Realtor.com Vows to Beat Zillow as Market Share Wars Start

Finding The Best Homes For you
Finding The Best Homes For you

Are we on the verge of a major power shift in the online real estate world? Zillow, once the young upstart overtaking the veteran Realtor.com, may be on the way to losing its crown to the former market share champ.

In 2011, Seattle-based Zillow surpassed Realtor.com in San Jose as the most valuable real estate site. The former still dominates market share, with an average of 141 million unique viewers per month compared to 48 million for the latter. Over the years, intense competition between the two even led to Realtor.com filing suit against Zillow when they lured away some key personnel.

However, Realtor.com received an influx of reserves when parent company Move, Inc. was acquired by News Corporation in November 2014. Since that time its user base has grown by 70 percent. Last quarter its average monthly users increased by 42 percent over the same time in 2014, compared to 22 percent for Zillow.

While speaking at last month’s Inman Connect conference in California, Realtor.com’s CEO Ryan O’Hara attributed the growth to leveraging the synergy between the site and News Corporation’s holdings, which include the Wall Street Journal, Barron’s and Fox. According to O’Hara, Realtor.com now has widgets or ads on 500 million pages, giving the site enviable visibility.

Move is attempting to capitalize on the momentum with a new look and national ad campaign launched in May. Realtor.com is being marketed as “the best – and truest – provider of real estate information.” For its part, Zillow plans to spend upwards of $100 million on advertising for 2015, with the bulk of it coming during the second half of the year.

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