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Move partners with AOL, what is next for real estate search?

In the past year, major real estate search sites have partnered with media channels like CNNMoney to provide listings to their network. Zillow partnered with Yahoo! Real Estate to be the listings source, Trulia partnered with CNNMoney.com and Move, Inc. (parent company of Realtor.com) renewed their content distribution agreement with MSN.

This week, AOL Real Estate announced that they too will be partnering with Move, Inc. to distribute real estate listings. AOL has made several major moves in this same vein to boost their content, namely purchasing TechCrunch to be their exclusive tech content provider. As AOL’s purchases help their network grow in size, this gives Move, Inc. a network size boost as well.

Beginning in the third quarter of this year, “millions of listings will be syndicated to AOL Real Estate via Move’s ListHub network,” according to Audie Chamberlain, Community Manager at Move, Inc.

So what does this all mean?

As the battle for who’s the biggest continues to heat up, the Move, Inc. network is already the largest and we suspect this partnership will increase its size substantially. We predict that Trulia and Zillow will announce other partnerships this year as well, but with Move, Inc. owning ListHub, they have a natural advantage.

So the landscape for major real estate search companies looks a little like this (with the Realtor as the original source of course):

This does not include all partnerships and of course excludes the smaller real estate search companies, board activity and the like, but this gives you an idea of the changing landscape and a very simplistic view of where your listings are spread to naturally.

We believe that this year will be a big year for announcements of this nature and we’d love to hear what you think in the comments as to which of the big three will be next to announce a partnership?

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AG is not affiliated with Zillow, Trulia or any of their partners. Realtor.com, a Move, Inc. company is an advertiser on AG.

Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. Coleen DeGroff

    January 15, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    Lani – thanks for keeping us updated. With Move/msn being the 800 pound gorilla what does that mean for strength of syndication efforts of the other 2 major players?

    • Bob Wilson

      January 17, 2011 at 3:04 pm

      They will trail Move.

      AOL’s biz model now is one of content generator and the amount of content they create is staggering. The roll out of AOL’s Patch.com and their presence at Inman is simply the precursor to the announcement that Move’s syndication arm will be bringing listings to a Patch.com sub-domain near you.

      Like it or not, the days of the agent web site on page 1 on Google are numbered for most. But they will have plenty of opportunities to advertise on the networks that will have displaced them.

      The myth that is “hyperlocal” that has been propagated by too many of the RE marketing gurus (ironically with no real online marketing experience of their own) will be exposed, as these niche sites dont have the ability to compete on a search engine with the big brands.

      Go big or go home.

  2. Agent for Movoto

    January 17, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    It’ll be interesting to see what Zillow does next . . . . Yahoo! is not the most glamorous partner, and Z’s agent reviews feature is making a pretty big splash.

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