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?
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.