THE BIG 4 Real Estate Property Sites: REALTOR.com, Zillow.com, Yahoo.com, Trulia.com

As a follow-up to a previous post (http://endzonerealty.com/2010/the-most-popular-website-in-the-world/), I thought I’d do my best to settle the question of which real estate websites were biggest–and in what order… (I know… scary, right?)

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Why?

  1. We’re real estate agents. Give a call.
  2. If SiteA gets 2x more traffic than SiteB, wouldn’t you expect to receive twice as many views and calls from SiteA than SiteB?
  3. If SiteA gets 2x more traffic than SiteB, wouldn’t you want to put more effort into making sure you and your property show well on SiteA moreso than SiteB?
  4. Allocate your advertising dollars wisely. Be an informed buyer of ad-space.
  5. Know where buyers will most likely find you (as an agent) and your property (to buy it or list theirs with you). We all know 90% use the Internet to shop for houses, right?
  6. Because stats are cool…

The Answers You’ve Been Waiting For

…Need a quick answer? Skip the details and see the summary

Which real estate website gets the most traffic? Well, honestly, measurements of website/domain traffic aren’t consistent. Some main reasons for this are:

  • Differences in tracking technology/methodology
  • Focus on accuracy vs quantity of data
  • Connections between the sites measuring and the sites being measured
  • Some sites play across several domains (e.g. REALTOR.com and Move.com) so the traffic is split
  • There are many data points to compare: visits, page views, unique users, monthly active users, average time on site, etc.

Google

For example, if you ask Google’s DoubleClick (http://bit.ly/gWFFFa), it’ll tell you this information for November 2010:

Of course, just like everyone else, Google says all traffic statistics are estimates: http://www.google.com/support/adplanner/bin/answer.py?answer=181556&hl=en_US

Hitwise

Hitwise publishes a list of “Top 20 Real Estate Websites“:

Hitwise Top 20 Real Estate Websites - Week of 2010-11-12

Yahoo and Zillow

Yahoo and Zillow recently announced that Zillow will be providing the listings/for-sale data for Yahoo, and it’ll be implemented before the end of 2010. They stated,

This partnership brings together the second-and third-most trafficked real estate websites(1), making this one of the most powerful and far-reaching real estate ad networks on the web. As part of the relationship, Zillow® will power all for-sale listings on Yahoo! Real Estate. (emphasis added)

(1) In May 2010, Zillow.com had the second-largest number of unique visitors in the real estate category, and Yahoo! Real Estate had the third-largest number of unique visitors, according to comScore.

So, as of May 2010, Yahoo and Zillow considered themselves as “not #1”. You can see how this can get confusing…

comScore Media Metrix

comScore data is not free (subscription starting around $50,000 per year) but is the source most big companies quote in press releases (as Yahoo and Zillow demonstrated above).

According to comScore, based on what I’ve observed from REALTOR.com’s, Yahoo’s, and Zillow’s mentions of their own traffic rankings, REALTOR.com is in 1st place.

A Site’s Own Statistics

Who better to track a site’s traffic than the site operator itself? Well, again, differences in technologies and methodologies exist regarding what to track and how to track what so each company’s stats aren’t necessarily comparable. That’s why companies like comScore exist–to settle the debates.

But it’s always helpful to see what each site thinks of its own traffic:

Summary

Buyers and Sellers like easy, accessible, free sites with lots of data and statistics. Websites like traffic and revenue.

Zillow, Trulia, and Yahoo are major competitors for REALTOR.com, and REALTOR.com‘s been around much longer (the Yahoo.com domain is older, but I don’t have specifics on the Real Estate section of Yahoo):

Source: http://www.whois.net/

This is a lot of information. Here’s what you need to realize:

  • They’re all important. REALTOR.com is #1. Zillow and Yahoo are #2. Trulia is #3. Next month or year may be different…
  • Some buyers will use only Zillow. Some will use only Trulia. etc. (This refers to “overlapping” or “sharing” traffic.)
  • Your locale my tend to use one service more than the others. For example, in Tulsa, when I ask shoppers/buyers where they found this house, I often hear Zillow or some other reply. However, I can’t say I’ve ever heard Yahoo.
  • Do your best with them all, a little of each or one at a time.
  • You can’t succeed if you don’t try. Get involved and sell some!

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