Realty Times: "Realtor.com isn't bringing any game." Ouch.

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with Zillow

 

Blanche Evans, the well-regarded senior editor of Realty Times, and one of the 25 Most Influential People in Real Estate according to REALTOR Magazine, tears into Realtor.com today in an editorial.

She writes: "For a tech company, Realtor.com is surprisingly out of touch. Why should agents be excited about paying Realtor.com for privileges they can get for free elsewhere? There are other sites like Zillow climbing up Realtor.com's back that offer agents a lot more for free. ....On Realtor.com, they don't even get their names on their listing unless they pay enhancement fees. Other sites are willing to provide all kinds of enhancements ---including agent profiles for free. Zillow takes listings from feeds and individual. No limit on photos, tours, videos or anything else. They even provide agent profiles for free. It's such a good deal, Zillow has seduced major franchisors Realogy and Keller Williams, along with ZipRealty, Prudential California and dozens of top regionals. In six months, they've added two million listings and counting."

She concludes: "Zillow isn't the number one real estate destination site yet, but it's got momentum. Realtor.com isn't bringing any game. They need to come up with something better than four free photos, and quick."

Thank you Blanche for the kind words and astute analysis.

 

 

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Rainmaker
739,718
Lanre-"THE REAL ESTATE FARMER" Folayan
Keller Williams Capital Properties-Buy a home in Washington DC. Sell a home in Washington DC - Washington, DC
How much is my Washington DC House Worth?

Realtor.com website to me is not impressive. And I think that they can do wayyy better than what they have. Maybe they should talk to people at Zillow and Trulia and ask them what they are doing because apparently what they are doing works. Great post.

May 21, 2008 04:04 PM #28
Rainmaker
1,094,975
Bryant Tutas
Bryant Tutas-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc - Poinciana, FL
Broker/REALTOR, Tutas Towne Realty, Inc

Spencer, Blanche is right on the money. realtor.com is waaaay behind the times. Not only Zillow but Cyberhomes as well are leaving them in the dust. Cyberhomes is the sleeping giant in my opinion.

May 21, 2008 04:17 PM #29
Rainmaker
858,085
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg IL Real Estate - Northwest Suburbs of Chicago - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg Homes

God I totally agree! They are so behind the times it's pathetic. They are also (Realtor.com) trying to get my company to do an entire agent scenario for a lower price.  We voted it down.  I personally don't bother with anything in Realtor.com except to add a tour which the buyers now expect.  They don't offer me a thing in the way of innovation.  It's a shame that they are "connected" with us & "disconnected" with us at the same time!

Hate Zillow!

May 21, 2008 04:22 PM #30
Rainer
40,825
Carolyn Gjerde-Tu-Davis
Lyon Real Estate - Davis, CA
Ca Real Estate

Realtor.com gets a lot of traffic and the name is recongizable.  It is very sad that our national association who should have provided this information as a benefit to its members instead allows r.com to gauge its members.

May 21, 2008 04:30 PM #31
Rainmaker
45,587
Ida McCarthy
Ida McCarthy-Lombard Real Estate - Lombard, IL

Realtor.com has been around for so long, and now it's taking advantage of us all with their fees.  I pay for thier site because it's almost like I HAVE TO.

I've said this before, when I go on a listing appointment, I ask the seller where would they MOST like their listing to appear?  Well, when they quit saying realtor.com, I'll try whatever they tell me.

Most people I talk to never heard of Zillow.

May 21, 2008 05:08 PM #32
Ambassador
902,558
Missy Caulk
Missy Caulk TEAM - Ann Arbor, MI
Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate

I quit doing enhanced listings this past year, hasn't hurt one bit. I still think consumers think of it. Love Blanches articles, glad she said it.

May 21, 2008 06:29 PM #33
Anonymous
Anonymous

Does that mean that we should all stop getting robbed by them and put our information elsewhere? With the change in the market, I am doing away with things that do not bring a ROI

May 21, 2008 06:32 PM #34
Rainmaker
335,724
Ann Cummings
RE/MAX By The Bay - NH and Maine - Portsmouth, NH
Portsmouth NH Homes - Service With a Smile!

Hi Spencer - thanks for bringing Blanche's article to our attention.  I had missed that one somehow.

I pay to enhance my listings on R.com, and just got a notice to renew.  Still thinking about whether to do it or not.  I do get leads from it, and have made money from my listings being up there in the enhanced state.  I like the stats I get on each of my listings up there, and I like that I can add so many pictures.  But, do I like having to pay for that?  Not one bit, but I consider it one of the places that my marketing money spent actually does bring me a return.  That's not to say I'll continue doing that forever. 

There are plenty of free places to put our listings, but very few of them have the name recognition and exposure that R.com has, for the moment.

Ann

May 21, 2008 06:40 PM #35
Rainer
7,769
Alan Robinson
PTE REAL ESTATE GROUP - Phoenix, AZ

Finally someone decided to spell it out clearly. Maybe having been put on blast, Realtor.com will wake up?!?

May 21, 2008 08:06 PM #36
Ambassador
884,516
Lane Bailey
Century 21 Results Realty - Suwanee, GA
Realtor & Car Guy

While I do think Zillow has a few things it needs to address, it sure does beat the poop out of R.com.  But, is that really an accomplishment?

May 21, 2008 10:07 PM #37
Ambassador
608,822
Roland Woodworth
Keller Williams Realty - Clarksville, TN
Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource- SFR - Clarksv

Spencer: Seems like Zillow is starting to do very well. I keep hearing about it

May 21, 2008 10:52 PM #38
Rainmaker
653,181
Bob & Carolin Benjamin
Benjamin Realty LLC - Gold Canyon, AZ
East Phoenix Arizona Homes

We used to use Realtor.com and their enhanced feed, but all that seemed to enhance was our money into their pocket. We never got any leads that were of any substance by paying for the added features there.

May 22, 2008 01:40 AM #39
Rainer
15,689
Scott Schang
Broadview Mortgage Corporation - Long Beach Team - Long Beach, CA
Educating & Empowering Consumers

You still have to admit that Realtor.com drives crazy traffic!  If you're a blogger there - you can get a ton of hits and drive them to your site, and that's free.

Zillow is also a great site.  There are always ways to find fault, especially when someone/something is so visible - and that's the point right?

We tend to look at these sites/services as professionals - through the eyes of the consumer it's all the same.  Gen y and gen x are looking for fast/now, easy to find, an assumption of anonymity and when they have a question.....you want to be the first one available to answer them.

That's the beauty of both Zillow and Realtor - consumers flock to these sites!  This is an opportunity for every great mouse trap maker.

Great debate!

May 22, 2008 02:03 AM #40
Rainmaker
133,687
Marcia Kramarz
Re/Max Executive Realty - Medway, MA
CDPE,LMC,CBR

 

Well it does appear their pricing per company is more cost effective than each agent being charged separately - But if Zillow offers that much - We should be there too - I'm checking my Zillow account NOW!

May 22, 2008 05:52 AM #41
Rainmaker
540,448
Jim Lee
RE/MAX By The Bay - Portsmouth, NH
Portsmouth NH Realtor, Portsmouth, NH

The simple answers to Blanche's qustion  is "eyeballs".

Realtor.com is the most visited real estate specific website.

"comScore ranking of total unique visitors for December 2007: Rank Site

1 REALTOR.COM(R)

2 MSN Real Estate

3 Yahoo! Real Estate

4 Rent.com

5 Apartments.com

6 Homegain.com

7 Trulia.com

8 Servicemagic.com

9 HPCInter@active

10 Zillow.com"

May 22, 2008 09:32 AM #42
Anonymous
Anonymous

I'm not a fan of the Realtor.com either...I'm tired of the endless solicitation calls.  And their 'Market Builder' program has produced a grand total of ZERO business for the $2,000 invested.

May 22, 2008 03:40 PM #43
Anonymous
Arthur

 

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I don't know if people really use realtor.com to search listing guys. I have gone to it only because I offer virtual tours. "Could not find the information I wanted on their site. The site really does suck" when I was searching for a house I went strait to panamacitymls.com that is obviously local to me. My search went like this on Google. "Panama City FL MLS" and it came back with most of the brokers websites. Let me offer you a suggestion to increase your marketing. Give a liberal amount of information about your listing. Take lots of good photos and for god sakes do not user your camera phone. Someone is paying you good money to sell their property at least invest in a 3 mega pixel camera.

If I wore choosing an agent to sell my house I am going to go look at there listings at a bare minimum.

I am going to want virtual tours of quality or none at all.

I am going to want good photos.

I am going to want my listing on the MLS very detailed.

I am going to want to consistently be in something like homes and land magazine.

Beyond that everything is gravy.

Oh by the way what are some of you thinking

This is not a virtual tour

http://www.visualtour.com/applets/flashviewer2/viewer.asp?t=1033368&sk=13&dm=panamacitymls.com

Do not use music on your site. People hate this. I know you love music on "Your website or tour" but when you go to someone else you hate it too. You are just paying for an extra feature that everyone hates. I am not into paying for crap that people do not like. But hay; it's your dime.

This is what I mean by crap from virtual tours. If you can't buy anything better than this why waste your money. http://www.jimpoppellphotography.netfirms.com/mls/320732/320732-5-LARGE_SCREEN_TOUR.htm

I want something like this at a minimum damn it.

http://www.re.ratesmate.com/index.php?action=show_vtour&popup=yes&listingID=102 or this

 

http://www.re.ratesmate.com/index.php?action=show_vtour&popup=yes&listingID=101

and these are what I consider poor quality.

Ah what do I know?

Good luck everyone; sorry about my tangent

 

 

 

Jun 12, 2008 09:34 AM #44
Anonymous
Anonymous

Brett Shaw from Cyberhomes:

You bring up an excellent point.  Why would anyone pay for features on Realtor.com?  Shouldn't that be included in my REALTOR dues twice a year?  Personally, I can get much more relevant information from sites like Cyberhomes.com.  It's free and very insightful not only to agents but clients as well.  As far as paying to have your name on your own listing on realtor.com, that's just stupid.  Spencer is right in that this feature is free pretty much everywhere else.  This is not a competitive advantage for them.

Aug 15, 2008 02:08 PM #45
Rainmaker
130,387
Marty & Laurie Gale
Utah Realty Source - UtahTeam.com - South Jordan, UT
Utah Realtors - RealEstateSource.com -801-205-3500

I subscribe to realtor.com for my Listing exposure. But sometimes I wonder if it is worth it.

May 14, 2010 10:15 AM #46
Rainmaker
134,228
Robert J. Russell
Robert J Russell Companies - Flower Mound, TX
IRES, ICREA, LAS, LUTCF, Broker

Thank you to everyone who posted about this topic.

For the last 10 years I have been paying for the Enhanced Listing Package with Realtor.com - and for this I have gotten - 0 - nada - nothing - nuthin of value because of it. I too think there are too many competing sites out there that are just as good as REALTOR.com that get just as much exposure.

I think on Nov 1 - I am going to say BuhBye to Realtor.com!

Oct 29, 2010 10:54 PM #47
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Spencer Rascoff

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