VOL. 129 | NO. 108 | Wednesday, June 4, 2014
Crye-Leike Removes Some Listings From Websites
By Amos Maki
Memphis-based Crye-Leike Realtors Inc. is pulling its Little Rock and Hot Springs, Ark., listings from Zillow.com and Trulia.com, two of the Web’s biggest third-party listing services.
Crye-Leike said it will remove listings effective Tuesday, June 3.
The move to discontinue using Zillow and Trulia in the two Arkansas cities comes just a few months after Crye-Leike pulled its roughly 3,000 Memphis-area listings off the services due to what the company described as inaccurate listing information on the two websites.
Crye-Leike Memphis general manager and executive vice president Steve Brown said the company has not suffered from the decision to remove the Memphis-area listings from the two national platforms in January, which helped fuel the decision to stop providing information on Little Rock and Hot Springs listings.
Crye-Leike’s sales volume in the first quarter in Memphis was up 14 percent and its share of listing inventory rose from 27.3 percent to 28 percent over the same period.
“Our sales year-over-year are up in volume and units, our percentage of listing inventory is up and some agents who originally wanted to continue ‘buying ZIP codes’ have stopped due to increasing costs,” Brown said.
Brown said Crye-Leike often found that property data listed on Trulia and Zillow was 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. In addition, Brown said rising advertising prices on the two websites played a role in the decision.
“Our agents have been very supportive of this,” Brown said. “They don't like to have to pay to keep squatters off their listings.”
A Zillow representative said the company was committed to providing consumers with as much information as possible, and that Crye-Leike’s decision could hurt consumers and agents.
“We respect brokers’ rights to advertise their listings as they feel appropriate; however, we believe it’s a missed opportunity for home sellers and buyers not to have their listings marketed to the largest audience of home shoppers in the U.S.,” said Zillow’s Amanda Woolley. “In addition to being the (most) visited real estate website in Little Rock, Zillow has nearly 79 million visitors each month, so not only are local buyers and sellers missing out on the opportunity, but national home shoppers are as well.”
Crye-Leike, which has around 2,800 agents across nine Southeastern states, is still monitoring the effectiveness of Zillow and Trulia listings in other markets. Individual Crye-Leike agents in the Memphis area, Little Rock and Hot Springs will still be able to upload listings to Zillow and Trulia, but Crye-Leike will no longer do it on their behalf.
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 and the company still provides its listings to other websites like Realtor.com and Homes.com.
Although several important real estate brokerages across the country, such as Edina Realty Inc. in the Minneapolis area, have stopped providing information to Trulia and Zillow, they remain powerful forces in the market with the ability to reach millions of consumers and tens of thousands of real estate agents.
In an effort to expand their reach, Zillow and rival Trulia are investing heavily this year on national advertising campaigns. Zillow plans to spend $65 million this year on advertising and Trulia has launched a $45 million effort.
“As of April, Trulia receives nearly 50 million unique visitors per month, and connects these homebuyers and sellers with thousands of real estate brokerages and hundreds of thousands of agents and brokers,” said Alon Chaver, vice president of Industry Services for Trulia.
“Trulia has recently signed milestone data syndication agreements with MLS’ throughout the country, including My Florida Regional MLS and the Austin, Texas, Board of Realtors, enabling their brokers to ensure accurate, timely listings on Trulia to maximize exposure and augment their marketing efforts. We will continue to engage with our Crye-Leike partners in the other markets we continue to work together so they can realize the same value for the company and its agents.”