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.
Back 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.
Edit- see comments below. Trulia says the lack of above the fold listing attribution for the broker is a bug.
Last summer, Trulia made a pretty big deal over changes they made to enhance listing broker and agent attribution on their property description pages to “create positive changes” for their customers. Key among those changes was the prominent display of the listing source, broker and agent at the top of the page.
This morning, I noticed that Trulia is now rolling out new property description pages. Changes like these take many days to propagate across the entire site, so your listings may not be affected yet.
I’ve included a screenshot of an updated listing page.
The first thing you’ll notice is that the listing source, broker and agent attribution has been moved down *below the fold*.
In addition, the open contact form is now prominent in the top-right corner. That form was previously located at the bottom of the page. It appears to me that the listing agent in this case has a profile and has claimed their listings. In the past, agents who claimed their listings enjoyed exclusivity in the lead form. Only unclaimed listings had competing agents in the lead form. Now, it looks like the new, more prominent lead form includes competing agents on claimed listings as well.