Realtor.com has a lot of listings- millions of them, from all over the country. But, contrary to popular belief, they do not, and never have, had them all.
Some companies have refused to allow the website, which is sponsored by the National Association of Realtors, to have access to their listing information. Many Realtors and brokers don’t like that they have to pay if they want information about their listings to show on the site, and many consumers go to the website thinking they will see every listing and get good information, only to be disappointed by the lack of information and overwhelming array of advertisements.
Realtor.com is not a good tool for finding a home–
Go to Realtor.com and search for homes and what you’ll get is a bunch of listings without addresses, virtual tours or agent contact info. A few listings have these things, but only the ones that the agent has specifically paid for the upgrades.
And now Marlow Harris at 360Digest reports that Realtor.com is about to completely lose its MLS feed from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service because the region’s MLS states, “a majority of the Board of Directors felt that it was inappropriate for the NWMLS to provide a service to a for-profit organization that is outside of their sphere.”
Realtor.com has been lame from the beginning because it has never been about the consumer, it has been about profiting from agents- taking their data and then selling them advertising and the leads that come from the site.
Allen Dalton, president of Realtor.com recently criticized Rich Lloyd of Zillow.com, likening “the site’s trademark Zestimates of home values to a carnival weight and age guesser.” Dalton also stated, “The whole notion of suggesting to people that they can find out what their home is worth without a Realtor offends me.”
Which is funny, because right in the middle of the homepage of Realtor.com they have a Home Valuation function that asks, “What’s Your Home Worth” and says, “Immediately review recent home sales in your area” – so people can try to assess their home’s value based on recently sold homes in the area online, without the help of a Realtor.
Only difference is that on Zillow you don’t have most of the results page taken up with a paid advertisement from a Realtor. Zillow is more organic than that, and although some agents don’t like Zillow, at least they are honest about what they are as opposed to Realtor.com acting like a public resource, and the Internet face of NAR, and hiding the fact that they are actually one of the biggest pimps in the industry, selling every piece of the site they can.
Sure, it makes it easier to swallow if you can get a piece of the disintermediation pie that’s in your flavor, but it’s still taking leads from Realtors by using those Realtor’s listing information and selling the leads back to them- exactly the same way those other crappy lead-gen sites do.
Zillow is completely innaccurate, but Zillow is just an entertaining site that allows people to get a range of value on a property and charges for ads. It’s a private company trying to make money- Realtor.com is not just another private company- it’s the offical website for the National Association of Realtors (NAR) which means that it inherently has an advantage over every other website because it gets access to most of the listings simply because of that relationship.
What’s the difference between Zillow giving a value range and a Realtor selling a home with value-range pricing? Does it mean that the Realtor doesn’t know the value of the home? Does it mean that the agent is bad for the industry and we should all call for an end to them? No- it’s simply a way to sell a house, just like Zillow is a fun tool for people to snoop around on homes and get a range of what their home might be worth before calling their agent.
Realro.com shoul dhave all addresses and tours and contact information for all the agents because the consumer deserves it and the members of NAR deserve it. Make your money from ads like all the other top sites do.
I’ll take Zillow or BlueRoof.com over Realtor.com anyday…