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 girls…Zillow who is YOUR consumer??? Hmmm??
Seems to me that who your customer is can be LARGELY measured by your marketing spend. This means that REALTORS are in fact one of your largest consumers. If you are going to tout how big you are and give yourself the air of invincibility, should you be TRANSPARENT about how you measure that? And yet the only thing we hear from them is how transparent Agents and Brokers are not.
While I agree with Benn entirely on Zillow and Trulia, I think REALTOR.com has some splainin to do as well. All three of them (in my humble opinion) over the years have been guilty of selling REALTORS Zip Codes, Programs, Leads, and other marketing services without giving them clear and transparent numbers.
I think Benn makes a great case for how to get things apples to apples. But as we go there, I think it is worthwhile to point out the hypocrisy that the Big Three are regularly pumping into the industry in a race to see who can be the biggest and be dominant.