership with the portals also delivers large amounts of traffic back to HAR.com.

The Association’s ultimate goal is deliver value to their members, not to crush their competition.

By working with the portals instead of against them, HAR has built one of the few real estate portals that outranks Zillow and Trulia inlocal web traffic. Another option for companies wishing to better compete with Zillow and Trulia could be to partner with these to portals, trading data and agent access for white label versions of their web-based and mobile applications.

Finally, before implementing a strategy for victory over Zillow and Trulia, consider how they migh react to such a ploy and the other issues that might arise from such action. Will they join forces with your competitors? Will they make moves that diminish the value of the MLS? Is a technological “cold war” something for which your company is prepared?

True “victory” over Zillow and Trulia may not involve a technology play.

Perhaps it will come from reevaluating the real estate professional’s highest value proposition to a consumer and focusing more effort on communicating that value to the public at large. In any case, it’s time to get to work.

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