There are many mixed feelings about Zillow and Trulia. Some agents love them, some despise them, and some take them with a grain of salt. But consumers are using Zillow and Trulia and you need to understand how your listings get there. In addition, a behind-the-scenes business relationship changed which will alter how that is accomplished, so we want to bring you up to speed.
A bit of back story first. Back in 2007 IRES partnered with ListHub to give Managing Brokers/Owners the ability to syndicate their office listings to third party websites, if they so desired. For the last seven years Brokers chose where to syndicate their listings through the ListHub Dashboard. That included Zillow, Trulia, Yahoo, AOL, etc.
However, the agreement between Zillow, Trulia and ListHub ends effective April 7th. After April 7th, the ListHub Dashboard will still give Brokers the ability to send listings to many other sites, but not to Zillow or Trulia. (Renewal negotiations with Zillow broke off with Listhub over “terms that reflect the best interest of the brokerage industry”.)
So, now what? For starters, if you choose to send your listings directly to Zillow or Trulia via an office or franchise feed outside of the MLS, or if you enter it manually, be sure that your listing data is sufficiently protected. That means negotiating a license agreement that protects your sellers, yourself, and controls how the data can be used.
IRES is considering how we might assist brokers in sending listings to Zillow and Trulia. The exact process is not yet decided, but we will get the word out as soon as a solution is in place. As needed, check with us before you sign an agreement with either third party.
Please understand two things: IRES does not and will not sell listing data to Zillow or any third party syndicator for profit. There are administrative and technical costs that must be covered but that is the extent of it. Also, IRES will always put the broker in the driver seat in deciding where their listings are displayed and marketed. They are your listings. Period.
Brokers will still be able to syndicate listings to other third parties through the ListHub dashboard. Before then, we highly recommend you view your Listhub dashboard to 1) Ensure your listings are going where you want and 2) Make sure your marketing efforts are paying off. Consider your ROI by viewing the leads generated and the number of views from each site. Below are the 2014 numbers comparing the top four sites that generate leads. Is what you are paying worth it? We are happy to report our own ColoProperty.com® ranks the highest for lead generation (and we do not charge for leads)!
These are complex issues, for all of us. We hope this article clarifies things a bit. If you need more information on any point, please feel free to contact us and we will work through it together.