Do Zillow and Trulia have an FTC problem? Citron Research thinks that they do.

Ok. Let's start by having you read this. This is hitting Wall Street right now. Seriously. Go read it. And here is the document that they are referencing. Here's my take. This is a big deal. It NEEDS to be looked at. I am not prejudging it one way or the other, mostly because Citron shorts companies and I want to make SURE that what they say is fair. That said, Zillow and Trulia are equally biased and protecting their own positions. I want the truth. Is Citron accurate? It appears to me Continue Reading

Mark Spain’s Keller Williams team is more profitable than Zillow and other observations from the Real Estate Webmasters Conference. ;-)

It was great to get away for a few days, yo. We were sitting at dinner. Jim Olenbush, Claire Adams, Jolenta Averil and I. We were thinking about the real estate industry, Zillow / Trulia, syndicators and I was trying to put things into an economic perspective. Everyone seems to be worried about the potential of a merger between the two. And then it came to me. Mark Spain's Team in Atlanta is more profitable than Zillow. Forget stock valuations. Forget the latest power grab of this Continue Reading

Realogy buys Zip Realty for $166 M

In a move viewed buy many to capture a piece of the online real estate space and to gain some earnings along the way, Realogy (NYSE:RLGY) is buying ZipRealty (NASDAQ:ZIPR) for $166MM in an all cash deal. The $6.75 per share valuation is a huge premium against today's close of $3.02 per share. The purchase includes 23 U.S. offices that make up it's brokerage and also includes Zip Realty's real estate technology platform. Last year Zip Realty closed $2.7B in property sales at the 23 offices, Continue Reading

Trulia Move buyout rumors everywhere…seriously?

All of the syndicator shares spiked on "news" of a potential buyout of Move Inc by Trulia for 18 per share. http://seekingalpha.com/news/1804803-move-spikes-on-takeover-chatter http://realuoso.com/corporate/trulia-looking-acquire-move-18-per-share/ etc etc Here is what we know: Nothing. Seriously. Nothing. Just Rumors. But let's play "what if". Since Trulia offered: "No comment." then let's have fun raising the questions and not worrying about the answers...k? What if: Continue Reading

Animated videos on real estate sites to get people to register? My thoughts.

Alan Chambers is a REALTOR friend of mine. I helped him with some of the content on his website and we have chatted a couple of times about the industry. Then yesterday he sends me a message about "a silly video" that he put on his website. I went and took a look. HERE is the LINK. TAKE A LOOK FOR YOURSELF. Watch the video. What struck me about it is the following: It is animated without to much real estate to distract the viewer It goes right to the features and benefits of signing Continue Reading

Redfin adds an interesting video twist to listings.

Hat tip to the 1000 Watt blog guys for posting about this. And hat tip to Glen Kelmann who wins the Directors Award for most creative derivative work of listing photos yet. What am I talking about? This: http://www.redfin.com/CA/Van-Nuys/5655-Varna-Ave-91401/home/5180564 Go there. And then click on the see video link to the lower right of the photo area. What you will see is a photo slideshow with a twist. Most REALTORS have been doing some form of photo slideshow / semi video sort of Continue Reading

Realtor Free – Zillow’s latest TV spot.

Ok. Maybe I over analyze TV commercials. But words and images MEAN things. Companies pay millions each year for "inclusion" or "product placement" so that you see their products in the hands of a race car driver, or a movie star, or even a child actor in a commercial. These types of subtle promotion "sell" you on the concept of what belongs in a particular scene. So lets take Zillows latest spot. It is here. So what have they sanitized or scrubbed out of the family finding a perfect Continue Reading

Taking Benn Rosales’ point one step farther: Metrics and Transparency

First off, before you read this. You NEED to go read what Benn Rosales wrote in Realuoso about Traffic Stats that the big real estate search sites use. Go ahead. Read it. I will wait. Benn is right. But it goes deeper. I mean these are the same three firms Trulia. Zillow and REALTOR.com who berate REALTORS for their lack of transparency. They want every stat. Every metric so that they can measure REALTOR performance, because that is GOOD for the CONSUMER. Ummm...ok boys and Continue Reading

Zillow’s Churn Rate: They need to disclose it.

An analysis at Seeking Alpha takes a look at the all time highs posted by Zillow and says now is the time to sell. Here is a link to it. They list a number of reasons why. Zillow's current valuation is for over 4 BILLION dollars. In my estimation that is beyond stupid and due for the biggest of corrections. I have documented this is the past. What struck me as interesting though is that Wall Street is FINALLY picking up on the REALTOR fatigue with Zillow's premier agent program. They are Continue Reading

Trulia Swallows Up ActiveRain Content

According to a post on the Active Rain blog, content that was on ActiveRain.com will now be migrated to ActiveRain.Trulia.com, making the search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing now see all of the Active Rain content as being owned by Trulia. It will be an interesting move. Reportedly according to the blog post, outside content will NOT be migrated to Trulia and will remain on its current domain with no changes. This is leaving some in the real estate community wondering the Continue Reading