Some Agents Not Happy With Zillow, Trulia

by Shilpi Paul


Zillow and Trulia, which aggregate real estate listings from the multiple listing services (MLS), brokerages and individual agents, have been gaining popularity with buyers who want to take control of their real estate search: last month, Zillow got about 30 million hits. However, real estate agents have started voicing their frustrations that the websites are hurting, not helping sales, according to a recent article in Business Insider.

From the article:

San Diego real estate agent Jim Abbott argues that inaccurate web listings frustrate potential buyers and may actually drive them to look elsewhere.

Abott (who released a video outlining his firm’s reasons for leaving) along with real estate firms like Minnesota-based Edina Realty and Denver-based Metrolist, a local aggregator, have opted out of Zillow in the last few months. It’s hard to tell if this amounts to a trend; as Business Insider points out, some industry insiders worry that agents will lose business by pulling out of the aggregator sites.

Brad Andersohn, Zillow’s Outreach Manager, even signed on to comment on the article, and seemed to speak directly to worried real estate agents:

It is free for any listing agent to receive prominent placement and leads from their listings on Zillow as long as they’ve created a free profile on the site…thousands [of visitors] even come to find an agent or lender just to write a review on their services and in many cases, hire them to help with a loan or buy/sell their homes.

UrbanTurf reached out to Trulia to get their reaction to the story.

“We believe consumers, agents and brokers all benefit from open, accessible listing data on quality consumer sites like Trulia who are committed to providing the best search experience possible for consumers,” Trulia’s Ginger Wilcox told us. “Any broker who removes their listings from top search sites will dramatically decrease internet exposure for their sellers, resulting in fewer inquiries and more days on the market.”

See other articles related to: zillow, trulia, real estate agents

This article originally published at http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/fight_brewing_between_zillow_trulia_and_real_estate_agents/5208


  1. realist said at 12:46 pm on Wednesday February 29, 2012:

    What a load of crap. 

    Real estate agents know that everything that increases the amount of information available to consumers makes it harder for them to maintain their 6% cartel and makes it more likely for them to go the way of travel agents.  And the sooner that happens the better for consumers and the economy.

  1. neighbor said at 2:44 pm on Wednesday February 29, 2012:

    What realist said.  Information is power.

  1. Steve said at 3:47 pm on Wednesday February 29, 2012:

    I’m not a real estate agent, but I am a prospective home buyer. I’ve been using Zillow and Trulia for the last 6 months. My biggest complaint is that Zillow and and Trulia are not always up to date. On more than 5 occasions, I asked my agent to set up viewings for properties I found on Zillow and Trulia, but the properties were no longer available and the respective listing was out of date.  I recommend using RedFin…it is a much better search tool with up-to-date listings.

  1. NOt An AGent said at 3:51 pm on Wednesday February 29, 2012:

    @ Realist and @ neighbor, attorneys are going to LOVE you guys.  Real estate is not retail shopping, its far more complicated than that.  Ever sit down with a group of friends for some coffee and real estate comes up?  They all suddenly become experts because they did there research on Zillow or they watch a lot of HGTV.  It’s not quite that simple kids which is why real estate should be handled by pros just like any other profession.  I love music and watch Idle but should I be mixing it up with David Geffen, probably not! 

    As for Zillow, I love the fact that real estate has become so accessible and that anybody can go out there and run a home search but… take caution as so much of the info in there is either antiquated or unreliable and the property valuation systems they have are asinine; you can’t value a home using a static algorithm!

    Use the interente, get eductaed and your agent will love you but know your bounds and let them do there job!

  1. Global Nomad said at 4:50 pm on Wednesday February 29, 2012:

    Redfin is great, its how I found my condo I bought just 4 months ago.  Real estate agents may have some value but my experience is that most of them are no better informed than the rest of the population.  Any reasonably intelligent person could do what they do and by pass the high commission.  I’ve bought and sold 5 properties myself, largely because I became frustrated with the “professionals” who didn’t have accurate information and complicated and delayed things.  Sorry, this is a profession that is just not that useful in this information age.

  1. 300_sq_ft said at 10:49 pm on Wednesday February 29, 2012:

    Redfin is the only way to go.  It gets its listings directly from MLS and they are always up to date and accurate.  On top of it, they show the details that truila and zillow don’t - like condo fees, pet restrictions, taxes - basically everything the listing agent inputs.

  1. Crabhands said at 2:10 pm on Thursday March 1, 2012:

    As someone who has talked at length to at least 20+ agents in the NoVa area in a professional setting (they were either trying to get me to sign on with them or they were representing the seller)  they do not have the knowledge or skill to make themselves the link in the process that they have become.

    Government at the local, state, and federal levels should be working to make the buying and selling of real estate more streamlined and able to completed without the use of agents.

  1. ICanSpell said at 4:42 pm on Tuesday October 2, 2012:

    Hey, people who type their thoughts might want to hire spellcheckers, because they really suck at conveying thoughts, interrupted by asinine misspellings.

    You think information is power? Try literacy. And knowing what is for sale is a scant tip of the monstrous iceberg that can sink your little ship. Use a professional. Have her/him represent you and use the expertise. It’s FREE to buyers.

  1. LarryCableGuy said at 4:47 pm on Tuesday October 2, 2012:

    HEY, back… but I agree. Buy a car, buy a loaf of bread, buy a TV… all without an agent… but if you leave an agent out when you buy a house, you are steppin’ in the doo-doo, dude… and sometimes, head first! Get real. Get you a good agent.

  1. Anthony Schibilia said at 4:20 pm on Friday November 30, 2012:

    The consumer has no ability to access real time data and information necessary to negotiate a transaction. Zillow and Trulia are simply fishing nets for customers who need a professional. Their information is dated and essentially worthless as most markets are so volatile, they change month by month.@ Realist and @ neighbor, the real deals are left for the people working with a Top 1% Agent with access to real time information not by looking on MLS search websites.

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