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Trulia’s time on site up 79%, but Zillow sees 2.5M more uniques

Does size matter?

ComScore data for March 2011 marked growth for real estate search site Trulia.com who blogged about the data, stating that during this period, “consumers spent more time on Trulia than Zillow, marking Trulia’s steady ascent.  Year-over-year, Trulia’s user engagement grew 79% on this key engagement metric, v.  Zillow’s 22%.” 

The big three size battle and how each real estate search company takes aim at their competitors doesn’t appear to be cooling down any time soon as press releases roll out pointing to why each is better. This week, Homes.com claimed that they have the highest time on site of all real estate search.

Why do minutes matter?

Trulia only targets Zillow with their commentary noting that “Minutes is a core metric  — in addition to showing that we’re winning with consumers, our advertisers are very focused on engagement as measured by minutes spent.”

Trulia also points to page views as a leading metric, noting their surpassing Zillow with growth. Zillow, however, still had 3.5 million more unique visitors than Trulia making them a considerably larger network- perhaps their time on site was already high even a year ago that the room for improvement was much smaller?

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March ComScore data charted:

What all of this means

Real estate search is a sector that is heavily invested in and companies like Trulia and Zillow have been open about being media companies with the goal of selling ads as primary revenue. Trulia is right- time on site is an indicator of interest and desirability in the site’s offering (rather than a split second a consumer spends on a site that is bad before moving on).

What do you think Trulia blogging about this information says? What does it say about Trulia that the bullseye is on Zillow? Is it lower hanging fruit than Realtor.com or is this a tortoise versus hare scenario? Does this data with low growth say that Zillow has been on top for a year and that Trulia is simply catching up?

This news leads us to ask more questions and ponder possibilities. Our 2010 consumer research on real estate search shows that each of the big three search companies appeals to a specific type of consumer, but perhaps this growth reveals a shift in the effectiveness (or lack thereof) of Trulia or Zillow to reach a broader demographic?

Tell us in comments what YOU think.

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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.

25 Comments

25 Comments

  1. John Perkins

    April 12, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    Well Zillow just bought Postlets and are trying insure relevancy against “Move” which bought ListHub so that’s really the bigger story. Trulia appears to have the user friendly part down but in a world of constantly changing Real Estate sites Zillow could be on top in the next couple years and Trulia knows it. This is why they are constantly saying they are better than Zillow. They are concerned.
    Realtor.com is hard to beat because of the name recognition and direct connection to the MLS. Expect to see a lot of data pushing and revamping of website services – especially in the upcoming Full-Motion Video market.

  2. Kevin "Troll" Tomlinson

    April 12, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    My favorite website is http://www.kevintomlinson.com

    #justsayin

  3. MH for Movoto

    April 12, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    Have to agree with John Perkins. Trulia’s worried and doth protest a little too much lately.

    On the other hand, I do agree that duration is the more important factor.

  4. Mark Brian

    April 12, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    Let the two of them fight it out and in the meantime I will concentrate on sneaking past both of them in the search results for my area……

  5. Jon Kolsky

    April 14, 2011 at 11:07 am

    I hope all real estate professionals will see the value in equality, fairness, and disclosure. My experience is zillow lacks in all areas.

  6. Ed Kohler

    April 18, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    If I was to theorize on why Trulia's time on site has been increasing, I'd say that it's because they're referring less traffic out to broker sites than they were a year ago. This is good for trulia, because it makes brokers and agents more dependent on Trulia. Smart move for them.

  7. Dunes

    April 24, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    And now Zillow signs agreement with "Move Inc/Reator.com" for Listing syndication with Listhub

    "approximately two million listings directly from 358 MLSs every day representing 40,000 brokers throughout the United States."

    Trulia can claim whatever they want lol

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