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Move, Inc. MSN Network is the largest real estate network according to everyone but Zillow

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This Sunday from New Orleans, we broke the story regarding questionable Zillow claims (via collateral produced by Zillow as ComScore data) being passed around the halls of the 2010 National Association of Realtors trade show floor. The claim in question was Zillow and Yahoo! real estate network being the “Largest Real Estate Network in the World” above and beyond Move Inc./MSN real estate network by nearly 6.4 million unique visitors. We’ve never disputed Zillow/Yahoo! traffic claims, only their representation of competitor traffic, and that of being the largest real estate network.

(This is a followup story to “Zillow dupes Realtors, investors and consumers with flawed claims.”)

Immediately, we noted the Zillow claim that the Move Inc. traffic stats included the 6.4 million uniques when according to other sources, it had not. Zillow’s CRO, Greg Schwartz responded that his contact at ComScore had verified the Zillow numbers to be accurate and requested a retraction- we decided to take it a step further and actually just settle the matter once and for all… who is the largest real estate network?

We went directly to ComScore (the source of both networks’ claims), and simply asked for an independent analysis (specifically avoiding any possibility of tricky math) of what is called deduplicated or “unduplicated” traffic (a fancy word for unique visitors) and the following graph is fact, according to Sr. Director, Industry Analysis Andrew Lipsman (well, we made the graph, he gave us the numbers). We also took it beyond that to show not only July, but also September numbers to settle the old versus new data controversy as well, and here is what we found…

What’s most interesting is that Move Inc. is not only larger, but from July to September (60 days) Move Inc. with MSN Real Estate actually grew 1.8 million uniques or 10.7% while Zillow and Yahoo! only inched up around 200k, or 1.3%.

The bottom line is that we want an apples to apples comparison and we’ve delivered one, however, Zillow’s Schwartz is still “reluctant to concede” any problems with their numbers. When we spoke to Schwartz by phone, he insisted that he had verified with ComScore Sr. Sales Manager, Jill Leedom that their numbers were on par and their flyer compared apples to apples, and went as far as emailing AgentGenius the very carefully worded statement from Leedom as follows…

Attached are two reports for September 2010:
1. Audience Duplication Report for Yahoo! Real Estate + Zillow: 14.458 Million UVs
2. Key Measures report for [P] Move Network: 13.398 Million UVs
Per these Media Metrix Reports, the data for Zillow is rock solid and correct. Zillow’s intent was to point out the one included URL”realestate.msn.realtor.com” and not the entire MSN Real Estate Category.
ComScore Sr. Sales Manager, Jill Leedom

You’ll note this email does not address the July numbers that are in dispute, and you will also notice the difference in reports filed. One report is a Duplication report, and the other is a Key measures report where Ledomm clearly states, “Zillow’s intent was to point out the one included URL”realestate.msn.realtor.com” and not the entire MSN Real Estate Category.” (emphasis ours)

Clearly, Zillow is selling its partnership with Yahoo! real estate, and enthusiastically created collateral to sell their new value proposition, but failed to compare apples to apples. We personally don’t believe they had malicious intent, it is our suspicion that apples (Audience Duplication Report showing Zillow/Yahoo! in a flattering light) were compared to oranges (Key Measures reports showing everyone but Zillow/Yahoo! in a less flattering light) which Schwartz will not confirm as a possibility. However, Move, Inc. and it’s MSN partners did compare apples to apples and they can, because they simply are the largest real estate network.

Does this mean it will last forever? This remains to be seen. The fact is that Move, Inc. and its competitors need one another to continue to push the envelope forward in technology. Zillow combined with Trulia and other players in the space have pushed traditional to become untraditional, rethink longterm strategies, build new alliances, and look beyond today in service offerings to Realtors and consumers. After all, 14.3 million uniques is not a number easily dismissed.

Zillow, Yahoo!, Move Inc., and MSN are not affiliated with AG. Sales & marketing system, TopProducer is an advertiser at AG.

Benn Rosales is the Founder and CEO of The American Genius (AG), national news network for tech and entrepreneurs, proudly celebrating 10 years in publishing, recently ranked as the #5 startup in Austin. Before founding AG, he founded one of the first digital media strategy firms in the nation and also acquired several other firms. His resume prior includes roles at Apple and Kroger Foods, specializing in marketing, communications, and technology integration. He is a recipient of the Statesman Texas Social Media Award and is an Inman Innovator Award winner. He has consulted for numerous startups (both early- and late-stage), has built partnerships and bridges between tech recruiters and the best tech talent in the industry, and is well known for organizing the digital community through popular monthly networking events. Benn does not venture into the spotlight often, rather believes his biggest accomplishments are the talent he recruits, develops, and gives all credit to those he's empowered.

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16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Doug Francis

    November 9, 2010 at 9:42 am

    Wow, these both have huge numbers. I wonder what the numbers are if you looked at usage through their mobile apps… iPhone and Droid usage?

  2. Benn Rosales

    November 9, 2010 at 10:50 pm

    I smell a yahoo story coming on 🙂

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Austin

Austin tops the list of best places to buy a home

When looking to buy a home, taking the long view is important before making such a huge investment – where are the best places to make that commitment?

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Looking at the bigger picture

(REALUOSO.COM) – Let us first express that although we are completely biased about Texas (we’re headquartered here, I personally grew up here), the data is not – Texas is the best. That’s a scientific fact. There’s a running joke in Austin that if there is a list of “best places to [anything],” we’re on it, and the joke causes eye rolls instead of humility (we’re sore winners and sore losers in this town).

That said, SelfStorage.com dug into the data and determined that the top 12 places to buy a home are currently Texas and North Carolina (and Portland, I guess you’re okay too or whatever).

They examined the nerdiest of numbers from the compound annual growth rate in inflation-adjusted GDP to cost premium, affordability, taxes, job growth, and housing availability.

“Buying a house is a big decision and a big commitment,” the company notes. “Although U.S. home prices have risen in the long term, the last decade has shown that path is sometimes full of twists, turns, dizzying heights and steep, abrupt falls. Today, home prices are stabilizing and increasing in most areas of the U.S.”

Click here to continue reading the list of the 12 best places to buy a home…

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Housing News

Average age of houses on the rise, so is it now better or worse to buy new?

With aging housing in America, are first-time buyers better off buying new or existing homes? The average age of a home is rising, as is the price of new housing, so a shift could be upon us.

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The average home age is higher than ever

(REALUOSO.COM) – In a survey from the Department of Housing and Urban Development American Housing Survey (AHS), the median age of homes in the United States was 35 years old. In Texas, homes are a bit younger with the median age between 19 – 29 years. The northeast has the oldest homes, with the median age between 50 – 61 years. In 1985, the median age of a home was only 23 years.

With more houses around 40 years old, the National Association of Realtors asserts that homeowners will have to undertake remodeling and renovation projects before selling unless the home is sold as-is, in which case the buyer will be responsible to update their new residence. Even homeowners who aren’t selling will need to consider remodeling for structural and aesthetic reasons.

Prices of new homes on the rise

Newer homes cost more than they used to. The price differential between new homes and older homes has increased from 10 percent traditionally to around 37 percent in 2014. This is due to rising construction costs, scarcity of lots, and a low inventory of new homes that doesn’t meet the demand.

Click here to continue reading this story…

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Housing News

Are Realtors the real loser in the fight between Zillow Group and Move, Inc.?

The last year has been one of dramatic and rapid change in the real estate tech sector, but Realtors are vulnerable, and we’re worried.

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Why Realtors are vulnerable to these rapid changes

(REALUOSO.COM) – Corporate warfare demands headlines in every industry, but in the real estate tech sector, a storm has been brewing for years, which in the last year has come to a head. Zillow Group and Move, Inc. (which is owned by News Corp. and operates ListHub, Realtor.com, TopProducer, and other brands) have been competing for a decade now, and the race has appeared to be an aggressive yet polite boxing match. Last year, the gloves came off, and now, they’ve drawn swords and appear to want blood.

Note: We’ll let you decide which company plays which role in the image above.

So how then, does any of this make Realtors the victims of this sword fight? Let’s get everyone up to speed, and then we’ll discuss.

1. Zillow poaches top talent, Move/NAR sues

It all started last year when the gloves came off – Move’s Chief Strategy Officer (who was also Realtor.com’s President), Errol Samuelson jumped ship and joined Zillow on the same day he phoned in his resignation without notice. He left under questionable circumstances, which has led to a lengthy legal battle (wherein Move and NAR have sued Zillow and Samuelson over allegations of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and misappropriation of trade secrets), with the most recent motion being for contempt, which a judge granted to Move/NAR after the mysterious “Samuelson Memo” surfaced.

Salt was added to the wound when Move awarded Samuelson’s job to Move veteran, Curt Beardsley, who days after Samuelson left, also defected to Zillow. This too led to a lawsuit, with allegations including breach of contract, violation of corporations code, illegal dumping of stocks, and Move has sought restitution. These charges are extremely serious, but demanded slightly less attention than the ongoing lawsuit against Samuelson.

2. Two major media brands emerge

Last fall, the News Corp. acquisition of Move, Inc. was given the green light by the feds, and this month, Zillow finalized their acquisition of Trulia.

…Click here to continue reading this story…

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