Trulia & Zillow's Impact on the Real Estate Community

A few weeks ago on Twitter (@getretech), we tweeted, "This will revolutionize real estate! @Zillow to Acquire @Trulia in $3.5 Billion Deal."  Zillow's acquisition of Trulia, which should culminate by late 2014/early 2015, is not just revolutionizing residential real estate but also real estate marketing. 

Zillow's partnership with Yahoo Real Estate, in conjunction with the acquisition of Trulia and Street Easy, should have legacy MLS companies nervous about their future.  Residential real estate practitioners should pay special attention to this mammoth transaction, given the ramifications the move could have on their real estate marketing and sales efforts.  

While some real estate professional voiced concerns about the acquisition, the fact is that both brands will operate independently of each other, providing a unique experience for brokers, realtors, and buyers & sellers.  The real concern should be directed towards the future of local and national MLS platforms, and realtor.com.

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Zillow's platform is loaded with meta data.  Meta data/meta tags, are snippets of text that describe a page’s content, which assist with search engine optimization (SEO).  This simple feature helps drive traffic to websites and makes searching the web more efficient.  While meta data in today's tech society isn't revolutionary, this simple tool allows for optimal efficiency for home buyers and apartment seekers.  The simple fact that more people visit Trulia and Zillow than any other real estate website combined should have the residential real estate MLS platforms worried.  

Real estate is all about transactions and marketing, and no other websites have helped brokers with both more than Trulia and Zillow.  In just under ten years, both websites have become the most visited and recognizable real estate websites in the country,  generating traffic from potential buyers, sellers, and renters.   

How does Zillow & Trulia Positively Impact the Real Estate Industry:

  1. Customer Loyalty: Unlike other marketing/MLS platforms, Trulia & Zillow are customer focused brands.  Both brands have a shared mission of empowering consumers, brokers, and realtors with vital information about real estate and making connections to the best local professionals.
  2. Listing Infrastructure:  Trulia and Zillow are both real estate marketing platforms.  The end goal for real estate practitioners and realtors is to increase deal flow.  The real estate community will benefit from deeper partnerships and better listing infrastructure, as well as seamless, free distribution of listings across even more platforms, like Yahoo, HGTV, AOL, and more.  The distribution across multiple platforms will allow for listings to reach a wider audience and better SEO.  
  3. ROI:  Trulia and Zillow and built on the foundation of innovation.  Collectively,  both companies will be able to innovate faster and deliver enhanced ROI for the real estate community.

These simple act will have brokerages question why they are members of a real estate association if it does not generate revenue or traffic in order to facilitate a deal.

Ultimately, today's real estate community is experiencing a once in a generation shift.  This shift has been lead by innovation via technology. Today's real estate practitioners need to have as many "arrows in their quiver" in order to stay ahead of the competition, which has been provided by real estate tech.