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Zillow acquires Postlets for listings syndication and talent

Postlets acquired:

Zillow today has announced their acquisition of Postlets as its syndication partner, just one quarter after Postlets announced their hitting the milestone of having surpassed 500,000 registered users syndicating to “13 real estate and social media websites.”

Postlets was founded in 2005 by Asher Matsuda and Raymond Chen and has run a lean boostrap since, with a reported 350,000 listings entered to date.

Matsuda and Chen are now full time Zillow employees and say “rest assured that Postlets will continue to function the way it does today — and remain free.” Postlets will continue to send listings to its current distribution partners.

A new tool for Zillow

“Postlets is a terrific tool for agents, property managers and landlords to promote their listings and manage their online presence,” said Spencer Rascoff, Zillow CEO. “We are very excited to have the Postlets brand and its talented founders join our team.”

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Real estate consultant Brian Boero notes, “It will be interesting to see if Zillow makes the same commitments Move made to maintain impartiality in the reporting of syndication results – meaning, for example, that Trulia clicks/views will be reported just as clearly as traffic derived from sending listings to Zillow.”

What is Zillow telegraphing?

The three major real estate search sites each have a media partner and this acquisition is in line with our prediction of a lineup of continued acquisitions. Given that we’ve seen Move, Inc. acquire ListHub for syndication and Trulia acquire Movity for talent and technology, does Zillow’s move telegraph who they consider their primary competitor?

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  1. Ray Schmitz

    April 11, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    Aside frmthe obvious competition with Trulia and move, several potential interpretations may all apply:

    1) Postlets is worth more to Zillow than as a standalone firm

    2) Zillow needs to “bulk up” to help sell a story that revenues will keep growing as it preps for an IPO
    (probably true)

    3) Someone else would buy Postlets, so Zillow acquired it defensively (this is the explanation the article suggests)

    Not necessarily true, but relevant in these situations:

    4) Once sufficiently established, firms stop becoming entrepreneurial enough to innovate internally. Buying becomes easier.
    (time will tell)

    • Lani Rosales

      April 12, 2011 at 1:10 pm

      Very interesting thoughts, Ray. My brain is churning! 🙂

  2. Graham

    April 13, 2011 at 12:52 am

    Interesting. I wonder how things are going to work out with Postlets continuing to syndicate to competitors of Zillow?

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