The Battle In Seattle
Market Leader just kicked Zillow in the balls.
Here’s an excerpt from an article on Inman Newsdescribing Market Leader’s launch of RealEstate.com as a referral portal.
Now — nearly one year after acquiring listing portal RealEstate.com from Tree.com for $8.25 million — Market Leader says it has agreements with multiple listing services in more than 150 markets that are providing Internet Data Exchange (IDX) feeds containing information on about 1.6 million listings to the site.
MarketLeader in turn provides leads on an exclusive basis to more than 1,000 brokerage companies and agents that have joined the site’s referral network.
But Brian Boero of 1000watt doesn’t think so…
“Market Leader, the software company previously known as HouseValues.com, bought the realestate.com domain from LendingTree about a year ago.
This week, they made some noise about what they’re doing with it.In short, they are raising a giant middle finger to MLSs, the spirit of IDX and, most significantly, to operating brokers.”
Crazy like a fox, is what I say. For all the talk about how Zillow is a big innovator and disruptor in the real industry Ian Morris just walked the walk.
One side note, the design of RealEstate.com really does suck, so fix that. Thanks. Moving on….
First let me get this straight, the listing portal business can be somewhat sleazy. “Three headed monsters”, “Zombie Listings”, “Sin-dication” and now the you’ve got both Zillow and Homes.com pounding their chest about the opening of two new boiler rooms in Southern California. You almost feel sorry for the poor real estate agent who happens to pick up the phone.
But the industry is reaping what they sowed and you can’t blame Market Leader for taking this path. It’s a bold and risky move; some may say a “Hail Mary” pass. Sometimes, the Hail Mary works.
What matters now is execution. So far Zillow is really killing it. Everyone thought they would be flash in the pan after they went public, not so. The IPO was over a year ago and they have been getting stronger every quarter. Spencer and his team deserve strong Kudos.
Market Leader has been putting together a few big deals of their own; the acquisition and integration of Sharper Agent has gone well, they also won the business to be the lead vendor behind Keller Williams’eEdge platform, combine that with recently announced partnerships with Realogy’s Century 21 and Better Homes & Gardens they seem to have a lot of momentum.
The Battle of Emerald City is now in place:
Ian vs. Spencer
(Granted with names like these it seems they should be fighting over a jar of Grey Poupon instead of online listing dominance.)
But I love a good fight and this is going to be fun to watch!