Zillow, News Corp, and the Future of Real Estate


Today Inman.com broke the news that Zillow and NewsCorp have parted ways after a 4 year agreement in which NewsCorp’s Listhub provided Zillow with its syndicated real estate listings. Listhub has been providing a syndicated listings feed to portals, publishers and other non-broker websites since 2006. Their clients include Trulia, FindTheBest, The Real Estate Book, Vast, Homes.com and many others in the real estate technology space. In 2010, Move Inc. acquired Listhub and added it to its portfolio of real estate companies. Move Inc. also has a license granted by the National Association of Realtors to operate Realtor.com. This license also gives Realtor.com access to the most up-to-date listing information from nearly 900 national Multiple Listings Services (MLSs). It is the only portal website that can boast this amount of coverage and accuracy.

In 2014, Rupert Murdoch acquired Move Inc. for almost $1 billion. News Corp intends for its newly acquired Realtor.com property to compete against Zillow and Trulia as the number one real estate website.

Currently, Realtor.com is competing against Zillow and Trulia with roughly 22 million unique visitors per month. With the announcement that Listhub will discontinue listings to Zillow, it is clear the competition for online real estate traffic will escalate.

There are some indications that Zillow may have anticipated the Listhub decision.  With the acquisition of RETSLY, Zillow has access to API technology that will allow individual agents and brokerages to syndicate their listings directly to Zillow. If this technology is developed, it will essentially eliminate the middle man, Listhub.

Onboard watches from the sidelines as all of this develops.  Our interest is in advancing access to local data, embracing advancements in real estate technology like those that were recently adapted at NAR, and continuing to support our clients in creating truly memorable online experiences.

In the meantime, we would love to hear your thoughts on the future of real estate technology.  How will this change affect you?  Where do you see the future of the online real estate?  Perhaps as these goliaths attempt to tear each other down, it leaves room for the “davids” of the world to come up with some revolutionary solutions.  Perhaps this industry is in need of a fresh perspective or two.

Let’s hear yours.