The agreement made last year between Zillow and Yahoo Real Estate has now gone “live” according to Zillow. Zillow is now providing 4 million listings to compliment Yahoo’s already existing databases of foreclosures and other properties.
Additionally according to the deal, Zillow will be offering advertising opportunities on both sites to agents and brokers. This is the first of what many insiders think will be more consolidation among lead generatiing / listing syndication type sites. Other syndicators are poised to follow with Move, Inc’s acquisition of ListHub, they are anticipated to soon power AOL’s real estate presence.
Move Inc. and Zillow are in a pitched battle for dominance in terms of real estate traffic. Inman news is reporting that analysts are now stressing the need to look at the quality of the traffic as much as the quantity. This has been a subject that real estate bloggers have pointed out as a weakness of Zillow who has celebrity homes as a front page feature, among other strategies designed to maximize traffic quantity at the apparent expense of quality.
The bottom line that brokers need to be aware of is that all traffic is not equal. The size of the network (in terms of unique visitors) does not determine how many legitimate buyers or sellers marketing dollars will generate and that this battle may well go on for quite some time.