If you think realtor.com dominates real estate search today, then…

…I would concur that realtor.com might dominate real estate search in 2008.    But dominate is WAY too strong of a word because no one dominates real estate search today.

To dominate a market, I’d think you’d have to have something approaching at least 50% market share…  Let’s use eBay as an example (the numbers are a bit dated, but make a valid point)…  Of the 68.4M unique users that visited auction sites in Feb ’06, 66.6M of those users visited eBay.  That means eBay capture over 97% of the market!  That’s dominance!

With under 10% of online real estate traffic, there is considerable upside for realtor.com in it’s quest to dominate the market.

13 responses

  1. I think the bigger question is why isn’t the one of oldest, highest inventory listing sites with a premium domain not dominating?

  2. Maybe they would dominate the market better by getting Realtors to want to work with them. They are a pain with the constant changing of pricing, less than knowledgeable sale people and horrible roi..

  3. Has anyone ever gotten any business directly from Realtor.com? I have never and I have had 2 featured homes spots and the regular package to have my name and contact info on my listings.

  4. Dustin,
    Just curious — where did you get the 10% of online real estate traffic number from? The numbers that I’ve seen recently from Hitwise show 4.71% of the category’s traffic going to R.com in Nov07 (vs 9.83% in Nov06). But that’s just r.com, not the whole Move Network.
    As I’ve written before, we find all of these third party traffic statistic providers to be pretty unreliable. Hitwise, Compete, Comscore, Alexa — they all botch our traffic pretty badly. When we talk about traffic publicly, we’re citing our own internal numbers which come from Omniture.
    Anyway, where is the 10% from?

  5. Spencer, if you follow the link where I mention the “under 10%” of online real estate traffic, you’ll see that I’m simply referencing a hitwise report from Feb ’07. It’s quite possible that the numbers are even lower now, but I’d be surprised if R.com’s share of the category dropped by over half.

    And I definitely concur with you that Hitwise, Compete, Comscore, etc. are all over the board and NEVER agree with internal numbers. Hell, even internal numbers (i.e. server log parsing vs java-script tracking) never agree, but that is another story. 🙂

  6. @Nick – This maybe a dumb question but why do you feel it’s important for the agents to work with REALTOR.com? If the site is consumer facing… isn’t the traffic from the users (home buyers / sellers) more important. In other words why do you think R is not getting more consumer traction since they are interacting with it or do you think because agents are not satisfied with REALTOR.com they bad mouth it to consumers and recommend other sites?

  7. How come you didn’t have Remax.com lsited? Realtor.com is on the way out. Too expensive. Too many sites like Remax.com that duplicate the process and don’t charge, actually is free for it’s agents.

  8. Dale:

    I’m definitely don’t think realtor.com should be a model for successful real estate listing sites, but remax.com offers an even worse user experience! Ignoring the fact that I can’t even search on the site right now (type in the zip code “98117” in the zip code area, hit the “search properties” button and nothing happens! by the way if you use a different zip code like 91302 then it works as expected), the interface is so kludge and looks like it was last updated in the 1990s.

    Anyway, you’re point about upgrades on Realtor.com being too expensive is a valid concern, but the reality is that for the price of FREE, the typical agent gets the same exposure on realtor.com as you do on Remax.com (i.e. none!).

  9. Michael Avatar

    We are the #1 realtor in our area and have been for several years. We have had featured homes, featured communities, showcase properties, and banner ads with realtor.com for years now. The banner ads and featured communities did not work for us, but featured homes & showcase properties have worked extremely well. I don’t know if region has any effect on the model. We are in the South and at least 50% of buyers we work with have searched realtor.com, much more than any other listings site. Our presence there is a major contributor to obtaining buyers as well as in obtaining listings. I agree they have been difficult to work with in the past – raising prices, no quantity discounts, changing sales contacts regularly, etc. But even though it’s expensive, realtor.com is a much better revenue generator for us than local newspaper, real estate listing magazines, pay per click etc. In our area, it is the one site folks know they can go to and get all the listings in the local MLS which is 95% of all homes for sale in our area.

  10. […] follow Greg’s logic that it weakens overall traffic to Trulia… Mainly because nobody in the online real estate space has enough market penetration to think there are a finite number of users for their services. Trulia needs more listings. If this […]

  11. I’d love to know how the traffic at some of the largest sites (Realtor.com, for example), compares with the sum traffic to all broker and agent web sites. If anyone knows where I can find this information, please let me know!

  12. Scott: I agree that would be fascinating information, but I’m not aware of any good source for this information.

  13. Lovely post. Please add my email address to your list and email me the updates if possible. I always like to read your blog and comment on it.

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