Did you read about the most recent legal battles happening between Zulia and Move Inc., which operates realtor.com? It’s a pretty silly-seeming showdown with Zulia leading the clown show (surprise, surprise). We won’t go too much into it, but here’s a quick summary: Move Inc. announced they would stop feeding listings from its syndication platform ListHub to Trulia, which Zillow now owns, just at the moment Zillow’s own agreement with ListHub is about to expire. So that means as of April 7, if Move wins, no listings for Zulia from realtor.com.
We’ll see what happens later because what really catches the eye in every article you can find on this news is not the content but the comments that follow. By Realtors. Hundreds of them. Sick and tired of having their listings from their clients pushed about and resold to them on third-party sites like Zulia.
It’s a weird blessing for something like this to happen in real estate. Sure, most are applauding Move. That’s very nice of them to protect everyone’s listings from the grasp of the Zulia (or my other favorite “Truzilla”) monster. (It seems more like a move to protect their business so they appear like the hero.)
But more so is the Realtors rallying together in a real, long overdue conversation about issues of listing ownership and control that have not been truly addressed until this straw of a situation broke the camel’s back. Perhaps now, the Realtors, the very people whose hard work and listings are the very gold that everyone is trying to get their hands on, will mobilize or at least raise enough of a cry to change the way the industry is handled.
With all that said, it’s probably time to stop wasting your dollars on the advertising wasteland for most Realtors that is Zulia and really focus on a brass tacks campaign. This means focusing on your clients, remember them? Where are they truly looking, how can you build their trust on a more intimate level and how do you connect with them on both a professional level as well as a personal one?
These are the questions we should be seeking answers for. Sure, it takes a little more work. But do you really want to pump your hard earned money into advertising platforms that you (and your clients) clearly cannot trust – like Zulia? Some have argued that Realtor.com is even worse when it comes to taking care of the agents. The more we feed the dragon, the worse it will be for everyone involved.
What do you think about the whole Zulia/Move Inc. battle? What has it inspired you to change in the way you market your listings?