Tag Archives: REALTOR.com

REALTOR.com Redux: The Brainstorm

In less than two months, the National Association of REALTORS® Board of Directors will meet in private to talk about the future of REALTOR.com. As I documented in my special report, Zillow and Trulia have made significant gains over the last five years and now outrank realtor.com in unique monthly traffic. Both NAR and Move Inc want to put Realtor.com back in the lead, but it won’t be easy. They have unique challenges that they need to overcome.

imagineJust because the board is meeting in private, doesn’t mean we can’t brainstorm about REALTOR.com’s future in public. I hope you will consider adding your own ideas in the comments, or write a blog post and I’ll link to it. Let’s have a conversation about taking back REALTOR.com and upgrading it to compete with Zillow and Trulia.

I’ll start with a few ideas.

Idea 1: Use the Consumer Advertising Campaign to fund premium listings.

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How NAR and Google can partner to build a member-centric real estate “portal”

File this under crazy ideas that Todd came up with that are full of risk and not likely to happen. 

According to Dale Stinton, NAR’s leadership is ready to “get in trouble“. That’s great news. Here’s  a way to get started.

outside the boxMany members want a national website that allows a listing agent to post their listings without  ads from competing agents. NAR could pull this off, but it will be really tricky.

NAR currently has a partnership with Move Inc to operate REALTOR.com. I think the partnership is a fair deal. REALTORS® get to publish their listings on REALTOR.com for free. Move funds the site by charging for premium or competing advertising on the site. However, this isn’t good enough for members who essentially want an ad-free platform. The REALTOR.com operating agreement is evergreen and includes non-compete language. Changing the agreement is difficult, and going around it is even harder. Continue reading

REALTOR.com’s “Find It First” advantage; will it last?

Once a fat, dated company that rested on its laurels (and a sweetheart deal with NAR), REALTOR.com® has recently reinvented themselves; they had to. Despite key competitive disadvantages, Zillow and Trulia passed RDC in unique visitors and are poised to widen the gap. Still, RDC has a lot going for it. They have the operational rights to use www.realtor.com, institutional relationships will nearly every MLS, and an awesome development team that has proved they can create user experiences that are every bit as good as the mobile and web offerings from Trulia and Zillow. To highlight some of these advantages, RDC has launched a new campaign called, “Find It First.”

I like the concept. For now, RDC’s access to the majority of MLS sourced listings can be viewed as a competitive advantage over Zillow and Trulia. They have the technology to pull a feed from most MLSs as often as every 15 minutes. In addition, RDC’s agreements with most MLSs are of the opt-out variety by default. Meaning if a broker does nothing, their listings go to RDC. The broker has the option to opt-out of syndication, but very few do. Because of these two factors, they get most MLS listings and they get them fast.

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“If we all banded together, we could put Zillow and Trulia out of business”

chevronBack when gas prices skyrocketed, I started getting a chain letter from angry friends who weren’t going to take it anymore; you know the one. It said that all we have to do is ban together and not buy gas on the same day. This would bring big oil to their knees.

We all know that free markets don’t work that way. Even if you could get everyone to not buy gas on one day, gas companies would simply lower the price just a little bit. By the next day, people would break ranks to take advantage of the savings. The embargo would crumble. This is the sort of economic lesson we all learned in junior high.

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