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What the Zillow-Yahoo! Real Estate Deal Means to the Real Estate Industry

You’ve probably seen the news that Zillow is going to be the exclusive provider of listings to Yahoo! Real Estate, as well as be the exclusive seller of ads to agents and brokers for inventory on YRE. What is the significance of the number 2 and 3 sites in the real estate joining forces? The fact that YRE!’s listing will be powered by Zillow is a nice win meaning that agents and brokers will have one less place to syndicate to, but the real news here is the creation of the Zillow-YRE Ad Network. In short, it means more money for Zillow and Yahoo! Real Estate and less money for Realtor.com.

Those who have done online ad sales, and those who have been pitched by online ad salesmen, know it’s powerful tool to be able to say “We’re the largest site in [category X]” when speaking to a potential advertiser or partner. The Zillow/YRE combo now completely dwarfs the size of Realtor.com in overall audience. Realtor.com is rumored to have somewhere in the range of 12 million uniques, while Zillow was at 10.7 last month and, without knowing anything other than that they are the number 2 site, I’m guessing Yahoo Real Estate was around 10 million as well. That means the Zillow Ad Network now includes 20+ million uniques a month. That fact alone means that more money is going to shift towards Z/YRE and away from Realtor.com.

The CNNMoney deal was a nice win for Trulia, but this Yahoo! deal completely blows that out of the water in my opinion. CNNMoney is certainly a massive site, but Traffic on CNNMoney is not really specifically looking for real estate — traffic on Yahoo! Real Estate certainly is.

As for Realtor.com, I hope they have a few massive innovations or strategic deals up their sleeve or else it’s going to be a rocky road ahead for their sales team. I’m guessing there will be a fair amount of chatter about this deal at Inman next week

PS: I’m obviously biased on this issue since I worked at Zillow for 4 1/2 years and as a stockholder am certainly thrilled this deal (which was in the works prior to me leaving in January) got completed. But now that I don’t work for Zillow I can actually comment on big announcements like this 🙂

About Drew Meyers

Founder of Geek Estate Blog / Geek Estate Labs. Zillow Alum. Travel addict & co-founder of Horizon. Social entrepreneurship & microfinance advocate. Fan of Red Hot Chili Peppers and Kiva.

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  • Great post Drew! FYI, REALTOR.com reported that they receive 17.5 million visits a month at the NAR BOD Meeting in May. This post reminds me that I needs to get the slides from that presentation up on NAR's slideshare account.

  • Hi Todd,

    Spencer from Zillow here.

    Don't confuse visits with visitors. They're very different, as I'm sure you know.

    Zillow had 10.7 million unique VISITORS in June (according to our internal data from Omniture) but we had 21.5M unique VISITS in June. So if you're going to pull out a 17.5 “visit” number for R.com, I'm going to have to pull out our 21.5M number. Typically we (and others) cite unique VISITORS not unique VISITS, but since you dropped a 17.5M number, I had to give you our comparable stat…

    The third party measurement companies show that the gap between Zillow.com and R.com is small, and rapidly narrowing. Comscore showed 9.47M unique visitors for R.com in June, 7.23M for Zillow.com and 6.928M for Yahoo! Real Estate. Based on this Comscore data, Zillow plus Yahoo Real Estate will be 41% larger than R.com; even if you haircut that by around 10% (the amount of our duplicated audience), it's hard to dispute the simple fact that Zillow is now very viable alternative to R.com for agents and brokers looking to gain massive exposure through advertising.

    See you at Inman Connect next week.

  • Looking more closely at the data, I think you might have meant visitors anyway, not visits.

    Anyway, Realtor.com is still definitely bigger than Zillow.com (according to third party data, which I believe), but the reason I'm so excited about the partnership with Yahoo! is that Zillow can now pose a very credible alternative in terms of the exposure we can provide to advertisers.

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  • Fascinating stuff. Honestly, I don't believe we've ever had a customer bring in printed listings they wanted to see from Yahoo – with Zillow it's frequent.

    I think Zillow is a great resource and significantly better than Realtor.com in terms of content aggregation and usability. However, the recent price increases (free to $10 to $40 a listing, seriously?) are shocking and I don't think an automated robot calling our office to tell us about an e-mail we receive adds any value.

    Just a thought.

  • Nice post Drew and congrats to Zillow/Yahoo! for the deal – I respect Zillow for slogging it out and pushing the deal through. I think Zillow's salesforce will more effectively sell the local inventory than Yahoo!'s salesforce. For some reason Y! was never very good at selling local ads.

    To Spencer and Drew's points about the reach of Yahoo! + Zillow, the combined entity definitely dwarfs Realtor.com. I don't know the internal figures anymore, but when I left Yahoo! Real Estate last year, the internal stats were between 10 and 12 million unique visitors per month (though it's trailed off a bit this past year). No matter how you look at it, Zillow + Yahoo! Real Estate provides substantially greater reach than Realtor.com alone. In my opinion, this makes the duo a 'must buy' and should improve sales and CPMs for both parties. Congrats again.

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  • This reminds me of what the wholesales stores did to the mom and pop shops of old. They were able to offer more products at better prices with mass appeal. The opportunity to provide specific content which users are seeking right now… and the ability to respond quickly to that need for that specific information will be a key.

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