Posts Tagged as Online Real Estate Listings

What is Compass and Why Is It In the News?

Let the Mud Fly: Zillow Versus Move Inc.

Which Real Estate Website Will Prevail
Which Real Estate Website Will Prevail

In the latest real estate news, more than $60 million dollars are at stake as legal tensions mount between Zillow and News Corp’s Move Inc., acquired by Rupert Murdoch in 2014.

At the center of the debacle?
Former Move Inc. exec Errol Samuelson, hired by Zillow in March 2014.

What’s the stink?
Move Inc. is suing Samuelson and Zillow for allegedly hijacking trade secrets: Specifically, using info stolen from Realtor.com to gain an advantage in the market. Samuelson was banned from working at Zillow by a Washington State Superior Court Judge but that ban was lifted last year.

Who’s spending the big bucks?
Zillow, in a recent SEC filing, noted legal costs related to the litigation climbed to $27.1 million last year, and are expected to rise to a cool $36 million in 2016. Adding insult to injury: Zillow’s fourth quarter profits fell short of expectations this week.

The he-said, she-said:

  • Zillow
    In a recent CNBC real estate news interview, Spencer Rascoff, CEO of Zillow, responded to a question on legal costs, “We are focused on innovating, News Corp. is focused on litigating. Unfortunately, you see this all too often in business where companies who lose on the business battlefield resort to the court room out of desperation.” He further described the lawsuit as “vindictive and baseless.”
  • Move Inc.
    In response to Rascoff’s statement, Move issued a statement noting the accusations were based squarely on the merits of the case, not emotions. Also, the lawsuit was filed by Move well before News Corp owned the company, It further pointed out Zillow’s own SEC filings, which concluded the ‘reasonable probability’ that Zillow will suffer a loss in the lawsuit – and pointed to recent hearings on evidence destruction by Zillow.

Don’t let current real estate news take you by surprise. Stay up on the latest with Properties Online today.

Should You Be Advertising Your Listings on Zillow? Part Two

Dinosaur is attacking the city

Continued from Tuesday.

What about industry-favored Realtor.com?
Realtor.com offers fair competition, but lags behind its gargantuan rival. This past March, Zillow and Trulia had 75.4 million unique visitors, making it the most-trafficked real estate listing advertising website network. Realtor.com, the industry favorite, came in at less than half, 32.6 million. Though not as trafficked, the site does have benefits, among which are more accurate listing information and timely updates of listing status – at least according to Realtor.com (aka MOVE, Inc.).

How Google plays in
Google’s 2014 algorithmic change further muddies the waters. Though Zillow pays well for dominance in real estate listing advertising search results, the algorithmic change gives local search results – and local brokers – priority. Once local brokerage websites catch up to Zillow in quantity of data, the big fish might be in trouble. Data availability is increasing as web development costs decrease, making the market ripe for competition by these brokerages. Time will tell if sites like Zillow fall by the wayside to local agencies far preferred by home buyers and sellers.

The takeaway
Should you be advertising your listings on Zillow? More than 90 percent of home buyers use the internet to search for homes – so you should definitely be listing online. However you may want to wait for the growing pains to subside before you invest your hard earned real estate listing advertising dollars in Zillow. Today’s fickle technology users don’t have a whole lot of brand loyalty, which may pose a challenge to a mega-giant in a market where, all things equal, consumers prefer a local business over a national firm that serves customers up to the highest bidder.