Special Report: Why online consumers love Zillow and Trulia more than you


Some topics are just too big to blog about. Today, I’m releasing my first special report. It’s an explanation of the core competencies that have lead Zillow and Trulia to become the most visited real estate web portals in nearly every market. As the Midyear meetings were strongly focused on, “owning the online relationship with consumers,” I think the REALTOR® family would be well served to fully understand the scope of the task at hand. Visit the new Special Reports page to download for free.


Additional commentary. 

A view of Zillow and Trulia from Todd Carpenter – eight11.com

Why Consumers Prefer Zillow and Trulia to the REAL Real Estate Professionals Search Sites – mayareguru.com

Did you here? – vendoralley.com


4 thoughts on “Special Report: Why online consumers love Zillow and Trulia more than you

  1. Doug Francis

    This is a really interesting report and well worth reading, thanks!

    As an individual agent, I have learned to adapt to these guys and have filled in my profiles, asked clients to provide “reviews”, and tried to leverage every free thing our of these sites. They are where the consumers are looking, and small guys, like me, have to exploit them as part of a smart Internet marketing strategy.

    We, the individual agents, have no choice but to complete our profiles and be participants on their sites just to maintain consumer’s expectations. There will probably be an agent or two who disagrees with me, but when a consumer searches for you and you are a ghost… well, then they will probably look for another agent.

  2. Matt Stigliano

    Todd – Well thought out look at one of the “ugliest” things in our industry these days. Right off the bat, on page two under “non-transactional content” I had a couple of thoughts about R.com and what it could do to change things.

    1. In the section “Property Details” I immediately thought of the fact that R.com makes us purchase an upgrade to get our MLS descriptions in there and more than 4 (I think that’s the number) photos. Although R.com is getting a feed from the MLS, they are already crippling themselves to start with less data. If agents want to purchase the featured package, they can then manually enter the text descriptions and the feed will pick up the rest of the photos. With so many agents complaining about the often extortion-like-pricing, there is a lack of interest in paying. Why pay R.com for more when the others are doing it for free (even though they have paid features, you can upgrade your listings with this data for free)?

    Action item #1: Remove the barriers on R.com and make our data set better. Of course, this will cause a fall in income for R.com, so they will have to find ways to make it elsewhere. Much like the recording industry after Napster, it’s time to make bold changes and think differently.

    2. User generated content is also talked about. Zillow and Trulia have both done well with this and yes, I agree that it can be a slippery slope at times (in terms of things like Fair Housing), R.com has a membership who is already doing this. Yes, R.com does have some options for things such as this, but they’re just not sticking as well as Trulia and Zillow.

    Action item #2: Generate more content. Get the membership to be involved. How do you get membership to blog or answer questions? Simple. Give the tech saavy set what they want most, after all, they’re the bloggers and thinkers and opiners out there. What do we all want most? High-quality backlinks. Let us earn links with dofollow tags. Give us the support for our sites and we will support yours. I suspect with hours of an announcement such as this, R.com would be flooded with new content, particularly from those of us who know what a good backlink is truly worth.

    There’s two ideas I see that could implemented at the national level. They’d also work on state and local levels, but I think the biggest impact would come from R.com They would take some rethinking of strategy and income from the top, but that’s no excuse for it not to be possible.

    1. Todd Carpenter Post author

      Thanks Matt, the power of non-transactional content is completely underestimated by most real estate professionals. It’s just so hard to do, and it takes forever until it starts to pay off. It took Z & T years to build out that content, but now it’s paying off in spades.


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