Updated: Zillow Announed that it is aquiring Trulia for $3.5 Billion. View Here
Real Estate News
It has just been reported that Zillow which is the largest Real Estate Website is looking to buy Trulia the second largest site for around $2 Billion Dollars. Reports indicate that an announcement could come as early as next week.
As reported in Bloomberg News, Zillow and Trulia had a combined unique search of over 85 million visitors in June which accounts for over 89% of online traffic.
What does this mean for Realtors?
The probable result is that with a Goliath of a website like Zillow which is on an aggressive path to dominate the online real estate market, Realtors can expect to be forced to utilize their services one way or another.
Without a viable competitor, you can also expect prices of their services to slowly start creeping up. Making it more difficult to project your marketing costs and to keep your costs inline.
Should you Buy into Zillow Now?
Most Agents & Brokers will probably feel it’s best to solidify their position with Zillow but because this acquisition is so large, you can be confident that whatever you buy from them today will look drastically different in the months and years to come. So you probably won’t be able to lock in your market as easily. Or it would cost you a fortune. Imagine spending over 50% of your income on marketing!
Should you stay away from Zillow?
I have always been and always be a strong advocate of owning your online identity, your own website with an independent IDX Solution. This is the best way to compete online and have a chance to reach page one of the major search engines and to own your leads. This strategy also helps to Brand You versus just being one of many Realtors that is on a website that treats you as a commodity.
I would first advise that you solidify your foundation by organizing all the online assets that you control like your website, IDX, Social Media, Video Channels etc. Enhance your email marketing to generate and build more leads, do targeted direct mail to your local area so you are seen as a valuable resource and make sure that you have your marketing dollars under control.
If you find that after doing all that, you have a few extra dollars to throw around, then investing in something like Zillow’s services might make sense. But remember, you have no way of controlling the cost for that part of your marketing.
How to spend your Marketing Dollars
There are always ways to invest in your own website. After building the foundation of your website, you might find that you need to blog more often to provide relavent content to your visitors. This is when you can invest in a Virtual Assistant who is well trained in Real Estate Content Creation. You can visit a local university to get a journalism student to intern for your website by writing high quality content. You can sponsor a local little league and have your website prominently featured on the Uniform. You can also develop a strong Real Estate Team where each person focuses on their strong points.
Real Estate Team
- Listing Agent
- Buyers Agent
- Open House Coordinator
- Marketing Agent
- Virtual Assistant
Having a team means you become more productive and in essence generate more revenue meaning more DOLLARS!
So Zillow is looking to buy Trulia. This is first going to send shockwaves throughout the Real Estate Industry. Then you will see Agents & Brokers flock to buy into their services because it seems like that is the only option. But remember, if you do what everybody else does, how can you get different results? What separates you from the pack? It’s time to think outside the box!