Are Trulia and Zillow good or bad for the real estate industry? That question is one of the most contested amongst real estate agents today. Not contested is the fact that both companies have enjoyed impressive revenue and valuation growth. Real estate agents subscribing to their “lead-generation” services represent the lion’s share of each company’s revenue. These agents pay on average $3100/year and $2300/year to Zillow and Trulia respectively.
Some of the good things mentioned about the companies:
- Provides greater listing exposure to millions of consumers.
- The addition of tax records, school ratings and other information to listings is good for consumers and makes the agents’ job easier.
- Levels the playing field for newer agents and agents without many listings.
- Gives consumer access to FSBOs, foreclosures and other non agent represented properties, painting a fuller picture of the available market.
- Creates a new, broadly reaching, advertising platform for agents to advertise their skills.
Some of the bad things mentioned about the companies:
- A high percentage of their “available” listings are actually sold or off the market. This confuses and upsets consumers and makes agents look bad.
- The sites’ property valuations are often way off, making agents’ jobs harder.
- Promotes non-listing agents alongside listings that aren’t theirs, tricking consumers into believing they know the property.
- Sells to any agent, regardless of experience, the title of “Premier” or “Pro”.
- The “leads” generated for subscribing agents are low quality, non-responsive and a waste of time.
- The cost of being a subscribing agent is too high for what you get.
Based on your experience, here are some of my questions:
- If you are a subscribing agent to Trulia or Zillow, has it worked for you?
- If you are a subscribing agent to Trulia or Zillow was it worth the money paid?
- Have your clients contacted you about listings shown as “available” that were in fact, not?
- Have their property valuation tools helped or hurt you and your clients?
- Do you think your MLS should be feeding listings to Zillow and Trulia?
I’d love to hear your opinions!