realtor.com

How Do Top Homes.com and Realtor.com Compare?

by Victor Lund on September 8, 2016

House Ladder

Since internet is among the top three most important methods of generating real estate leads and online listing sites rank as one of the most valuable tools, every agent is challenged to leverage these resources for creating, capturing, and closing leads. But, how can agents effectively compare the value propositions of marketing on the most popular real estate sites? An analysis of online marketing solutions from Realtor.com and Homes.com show that their marketing tools stack up pretty solidly when compared side by side, offering a range of options to suit any agent’s CRM strategy, marketing budget, and revenue goals. Both online real estate sites possess expansive reach that enables agents to pitch their professional profiles broadly while electing strategies that fit within their budget and plan. The no-cost Realtor.com profiles promote trust relationships with prospects by detailing agents’ listings, client recommendations, ratings, and reviews. Similarly, two programs through Homes.com amplify an agents’ brand while also providing the benefit of decreasing regional competition for carry a nominal cost. For instance, the Local Connect program, available to only a select number of agents within a specific zip code, features links to registered agents’ contact information, profile, or website. An enhanced version, the Preferred Agent program, virtually eliminates online marketing competition by placing regionally-exclusive links to the registered agent’s profile only. Regardless of the price point an agent chooses, all of these programs deliver the ability to cast a wide net for maximizing brand awareness and lead pipeline development. In addition, leading online real estate sites can aid effective CRM expansion with prompt lead response tools. Both the Showcase Listings by Realtor.com and Lead Concierge by Homes.com direct all prospects solely to the registered agent through lead notification, alongside valuable consumer context such as recently viewed properties. While the Showcase Listing program automatically sends prospects an email to let them know an agent will reach out shortly, Lead Concierge answers online queries directly, e licits qualifying information, and transfers the prospect to the agent in real-time. The main distinction between these two online solutions is the degree of third party service, and agents’ needs will vary according to their budget and CRM development plan. Realtor.com and Homes.com also have agents covered for the indispensable integration of social media networking into their CRM strategy, with each site providing solutions designed for the specific scope of content marketing services required.  Realtor.com offers a free Social Connections […]

{ 0 comments }

News Corp buys MOVE operators of Realtor.com

by Victor Lund on September 30, 2014

And so it goes. Move, the operators of the National Associaton of REALTORS portal called Realtor.com have agreed to sell the company to News Corp in an all-cash deal valued at $950 million. MOVE’s board of directors were swift to approve the offer, representing a 36% bump in the value of the company. News Corp owns other real estate assets including The Wall Street Journal (popular spot for luxury property advertising) and Australian real estate portal – realestate.com.au (part of the REA Group). REA Group will apparently pay for 20% of MOVE, and News Corp will pay the rest. This is a pretty bullish acquisition. It demonstrates the belief that there is a lot of growth on the horizon for portals in the US Market. To me the future looks pretty competitive with lots of well funded competitors dueling it out. MOVE has made a number of acquisitions over the years to diversify revenue away from the portal offering. Aside from Realtor.com, Top Producer is a solid contributor to the company’s success and revenue. I wonder if the new owners will shed some of those assets and focus purely on MOVE.com and Realtor.com. I also imagine that News Corp will be a little more aggressive in wielding the leverage it has with ListHub in a couple of ways – more international expansion and tighter agreements with publishers. Or not. They say that they have shared vision and shared values. Congratulations to the MOVE shareholders and executives. Nice win. My hope is that Joe Hanauer will be retained to continue is spectacular mission to support Realtor.com. Below are three clippings – letter from NAR to the membership – letter from MOVE to industry leaders – and the press release – all in one place for your pleasure. By the way – does anyone know how much stock News Corp and REA Group have invested in Zillow and Trulia – I think they are partners in all of these firms now. Pretty cool strategic investment strategy. Letter from NAR to the Membership Dear NAR Member, Today marks an extraordinary turning point in the history of realtor.com®. 

The website pioneered online real estate and was No. 1 in that space for 15 years. In recent years, even as realtor.com®’s traffic grew, deep-pocketed Internet startups succeeded in eroding the site’s consumer mind share. One year ago, the National Association of REALTORS® altered its operating […]

{ 0 comments }

MOVE acquires Point2 Syndication Contracts

by Victor Lund on September 4, 2014

It looks like MOVE, operators of Realtor.com have taken a stride that is not altogether different from the success that Zillow is garnering with their acquisition strategy. MOVE is doing their best to control the pipelines that deliver advertising to portals in the United States. MOVE already owns Listhub, the largest syndicator of listing content. Now they pick up their nearest competitor – Point2 – much in the same way that Zillow picked up Trulia. The biggest difference, beyond taking out a competitor, is that they will removing a layer of duplication of listing syndication. Spencer Rascoff of Zillow describes today’s listing syndication feeds as spaghetti. MOVE will now have a pretty good chance of cleaning up the problems. Point2 is providing a single data point for CREA that amasses the country’s listings from every market. MOVE did not buy that. Point2 will also continue to manage all of the syndication for CREA. Point2 will also retain all of their syndication technology, Listhub is just getting the contracts in the US with MLSs, Associations, and publishers. This acquisition is for US Listing Syndication Services Only. Point2 will continue to provide MLS Consumer facing websites, Point2 Agent Websites, Team Websites, Point2 Mobile, etc. I tried to reach out to Saul Klein to chat with him about this, but he was not available. I imagine that his phone is on fire. Saul has been at the forefront of a project he called Contract Alignment – a process of using the listing syndication agreements between content providers and publishers to cure many of the ills of syndication. Knowing Saul, I doubt that he will drop the ball on this topic as a vocal supporter. He has a pretty untamable passion of this stuff. The saddest part is that he will no longer have a mechanism for getting in the middle to impact change. In other stunning news, Saul Klein and his partner John are no longer working with Point2 or Yardi effective September 1.  This may provide a boost to Nationstar’s Real Estate Digital division, or RED. RED has been making many inroads with their REDataVault product. MLSs and Brokers like to have choices when choosing products, and with another choice off the table, RED may find themselves getting more requests for their syndication services. Immobel, who offers both domestic and global listing syndication may also find that they get a boost from this acquisition. Change […]

{ 0 comments }

The End Of War Between Zillow and Trulia

by Victor Lund on August 13, 2014

There is a major war going on in the taxi industry today. Uber and Lyft are duking it out. Both companies have deep cash pockets and they are deploying it in marketing and undercutting each other. It is pretty hard to know which service is better as they work hard to drive market share. As Zillow marches toward the stock swap to join forces with Trulia, perhaps a new wisdom of that transaction will reveal itself. They just avoided a very expensive war where the two of them may have killed each other off to reign supreme. It is pretty clear that the company that spends the most to attract the consumer is the company that gets the most traffic. Sure, the site itself is important in terms of usability or in terms of features like AVM, mortgage information, agent ratings, rentals and the like. But the real reason why these companies have the traffic they have is that they take every dollar they bring in from agents and brokers and buy more traffic. Many industry analysts have long term concerns about the voice of real estate not being a broker or an agent or part of the REALTOR family. Those are reasonable concerns that any incumbent would have in the face of new competition. But look at the facts. These companies are marketing the entire real estate industry on the back of investor dollars more than ad revenue from agents and brokers. Even if you want them to go away – be sure to thank them for the advertising first. They built the mulit-billions in value in their business. As an aside – Uber and Lyft have grown their value to $18.2 billion. I guess the taxi booking business is big business. Remember, market-share lead does not assure success. These companies are hopeful that it will, but in the interim, some brokers and agents are riding on the returns from their investment in reaching the consumer. They are putting more dollars to work than the dollars that you pay J We expected this value to continue for many years as Trulia and Zillow independently competed against each other by deploying dollars from their IPO. With the merger, these companies are not likely to be injured by competition between the two of them. They are on the same team. It will be time for Realtor.com and Homes.com to step up. Competition […]

{ 0 comments }

Howard Hanna Promotes 5700 REALTORS on Realtor.com

by Victor Lund on June 26, 2014

Today’s real estate broker faces some difficult decisions when it comes to online advertising. The choices are often predicated upon what your competition is doing; what sellers demand; traffic and leads generated by your website or franchise website; website owner terms of use; who gets the lead; who pays – agent or broker. It is really quite a mess. It is so bad, that many large firms have walked away from it entirely and leave it up to the agent. Other firms have taken the proverbial bull by the horn and worked hard to market listings online is a very controlled and purposeful fashion. Howard Hanna is one of those brokers. About Howard Hanna Howard Hanna is among the most dominant online marketing brokers in America. In their core cities of Pittsburgh and Cleveland – traffic to their broker website is greater than the national sites like Realtor.com, Zillow, Trulia, and Homes.com (Hitwise). But Howard Hanna stretches well beyond those two metropolitan areas. The firm covers most of Pennsylvania, most of Ohio, and parts of Virginia, Michigan, upstate New York, West Virginia, North Carolina, and Maryland (169 offices in total). They are the 4th largest firm in North America trading 52,827 homes and $9.7 billion in closed sales in 2013. Howard Hanna is also a full service firm offering consumers services in Mortgage, Title, and Insurance. An important component of the Realtor.com arrangement is not only that broker competition is not displayed on a Howard Hanna listing, but neither is any other competition from home services companies. Howard Hanna listings are generating leads for all of the affiliated companies they have. The effort also extends to the Realtor.com mobile application too. What is important about this announcement is that it is a renewal. Howard Hanna executive, Hoby Hanna made a statement made a statement about their online strategy back in February of 2012 announcing a partnership with Zillow and with Realtor.com http://youtu.be/ec2kJj-z2_I when the firm committed more than $500,000 to effort. In 2012, the decision the firm made was a bit of a well calculated and well researched test. They did not know what the outcomes would be. Clearly the renewal is a signal that the strategy has been successful. In addition to the link back to howardhanna.com, this image shows most of the 8 key additional areas of promotion Howard Hanna is purchasing on Realtor.com – it is like […]

{ 6 comments }

SAN JOSE, Calif., June 19, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Move, Inc., (NASDAQ:MOVE), a leading provider of online real estate services, reports that it is continuing to combat the distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, which has interrupted its websites’ operations since it began mid-day June 17. Move’s technical team is working around-the-clock with the Prolexic division of Akamai Technologies, Inc., a leading DDoS mitigation service provider; other Internet security experts; and its network service providers to mitigate the attack and quickly restore operations. In connection with the attack, Move received a ransom demand, which it did not respond to. DDoS attacks on Internet-based businesses and associated ransom demands are unfortunately becoming more common. Move is consulting with appropriate federal law enforcement officials and other technology companies that have been targets of DDoS attacks in recent months to review best practices for responding. Law enforcement is working to determine the attack’s origin. DDoS attacks are sent by people or botnets, which are Internet-connected programs that work on tasks. Move operates realtor.com®, the official website of the National Association of REALTORS®. The DDoS attack is driving massive amounts of traffic from external sources to Move’s data center, making realtor.com®, Top Producer® services, and Move’s other Internet services available intermittently. The attacks also have targeted and impacted the redundant aspects of our systems. Although, Move has defended itself from DDoS attacks in past, the scale of this week’s attack is large enough to impact the company’s network service providers and require the services of Prolexic. At this time, Move has no evidence that this attack includes or has resulted in any compromise of data or other content on its websites. “Our focus is to restore operations as quickly and securely as possible to provide consumers access to the most accurate* residential listings available, and to support our real estate industry customers,” said John Robison, Move’s chief technology officer. “We appreciate our customers’ understanding as we combat this attack on our services.” Move is working 24/7 to migrate its Internet services to a different network architecture to increase their protection. Move operates a large suite of websites so its migration plan is complex and will take several days to complete, which is typical for companies under a DDoS attack of this magnitude. “Most accurate” claim(s) pertain to the accuracy of home listings, are based on comparison with other national listing portals, and are based on […]

{ 0 comments }

How Great Companies React To Feedback

by Victor Lund on December 13, 2013

AgentMatch from realtor.com  was a solution that was tested in two real estate markets – Boulder, CO and Las Vegas, TX. The pilot program was developed as a service to connect consumers with agents based on performance, interests and recommendation data. Putting aside the debate about the strengths or weaknesses of this form of rating an agent, there is plenty to learn from how it was rolled out, how feedback was generated, and how the company reacted to the feedback. Pre-roll Out Decisions With any new service, the first question should be opt-in or opt-out. WAV Group has always recommended that the default on any consumer facing solution should be opt-in unless there are powerful mitigating reasons that support opt-out. In this test, realtor.com worked closely with both MLSs to be sure all were in agreement with how the data would be displayed. Pre-roll Out Communication Some companies have mandated classes on product roll-outs. WAV Group is not a big fan of this. Rather, offer the class or training online. Record it. Do not enable the service until the broker has either waived or attended the training. Getting the acknowledgement is really important. It is absurd to think that you will be able to reasonably solicit some form of acknowledgement from every broker – but make sure you get acknowledgement from most brokers. Schedule meetings face to face with your 10 largest brokers and phone conferences with 11-50. Again here, I applaud realtor.com for organizing local, executive and broker advisory boards during the development of this pilot. Pilot Testing New product roll-outs are never perfect. Indeed, the mantra for innovation is “fail fast and fail often.” What RDC did by putting the product out into the wild was aggressive. I know they worked closely with, and solicited feedback from, agents before AgentMatch was publically displayed. But they still got a pile of new feedback in the early days of the pilot. React to Feedback AgentMatch was taken offline today. In a statement, realtor.com President, Errol Samuelson said “The AgentMatch pilot has concluded, but the larger project remains: We intend to create the most accurate and complete resource for consumers looking for a Realtor online, and to continue moving the industry forward with innovative solutions.” What makes the company stronger in the eyes of their customers is that they were comfortable with embracing feedback and taking action to resolve important issues […]

{ 0 comments }

Austin Board of REALTORS Bids Syndication Farewell

by Victor Lund on October 10, 2013

Sunsetting services is never any fun, especially services that do not cost the membership any money. That is exactly what the Austin Board of REALTORS® is on a path to do this spring. The ABoR directors released a formal statement this week announcing the plan to sunset the Listhub agreement by April 30th, 2014.  The process for researching this difficult decision is nicely outlined http://www.abor.com/syndication. In June 2012, the ACTRIS committee, which is the MLS of the Austin area, created a Syndication Task Force with diverse representation of members and brokers. They cited some interesting findings. The decision to syndicate to third party websites should be an independent broker decision. They found there to be questionable consumer benefit in providing data to non-REALTOR® websites. They opined that Non-REALTOR® websites damage the reputation of REALTORs® They are of the belief that Non-REALTOR® websites misinform and mislead the consumer They believe that they can support REALTOR® members market listings without facilitating syndication to Non-REALTOR® websites. Note: There was no indication whatsoever that ListHub did not do an excellent job with the services offered to ABoR. The issues are occurring downstream of Listhub. The sunset process The committee put forth a roadmap for the process of sunsetting the Listhub service. Announcement to members and brokers Creation of a MLS Learning Community for online discussion Broker Forum It is interesting that ABoR  moved in the exactly opposite direction of fellow Texas MLS operated by the Houston Board of REALTORS® this week. HAR announced that they are adopting the Listhub service. HAR was one of the final major markets in America to offer Listhub as a member benefit. Publishers indicate that the best path to listing accuracy is a solid partnership with the MLS who provides the trusted source of accurate listing information. WAV Group research has shown that even in markets where the MLS provides data to publishers, the listing accuracy is still way off the accuracy found on a broker website. However, it does make an improvement. The key issue of listing accuracy is that publishers (REALTOR.com excluded) take listings from multiple sources. If they only took the MLS Listhub feed, the accuracy of a broker listing on the publisher website would be synchronized at least daily. Until publishers let brokers nominate the trumping rules and listing terms of use, data accuracy will continue to be a cancer. Brokers in Austin will not be left in the lurch. […]

{ 6 comments }

FIND Offers Unique Reciprocal Data Sharing.

by Victor Lund on September 10, 2013

Before REALTORS® Property Resource (RPR) was conceived, the National Association of REALTORS® was working with their realtor.com partner, Move, Inc. to develop a library of information on every property in America. NAR selected another vendor and developed what we know as RPR today. MOVE took their prototype and developed a free product called FINDSM. FIND is proprietary software for MLSs that provides property centric data on more than 100 million real estate parcels in the United States, and offers agents and brokers access to timely, accurate and reliable listing information across MLS boundaries. Available as a link or a tool bar that resides in MLS systems, it provides a depth of property information to enhance the MLS listing. The data accessible is a laundry list that includes fly over zones, flood maps, neighborhood demographics, and so on. FINDis free to any MLS. Over the past three years, about 60 MLS have launched the FIND program to as many as 450,000 agents. To participate in FIND, the MLS need only contract directly with Move for property data, and allow Move to display sold listings on realtor.com. Before FIND, realtor.com only received active listing data to display. Since Trulia and Zillow and others were actively working to collect and display sold data, FIND allowed realtor.com to compete. With FIND, realtor.com can once again occupy the leading position in real estate. The news here is not that REALTORS® have been able to access all data on realtor.com through FIND. Now, to support reciprocal data sharing, the agent in FIND can have direct access to other MLS systems through something called Deep Linking. The first reciprocal data sharing solution using FIND is between iTech MLS in Los Angeles and MetroList Services, Inc. in Sacramento. Those MLSs have an agreement between them to allow access to each others’ systems, and offers of compensation. Since FIND is powered by single sign-on (SSO), agents do not need to remember their password credentials to get into the other system. They simply search on FIND, and if they want to view the MLS listing details, they click the MLS link in FIND and they are ported right in. Where MLSs have a relationship for cooperation and compensation, when an agent looks at a record from another MLS, it will allow that agent to launch into the reciprocal MLS. Today, Rapattoni is the only MLS system that has deployed this. […]

{ 2 comments }

Realtors® Reaffirm Commitment to realtor.com®

by Marilyn Wilson on July 24, 2013

New Realtor.com brand

CHICAGO (July 24, 2013) – The National Association of Realtors® Board of Directors today reaffirmed NAR’s commitment to making realtor.com® the first, best online destination for home buyers and sellers. The board voted in favor of recommendations to modify an existing operating agreement that will help the site compete more effectively in an evolving online marketplace. “Over the years, Realtors® have invested a lot of time and millions of dollars in building information technology to give consumers online access to real estate information, and we know that consumer demand for all things ‘home’ has never been greater,” said NAR President Gary Thomas, broker-owner of Evergreen Realty in Villa Park, Calif. “As the most trusted resources for real estate information, Realtors® want realtor.com® to have the resources and flexibility it needs to give consumers what they want while ensuring that today’s buyers and sellers can continue to rely on Realtors® for the most accurate, credible market data. We think the proposed changes achieve both goals.” The operating agreement is between NAR subsidiary Realtors® Information Network and Move, Inc. subsidiary RealSelect, Inc.  The RIN board sought advice from NAR’s BOD because any changes to realtor.com could have a substantial impact on NAR’s members. The RIN board met immediately after the NAR BOD meeting, and approved the final recommendations. “When today’s consumer is searching for their dream home, they are utilizing more tools and information than ever before,” said realtor.com® President Errol Samuelson, Chief Strategy Officer for Move, Inc. “Today’s historic and collaborative recommendation from  the NAR board members empowers us to further expand and enrich the consumer experience on www.realtor.com and its mobile applications with greater breadth of content, and to do so with our continuing commitment to the highest level of quality and accuracy for both the real estate community and consumers.” The proposal recommended by NAR’s BOD gives realtor.com® more flexibility to identify listings from sources beyond those provided by Realtors®. That includes additional new homes and rental properties. At the same time, the site will reinforce the value of using a Realtor® when buying, selling or investing in real estate, and will give consumers tools to differentiate between Realtors® and real estate agents who are not Realtors®. “We want consumers to be able to envision their American dreams of homeownership online and then make those dreams a reality in the offline world,” said Thomas. “Working together, realtor.com® and Realtors® […]

{ 0 comments }

The War That Few Are Watching

by Victor Lund on June 19, 2013

There is a War being waged between the leading portals today. They are fighting with all of their might to be leaders in consumer website traffic. Today, Zillow is in the lead with Realtor.com on their heals and Trulia not far behind. Homes.com is pacing with the pack too, and perhaps showed just how strong they are by climbing the rankings at a remarkable pace in 2012. In an announcement released yesterday, Move proclaimed victory at retaining their relationship with MSN.com, the portal operated by Microsoft. I tried to get information about the battle, but limited facts were made available. We do not know the details of the agreement, its price, or the length of the term. We just know that Realtor.com won. I can only suppose that Zillow and perhaps Trulia were in the bidding. There was a lot at stake in this battle. Had Zillow won, they would have distanced themselves far afield of Realtor.com. Had Trulia won, they may have been lifted beyond Realtor.com into second place for overall traffic. By no means am I an historian for our industry, but I do remember that Prudential Real Estate had a similar relationship with Yahoo.com. If my memory serves me correctly, the eRealty strategy cost Prudential about $35 million. I tried to find press releases about this to confirm or cite the facts, but failed – so take the $35 Million with a grain of salt. I do know that the Prudential paid handsomely to buy the position on Yahoo Real Estate, and that Zillow now maintains that important foothold. The REALTORS® of National Association of REALTORS® should be joyous, and join MOVE in celebration. Had the battle gone another way, a key member benefit would have been reduced, and the REALTOR® brand marketing may have been diminished. It is hard to say how these things work out. But there is an important appreciation of strategy here. Like our Nation, our industry rests on the foundation of the Freedom of Choice. The one thing that we know about portals is that none of them make very much money. What money they do make comes from agents and brokers. For sure, consumers flock to these sites at a pace of 100 million per month. It is a great hunting ground for buyers and sellers. You have a choice about where your listings go. You have a choice about where your advertising dollars go. As […]

{ 4 comments }

The Future of Anything

by Victor Lund on May 30, 2013

I would attribute the series of postures on The Future of the MLS to Saul Klein. He may not have been the first to coin the phrase, but he has embraced it and made it his own. It is with due respect that we leave that posturing behind and set forth on a new journey. Our industry is at an inflection point, and my fear is that we are too blinded by current affairs to look beyond the steps in front of us. This morning, I encountered a quote from Antoine de Saint Exupery, a French writer, poet, and aviator who lived from 1900 to 1944. I did not take the time to research the setting for the quote, but it really does not matter because I want to use it to frame a new strategy for our industry leaders. “Your task is not to foresee the future, but to enable it.” I pecked out an industry overview of the governance of MLSs earlier this week. You can view it here if you like. I did not expect the flow of phone calls and emails. Apparently there are only a few people that are keenly aware of how different or fractured the governance of MLSs can be in America. Most brokers did not even know the governance of their MLS. It is a strange fog. Lets turn now to the key insights gathered in the rethink program. rethink is an organized effort to modify strategic planning at NAR. Here are the key insights presented at NAR Mid-year. I will provide commentary through the lens of enabling the future. Restructure Data and MLS Systems National MLS Take back REALTOR.com Be the Source for Big Data It would be a far reach for a trade association to morph itself into a data services company. This is the providence of brokers, not associations. Brokers are the group that need to enable the future of the MLS, online advertising, and big data. I would love to write the action plan for this. By the way – the action plan would likely retain local MLSs and REALTOR.com – but change them. Most MLSs and REALTOR.com have extraordinary talents at providing their services. It would be a mistake to restructure data and MLS systems without retaining the experience and talents of those service providers today. The real restructuring that needs to occur is broker involvement in […]

{ 0 comments }

Trulia buys Marketleader

by Victor Lund on May 8, 2013

In a release today, Trulia announced that they are buying Marketleader. As a result, Trulia has taken ownership of a brokerage. That means that they can compete with other online brokerages like Redfin, ZipRealty, Sawbuck, Movoto, and others. However, I do not think that is their strategy. There is a persistant paradigm emerging in the portal business whereby these companies combine the portal with technology products and services offered to agents and brokers. Operating a portal that relies on ad spending alone does not seem to be sustainable for the type of growth and stable recurring revenue for investors. Advertising has, and always will be a volatile business. Offering deeper levels of products and services to agents is a classic cross-sell opportunity. Move was the first portal to recognize this strategy, and has a suite of products that begin with Top Producer and expand from there. Zillow has followed the same path with their acquisition strategy of DiverseSolutions. Homes.com offers HomesConnect for agnets and brokers and powers many of the largest franchise sites in America. With Marketleader’s suite of products, Trulia can now provide agents with more leads, offer marketing on RealEstate.com, HouseValues, JustListed, as well as Trulia. They can move that buyer lead directly into agent websites backed by full contact management solution, drip marketing, and excellent market analytic reports. For sellers, they have a full marketing suite with flyers, postcards, virtual tours and of course – the ability to market that seller listing up through the portals – Trulia, realestate.com, etc. One of the advantages that Marketleader has developed in the marketplace is training. They learned years ago that the way to retain agent customers is by making them better sales people. They train and motiviate sales associates everyday. They have excellent coaches that help agent understand how to navigate the treacherous waters of technology. They also have the most active professional social network with ActiveRain, a place where agents help other agents. The Marketleader management and development team also brings significant industry experience to Trulia. Trulia has always excelled at being consumer centric, now they have deeper bench strength at being agnet-centric. This link on RE Technology provides a 360 degree overview of Marketleader – product list, product ratings, product reviews, company announcements, and other articles. Here is the note from Trulia this morning announcing the purchase: Earlier today, we announced that we have entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Market Leader, one of the real estate […]

{ 3 comments }

It is all about schools

by Victor Lund on April 23, 2013

New Realtor.com brand

The most active group of home buyers in sellers in America have one thing in common – school age children.  Traditionally, real estate has ducked the consumer by avoiding the laborious and somewhat liability producing task of informing consumers about schools. Our industry has largely taken the stance that if a consumer wants to know about schools, they will provide the phone number to the school district. Good luck with that. This is not true of all brokers or MLSs. Some have invested heavily in procuring the most accurate school data available. You will often find the information somewhere down below the fold on a listing detail page. Move Inc, the operators of Realtor.com just made a bold move (pun intended) to give consumers what they want – search by school. I just updated by Realtor.com mobile app and look forward to testing it out in my town to determine its accuracy. Accuracy has always been the issue. In some way, third party listing websites like Realtor.com, Trulia, and Zillow have an advantage at offering up some data types that licensed agents and brokers may not. They have no liability concerns with consumer transactions. Nevertheless, the data is getting better, making geo-fencing of school area boundaries possible. If you want to see a list of mapping solutions that support agents, brokers, or MLSs with this data, they are all sorted on RETechnology.com. Here are the details of the Realtor.com release. Realtor.com® First to Add School Search in Significant Update to Mobile App School is in session for realtor.com® as the online real estate leader rolls out a significant mobile update, pioneering search-by-school functionality in its successful iOS and Android apps SAN JOSE, Calif., April 23, 2013 – Realtor.com®, the leader in online real estate operated by Move, Inc. (NASDAQ: MOVE), today announced a substantial update to its realtor.com® mobile app for iOS and Android. In addition to being the first to allow home buyers to target listings based on schools and districts through its new school search functionality, the app now boasts an array of updated capabilities, including new, intuitive navigation elements and an enhanced map experience. With realtor.com’s search-by-schools, users can hone their home search based on school or district boundaries and discover valuable information on schools and districts of interest. Users can filter listings by public schools, districts and private schools in just one tap. “We understand that when searching for the perfect home […]

{ 0 comments }

Move, Inc. logo

MOVE published a release today announcing that Errol Samuelson has been promoted to Chief Strategy Officer, expanding his role at the company. The full press release is below. You may not know that Errol was once part of the most powerful team in real estate. I call them the four horseman  – Errol plus Marty Frame, Prem Luthra, Ben Grabowski. All four have gone on to great success. Marty Frame is a leader at RPR. Prem Luthra is a leader at Real Estate Digital. And, Ben Grabowski is a leader at CoreLogic. They play pivotal roles in four of the largest and most successful companies in real estate technology today. Over the years, Errol and his family have become personal friends of ours. For most people in the real estate industry, I suspect that is true. Beyond his professional stewardship of his responsibilities at MOVE, he is a impassioned supporter of great industry principles. He also surrounds himself with a likeminded team. Kudos Errol! Take a look at the press release below. It outlines a few milestones of his career at MOVE. Errol Samuelson Appointed Move’s Chief Strategy Officer Seasoned leader promoted into newly created role to guide company strategy Apr 4, 2013 12:00pm SAN JOSE, Calif., April 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Move, Inc. (NASDAQ: MOVE) today announced that Errol Samuelson is promoted to Chief Strategy Officer, expanding his role at the company. To capitalize on its strong 2012 results, and to fuel growth and drive sustainable competitive advantage the company created the new role and promoted Samuelson to fill it. “Errol has more than ten years experience with Move and twenty years in technology and real estate,” said Steve Berkowitz, Chief Executive Officer of Move. “He’s worked in both strategic and operational roles. He’s the perfect person for the job. This will be transformational for Move’s employees, customers, partners, and shareholders.” At Move, Samuelson led the team that acquired TigerLead and Relocation.com in 2012, and before that, SocialBios, ListHub, and TopProducer Systems. Through these acquisitions, he helped Move build the most complete set of real estate solutions and publishing tools in the industry, one that also protects the rights and intellectual property of brokers and multiple listing services. For realtor.com, a leader in online real estate operated by Move, Samuelson launched the 2007 program to increase the accuracy of its listings, with most listings now updated every fifteen minutes. He […]

{ 0 comments }

Move releases the new Realtor.com Brand

by Victor Lund on March 5, 2013

New Realtor.com brand

We have seen some re-branding released recently from leading real estate consumer brands. Today we see the release of the new Realtor.com – where home happens. Last year saw the rebirth of Century 21 – Stronger, Bolder, Faster. These are very well recognized consumer brands. MOVE EVP Marketing, Barbara O’Connor and her team took a close look at the Realtor.com brand within a year of her arrival at the company. I am excited to see how this new treatment works out. I can assure you that they have likely exhausted focus groups to predictably make a selection that reaches their target with both consumers and the industry. Presumably they had the additional challenge of NAR review, since the REALTOR brand comes through the license agreement. It is an interesting challenge to blend someone another company brand into your brand. I think that O’Connor and team did a great job. I like it. Beverly Thorne and her team at Century 21 led the charge for their initiative following a similar pattern. It is common for a new marketing leader to take a good look at the brand in their first year in office. As the custodian of a brand, great marketers establish a clear and measured understanding of what they have inherited. Both Century 21 and realtor.com appeal to consumers and agents alike. It makes branding hard. At once you are appealing to a 35 year old consumer and a 54 year old REALTOR ® Here’s a few thoughts from Andrew Strickman, VP Brand & Creative at move, Inc. “As we heighten our focus on developing a rich consumer experience and creating an emotional attachment to our audience, we recognized that it was time to update our realtor.com branding, positioning and tagline. We conducted extensive research and spoke with consumers from across the country as key input to the development of our revised logo and new site look and feel.  We heard from them that a valued online real estate brand is one that embraces the notion of home — whether that home is their first rental out of college, or the 3-bedroom house that marks the beginning of a new family growing out of their starter home. Most online real estate brands feel clinical, data- and machine-driven and do not have a human feel, even though they are all about creating connections with real human beings. Our role with this […]

{ 2 comments }

Are my listings going everywhere – Zillow Front Door

by Victor Lund on February 13, 2013

zillow Logo

Whenever an announcement like the Zillow-Front Door announcement is made, brokers have questions about their data and where it is going. We call this the issue of re-syndication, and whenever an announcement is made made about one party sending data to another party – brokers should know. Zillow is not re-syndicating to HGTV’s Frontdoor.com website. The first thing that I would suggest to any broker providing data to any publisher is to have a contract with the publisher that defines what they can or cannot do with your data. Most of the franchisors like REALOGY, Keller Williams, RE/MAX, and others have such agreements in place. If you are a franchisee, ask your franchise rep for a briefing on how they are protecting your data. Be aware, you must syndicate through your franchisor for this agreement to cover you. If you send listings from the MLS to the publisher, from your website to the publisher, from your virtual tours to the publisher, or allow agnets to send them to the publisher using postlets or any other means – that data is not covered under those protective agreements. If you syndicate through MOVE, Inc, Listhub or through Yardi’s  Point2 product, there is great information in the broker dashboard about re-syndication. In the case of Zillow, they power hundreds of websites beyond Zillow.com – most prominently they power realestate.yahoo.com and have a partnership with CNHI (Community Newpaper Holdings, Inc).  They are “part of this publishers extended network. These sites are either subsites owned and operated by the publisher, or sites powered by the publisher. In all cases, listings remain resident in the primary publisher’s database at all times.” Interestingly enough, there is no mention of HGTV or FrontDoor in the Zillow page on Listhub, yet. I am sure they are working on it. FrontDoor.com is still listed as a publisher on Listhub, and they have a 6 out of 10 rating. FrontDoor, like Zillow also powers subsites operated by the HGTV along with sites powered by the publisher where listings remain resident in the FrontDoor data bases. OpenHouse.com is one of the key sites in their network – about 75 or 80 sites in all.  So, to answer the question about where your data is going – it is not going anywhere beyond the walls of Zillow according to the public proclamations.  You should take a careful look at your local newspaper or television website to see if Zillow, […]

{ 2 comments }

Move, Inc. logo

SAN JOSE, Calif., January 14, 2013 – Move, Inc. (NASDAQ:MOVE) today announced  the expansion of its suite of free marketing tools with the acquisition of certain assets of eFrogPond, Inc. an integrated communications and marketing solutions provider best known for its Housing Trends eNewsletter.  This acquisition signifies an enhancement to the Move, Inc. series of industry-leading marketing solutions.  Move, Inc. is the operator of TOP PRODUCER Systems and REALTOR.com. The Housing Trends eNewsletter will continue to function in its present form and Top Producer Systems CRM subscribers can distribute Housing Trends eNewsletters automatically to their customers.  Going forward, subscribers can expect an enhanced look and feel with an expanded choice of graphics and content sources, as well as better integration with Top Producer. “At Move, Inc., we offer brokers and agents a well-rounded suite of marketing tools with a broad spectrum of consumer touch points and lead generation opportunities. The Housing Trends eNewsletter is an essential addition to our catalog of free solutions,” said Steve Berkowitz, CEO of Move, Inc. “We expect to see a significant expansion in the value it already provides agents as we add comprehensive content resources, graphics and integrated distribution options with tools like Top Producer.” The Housing Trends eNewsletter is highly successful, with approximately 1 million page views per month and 50,000 real estate agent and broker subscribers. Real estate professionals use this industry-leading marketing resource to share pertinent real estate statistics and news stories with current and perspective clients.  Agents and brokers are also able to seamlessly incorporate their branding and contact information into the design of the newsletter. “Move is the perfect fit for the Housing Trends eNewsletter.  When considering a new owner, I was looking for a company that I knew could expand on our current success and provide opportunities for enhanced features such as automatic email distribution,” stated Susie Hale, creator of the Housing Trends eNewsletter. “Move, Inc. has these capabilities, as well as comprehensive content solutions that I know will enrich our newsletter and add value to the professionals it serves.” As part of this acquisition, Susie Hale, creator of the Housing Trends eNewsletter, will assist the Move, Inc. team by continuing her existing role of overseeing the newsletter and personally attending to its subscribers. Hale built this newsletter program from the ground up and brings vital knowledge about the product and deep industry experience to her new role on […]

{ 0 comments }

Average Time on Market

I am a big fan of client servicing portals that leverage full MLS data rather than IDX data. The key here is that the consumer can see the full compliment of business intelligence powered by the MLS. Clearly, days on market, price changes over time, and recent sales history in the area are the fundamental elements of understanding listing price. Market Analytics are really helpful in informing predictions on what will happen in the near term for hyper local markets and hyper refined property attributes. If days on market for a 2 bedroom condominium in a building in San Francisco is 8 days; and three identical units have sold in the past 2 weeks – you can predict that the new listing in that building is also likely to sell in 8 days – especially if the listing price of the condominium unit is within the boundary of the list to sale price of comparable units. Consumers need to know this information and agents need to be able to share it with buyers dynamically. The technology exists, but it is off in a product silo that consumers cannot access. There are plenty of companies that have analytic solutions that show pricing and market velocity (here is a list), but for illustrative purposes, I will reference Pricing Analysis which is a component of Terradatum’s AgentMatrix product, also known as Clarus Resource in California. Pricing Analysis uses the full compendium of MLS data facts to predict days on market for a particular property at a particular price. It is astoundingly accurate. Comparable homes pricing below the market sell in fewer days on market. Comparable homes pricing above the market take longer to sell. (note: Terradatum has proven that homes initially priced high are more likely to finally close for prices below the average). Every day, millions of listing alerts are sent from real estate professionals to consumers. These consumers have enrolled in automatic notifications that inform new listings and updated listings (like price changes). It would truly be a beautiful thing if these listings alerts said something like “Based upon data from the MLS, this property is likely to sell in ____ days.” Click here to see market data that explains why. Let the race begin to develop this functionality. Here is my prediction. Realtor.com, Zillow, and Trulia will have this feature available to the public faster than any other company. Listingbook […]

{ 4 comments }

Move buys Tigerlead Solutions

by Victor Lund on September 4, 2012

move logo

Move, operators of Realtor.com, AOL Real Estate, and MSN Real Estate, Listhub, Top Producer, is growing through acquisition as they announce their purchase of Tigerlead. Presumably, Tigerlead will be alternative product with similar functionality to Top Producer. The company was purchased for $22 Million. The executives from TigerLead Solutions will be joining the Move management team, strengthening their already deep bench of experts who understand how to attract, convert, cultivate, and close online home buyers and sellers. Existing Tigerlead customers will benefit from MOVE’s consumer traffic that will fill lead funnels. Here is the Move Buys Tigerlead press release. “Move has long been the leader in the online real estate space.  Bringing TigerLead under the Move umbrella extends our value to our customers in a tangible way that will deliver more high quality leads and help facilitate more real estate transactions,” said Steve Berkowitz, Chief Executive Officer of Move. “By adding an agent-branded website and search solution that richly complements the leads generated by REALTOR.com®, this acquisition further enables Move to deliver the best suite of solutions to both consumers and real estate professionals.  No other company has our breadth of solutions that connect consumers with properties and local agents, while delivering a complete set of productivity tools to agents that let them manage their business from initial lead generation through to transaction close and beyond.” Used by thousands of agents nationwide, the TigerLead platform provides real estate professionals a powerful solution for capturing, cultivating, and managing buyer and seller leads. For brokers and teams, the platform also provides an enterprise-class lead management system that gives 24/7 visibility into the entire team’s lead follow-up performance. This unique platform provides a potent closed-cycle system that combines strong Search Engine Marketing (SEM) expertise with a sophisticated IDX platform and lead management system to help agents generate “Smarter Leads,” leads that are delivered with unique insights such as how many times a user has returned to the site to search, price ranges and the amount of times homes are viewed. “TigerLead has built a powerful platform that delivers real results, and we will continue to provide a strong return on investment for our clients, enhance the strengths of our product offering, and respond to all of our customer needs,” said Howard Tager, co-founder of TigerLead. “Additionally, with TigerLead now part of the Move family, there is a tremendous opportunity to enhance our existing product by […]

{ 0 comments }

Page 1 of 212