Realtor.com already slid down to the #3 real estate website, and was in danger of becoming completely irrelevant.  Then Zillow poaches realtor.com’s president and executive vice president, and less than two weeks later, Move/realtor.com sued Zillow over trade secrets.

Realtor.com sells advertising to realtors just like Zillow and Trulia does, and eventually the agents will spend their money with the most effective websites.

N.A.R. and Realtor.com will probably both go down with the ship – for them to rebound and compete with Zillow seems highly improbable.  Does Zillow plan to take out the competition, or play nice?

I think the likely outcome is that Zillow becomes the main player, and the agents who advertise at Zillow will benefit greatly.  Old-school agents who keep whining about Zillow and Trulia will be left behind.  Realtor.com turns into the broken-down jalopy that is sold to Trulia some day for pennies on the dollar.

Here is Zillow’s new ‘chief industry development officer’ talking about his move, and Zillow’s role in the industry – being the conduit between consumers and agents:

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