Daily Real Estate News | Wednesday, February 18, 2015
The real estate portal space is heating up with Zillow and Trulia finalizing their merger Tuesday. The number of major competitors serving this market has been reduced to two big titans: Move Inc., which operates realtor.com®, and Zillow-Trulia.
Following the Zillow-Trulia announcement, Move released a statement saying, “2015 will mark Zillow’s year of the merge and realtor.com®’s year of the surge.”
In an e-mail yesterday to Move employees, CEO Ryan O’Hara elaborated. “My expectation is that the two of us will wage a spirited battle for the hearts and minds of consumers and the industry, and we will push each other to be better performers – more focused on the customer, quicker to innovate, more committed to adding value at every stage of the real estate cycle. In this way, everyone wins.”
Zillow finalized its acquisition of Trulia Inc. for $2.5 billion in a stock-for-stock transaction Tuesday. The acquisition forms Zillow Group Inc., which also houses New York-based StreetEasy and rental search brand HotPads. The company faces increased competition now that realtor.com®’s operator has the force of News Corp behind it. This past November the global media company, which operates real estate portals internationally and owns such titles as The Wall Street Journal and Barron’s, completed its acquisition of Move Inc., tying its name to the REALTOR® brand.
“There is no digital replacement for the human touch,” Rupert Murdoch, executive chairman of News Corp said during the Real Estate Connect conference in New York in January. “No technology can meet all of someone’s needs. It takes a real person. … We want the shortest distance between the American Dream and a family’s reality to be realtor.com®.”
The acquisition has already proved a boon to Move’s traffic. Entering 2015, Move Inc.’s web and mobile traffic jumped more than 30 percent. In January, Move reported an all-time high of 37 million unique visitors to realtor.com®.
“Move/realtor.com® is extremely well-positioned to compete and thrive in this environment of industry consolidation and data-driven customers,” O’Hara said in his e-mail to employees. “Competing in business typically involves trying to be better, cheaper, faster or different than your competition. How will we compete? By continuing to build the best web and mobile experiences for consumers and the best and most valuable tools for brokers and agents, and by providing the market with the most comprehensive, most accurate, and most up-to-date listings in the U.S. I can also promise you we will quicken the pace of product innovation and apply more marketing muscle to our consumer and industry outreach.”
Reprinted from REALTOR® Magazine Online, February 2015, with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. Copyright February 2015. All rights reserved. http://realtormag.realtor.org