Knowingly or not, Zillow continues to distribute an unreliable traffic comparison at the 2010 Realtor trade show in New Orleans reflecting itself as “The World’s Largest Real Estate Network on Web and Mobile” boasting over 14 million monthly uniques. Although according to Comscore in July 2010 Zillow’s uniques might be accurate, the problem lies elsewhere.
(*click the image for the large view and read the followup to this story here.)
The problem is that Zillow claims that their traffic statistics for the Move, Inc. Network note the entire Move Network including the MSN Real Estate Network, but it does not. When using Zillow’s own chart, if you make the correction to actually include MSN Real Estate into the Move Inc. Network, you get 17,967,965 million monthly uniques in comparison to the Zillow/Yahoo Real Estate network at their reported 14,340,000 monthly uniques making Realtor.com and Move, Inc’s partnership with MSN substantially larger than Zillow in reach.
We approached Zillow’s Director of Broker Relations, Sarah Bonert on the trade show floor and observed her handing out these very flyers, and picked one up for ourselves. When we pointed out the discrepancy, Sarah was quick to note that she was unaware, but would immediately look into the matter.
Frances Flynn Thorsen “I am rethinking my plan about using Realtor.com and pushing those dollars to Zillow, Trulia, and Facebook.”
As of publication, Comscore and Move, Inc. have not responded to a request for comment. Zillow was approached on Friday, November 5th in person for a retraction or substantiation, still with no response. In fact, we held the story in an effort to allow Zillow to formulate an official response. We have also emailed other contacts at Zillow with no response, as the flyer in question continues to float the halls of the NAR convention.
This isn’t the first time Zillow has struggled with data accuracy. In April 2010, Forbes used Zillow.com data to make strong claims against several local markets, only to be retracted after the data was proven unreliable (here, Zillow tries to explain why listing data discrepancies exist as opposed to direct source syndication like Realtor.com).
This type of problem on the surface seems petty, however, in the race to diminish competitor value, fact must reign supreme above fiction when Realtors are making decisions on where to place their marketing dollars and consumers are making decisions on where their property should be marketed. We witnessed first hand evidence of comparison of this alleged fact sheet to Realtor.com from the trade show floor and judging from reactions, this comparison carries damaging consequences not only to Move, Inc. and Realtor.com’s reputation and position, but the overall position of the Realtor brand with consumers. We find this alarming.
The comparison chart as reported from the Move, Inc. Network based upon data from ComScore is dated September 2010 rather than July. On Friday, AgentGenius was the first to provide a copy of this report to Zillow’s Bonert.
Zillow, Yahoo!, Move Inc., and MSN are not affiliated with AG. Sales & marketing system, TopProducer is an advertiser at AG.