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ZRT

The ‘battle’ between real estate portals has been mostly uneventful, with Zillow taking the rest to the woodshed every quarter.  Now Trulia has resorted to scraping listings from realtor websites directly.

This is where I first saw it on twitter:

Or you can see the whole conversation here:

https://twitter.com/KrisBerg

Is Trulia desperate enough to be taking listings from individual realtor websites who have opted out?  They risk alienating the remaining realtors that do send them listings!

All of the Big Three have been bumping their prices lately too, which isn’t exactly sensitive to the drop in volume/income that we’ve been experiencing lately.

The whole house of cards could come tumbling down for the same reason.

If realtors just stop advertising on ZRT, the third-party portal game would be over.  It probably won’t happen due to indignation about inaccurate data – instead, it will be because the Big 3 could literally price themselves out of the market:

From:

http://www.inman.com/2014/06/02/crye-leike-expands-zillow-trulia-blackout-zone-to-2-more-markets/

Crye-Leike doesn’t attribute that success solely to limited syndication, Brown said. “But it tells us our decision wasn’t hasty, it wasn’t radical, it was prudent,” he said.

Inaccurate listing data hurts the Crye-Leike brand, Brown said.

The decision was also fueled by reports from Crye-Leike agents that the cost of advertising on Zillow and Trulia had gone up dramatically.

Although the brokerage still sends all of its listings to realtor.com and Homes.com, it is monitoring those sites, he said — particularly realtor.com, which is planning to raise prices on at least one of its ad products.

Yes, the inaccurate data is a rallying cry.  But the portals’ advertising rates are already high, and rising – and it feels like extortion.  When the results are lukewarm, it wouldn’t take much for realtors to quit altogether and blame rising costs.

If a new portal promoted a better/cheaper website, or the market got soft(er), then the ZRT troika could find themselves wondering what happened.

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