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Orlando Real Estate Blog

David Welch, Real Estate Optimist

By David Welch | Agent in Winter Park, FL

Is Zillow Worth $9.95?

If you go to google and search "Orlando Real Estate", Zillow comes up in the middle of page three. I am sure the folks at Trulia love to hear this, since they are and have been number one on that same search forever. My own webpage pops up at number 10 - that is page one - or number 11 most days. I pay about $400 a year for my website with Alamode. I can add all the content I want including advertising as many listings as I may have for no additional cost. I also make use of a Point 2 website for $9.95 a month for additional exposure. Between those two sites, my listings are syndicated across more than 40 other websites. The single most important of all these real estate sites of course is Realtor.com. There is a reason why all these sites offer free advertising. They are trying to amass content. Content is king on the internet, and if I am providing it, you should not be charging me $9.95.

It is true that virtually all of these sites have "premium" advertising packages. They like to call them partnerships, but they are really just offering to place you ahead of the crowd. I am a Remax agent, because Remax is already above the crowd. All the large brokers have inhouse tools to promote their agents and the properties they represent. I don't need the premium sites.

Just so Trulia does not get any ideas, outside the real estate community nobody seems to know who you are. A lot more people have heard of Zillow, but generally question their valuation model. Please don't think I am bashing any of these tools. I am just quetioning Zillow's choice during difficult times to start charging. I have plenty of other free options available. For me, it is not worth $9.95.

Comments

By Sara B,  Wed Jan 27 2010, 07:14
Hey - Sara from Zillow here. You're right about various sites offering premium services, or a way to stand out in the crowd, and I wanted to be clear that that is what the $9.95 charge represents. For $9.95 for 180 days you can manually input your listing and it will be Featured -meaning that it will show up at the top of user search results, thus getting more attention and traffic.

It is still free to have your listings appear on the site if they come to us via a feed (as 98% of the listings on the site do). If your Broker doesn't syndicate on your behalf, you could use a number of services like Postlets, vFlyer, Listhub or Point2.

Actually, this product used to cost $10.listing/month. So we actually had a huge price decrease to now get this Featured product for $10 for 6 months!
By David Welch,  Wed Jan 27 2010, 07:33
Sounds like feeds are the way to go.
By Sara B,  Wed Jan 27 2010, 07:48
From an agent perspective, I think so. Of course there is the fee part - but also, there is the time it saves you by not having to manually enter everything. And, feed will automatically update the listing if there are price changes or the property sells. That is what we found to be the biggest problem, and a big reason for the switch - agents were forgetting to come back and update.
By Rudy Bachraty,  Wed Jan 27 2010, 08:54
Hi David!

Adding you're listings to Trulia manually, by feed, 3rd party syndication site like Postlets or Point2 is free.

On Trulia, if an agent forgets to manually update the status of their manually uploaded listing, we remove that listing. Listings submitted to Trulia via a feed do get updated daily from the source and hence the status changes accordingly.

Have a great one!

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