Crye-Leike Drops 2 Third-Party Listing Services

By Amos Maki

Memphis-based Crye-Leike Realtors Inc. has yanked its Memphis-area listings from Zillow and Trulia, two of the Web’s biggest third-party listing services.

Crye-Leike said it pulled its roughly 3,000 Memphis-area listings off Trulia.com and Zillow.com due mostly to inaccurate listing information on the two websites.

BROWN

“There were multiple reasons, but inaccuracy of the data was big,” said Steve Brown, Crye-Leike Memphis general manager and executive vice president. “Frankly, it was like a disservice.”

Brown said listed prices for homes were often inaccurate and that Crye-Leike did not like the practice of allowing competing agents to place ads next to Crye-Leike listings, which could pit a Crye-Leike agent and listing against a rival broker.

“(Clients) would probably sue us if they knew we were posting 15 percent low or 15 percent high,” Brown said. “And then we didn’t like the idea you had to pay to keep somebody from squatting next to your listings. We didn’t think that was right, either.”

Zillow representative Amanda Woolley said the company was committed to providing consumers with as much information as possible.

“Zillow is committed to informed consumer choice,” she said. “We believe in clear, transparent information that allows homebuyers and sellers to make the smartest decisions – including which agent to work with when buying or selling their home.”

“If we get a direct feed of listings from a brokerage, the listing agent will always appear in the top spot on that listing, clearly marked as the listing agent,” Woolley said. “Then we provide a list of buyers’ agents, allowing the homebuyer to research and select the professional who will best represent their interest.”

Woolley said Zillow’s reach, including its mobile applications, remains an important tool for Realtors and homebuyers. According to comScore, Zillow is the largest online real estate network.

But Brown said the inaccuracy of listings was too much to overcome. Brown said one client recently sent a list of nine properties to her agent that she found on Zillow and was interested in. After doing some research, the Crye-Leike agent found that only three of the nine homes were actually available.

“As far as actually having accurate, timely data, they don’t have it and we do,” Brown said.

Woolley said Zillow is continually looking for ways to improve listing information.

“By continuing to directly engage with organizations like Crye-Leike, we believe we can continue to make progress on the important issue of listing accuracy, which will benefit brokers, agents and their clients,” said Woolley. “We look forward to discussing Crye-Leike’s concerns.”

Crye-Leike, which has around 2,800 agents across nine Southeastern states, is still considering whether it will maintain Zillow and Trulia listings in other markets. Individual Crye-Leike agents in the Memphis area will still be able to upload listings to Zillow and Trulia, but Crye-Leike will no longer do it on their behalf.

A Trulia representative said the company remains a trusted source of information for consumers and real estate agents and that it looks forward to working with Crye-Leike in other markets.

“Trulia connects consumers with the real estate industry to power the success of thousands of real estate brokerages and hundreds of thousands of their agents across the country,” said Alon Chaver, vice president of Industry Services at Trulia. “We will continue to engage with our Crye-Leike partners in the other markets (where) we continue to work together so they can leverage the Trulia platform and its 35 million unique monthly visitors, to deliver ever increasing value to the company and its agents.”

Brown said Crye-Leike had been considering dropping the Memphis-area listings for months, and consumers would have little trouble finding a Crye-Leike agent or listing, especially in its home base of Memphis.

Brown said Crye-Leike listings will continue to appear on websites operated by brokers and agents who are members of the 40 multiple listing services the company uses.

“People will find us,” Brown said.