Left Behind: Zillow and Trulia Listing Syndication Leads Going to Other Agents

September 16 2010

CountyHistoricHome200pxSince the introduction of Virtual Office Websites, I have picked up the habit of scheduling listing alerts. My interest is not only in keeping up with listings of comparable homes that would influence my homes’ value, but also to see how data moves to third party listing websites.

Today’s new listing is: 755 Via Laguna Vista, San Luis Obispo CA 93405

Copy and paste it into Zillow and Trulia and see what you get. Right now, you will see that the listing is not for sale on Trulia, but they have built a lovely landing page with deep information.

Zillow has the home listed. The price is accurate and all of the listing information is there. However, there are three Zagents representing the property rather than the listing Agent. A Zagent is my name for another agent who advertises on someone else’s listing. Zillow calls it advertising. I am shocked that listing agents and brokers do not pull their listings from Zillow for this practice.



Here are the screen shots that illustrate my findings. You should try the test yourself - especially if you are an MLS, Agent, or Broker

Trulia has done a nice job of showing information about the neighborhood, they have even used public record data to provide a property description. There is a record of the previous sale and deep information about other comparable sales.  That is a lot of data for a listing that does not show for sale yet. Here is a link to the page containing the listing details on Trulia.






Zillow is way out in front of Trulia on the timeliness of posting this listing information. Kodos to them. I often complain about the timeliness of third party websites in updating active listing content. In this case, Zillow is on top of their game - and they have updated the content as quickly as IDX.

However, where is the listing agent? Follow this link to the Zillow listing detail page and try to find Gavin Payne, The Real Estate Group of SLO.


Trulia posted a new listing a few hours after Zillow. In truth, I suspect that if you look at the speed that listings get updated at Zillow and Trulia, there are likely to be times when Trulia updates listings faster than Zillow - but there is always a lag between Updates in the MLS and updates to listing syndication feeds to third party websites.

What is most concering to me is the way in which other agents are promoted above the listing agent as a contact point for information on the listing.

If you view this listing on Trulia, you will notice a big button just below the listing details that says “Contact Agent.” Naturally, you would presume that you would be contacting the listing agent who provided the listing to Trulia. This is not the case. They promote a number of competing agents in additon to the listing agent. The image to the left illustrates this.

Does anyone think that another agent should be promoted on your listing?

We have received a number of emails today from other Third Party Listing websites like Homefinder and others. It should be known that only a small handful of companies will allow another agent or broker to appear on the listing broker's listing. Homefinder, realtor.com and others do not.

The message here is that not all third party websites are the same. It is important for agents and brokers to look carefully at how their listing information appears on each site, review the site terms of use to understand how the data may/may not be resyndicated or repurposed. Do this before you agree to send your listing. Once is is out there, it is gone

To read the original blog post on the WAV Group blog, please click here.

WAV Group consults with MLS's and Associations accross the US.  To learn more about them, and to see an archive of their RE Technology articles, please click here.