Zillow / Trulia Merger to Complete Today

The Tim's parody Zillow-Trulia mashup logo
The Tim’s parody Zillow-Trulia mashup logo

Today’s the big day for Zillow and Trulia, as they complete their big merger. John Cook over at GeekWire has a good write-up: Here is Zillow’s big concern as it prepares to gobble up rival Trulia

One of the biggest concerns facing Zillow is whether it can properly integrate its long-time rival.

Trulia is a large and complex publicly-traded company, with more than 1,100 employees, 125 multiple listing services partners and monthly visitors that top 55 million.

Competently digesting San Francisco-based Trulia — which will operate as an independent brand — will not be an easy task. The integration may take longer that anticipated, and some key Trulia staffers may leave during the process. The deal also may serve as a distraction to Zillow’s historic growth.

Acquisitions of this size have been known to derail the acquiring company, disrupting the culture and sending the merged entity into a tailspin. (Remember the outcome of AOL-Time Warner).

In other words, they are a big risk.

I don’t really have anything more to say on the matter than what I said when the merger was initially announced in July. Combining two money-losing, “high growth” real estate advertising platforms chock-full of lousy data under the leadership of a CEO with a publicly-stated interest in bad data is noteworthy because of the large sums of money involved, but it will matter very little to you, the real estate consumer lead.

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About The Tim

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market. Tim also hosts the weekly improv comedy sci-fi podcast Dispatches from the Multiverse.


  1. 1

    You Summed It Up Tim

    “…Combining two money-losing, “high growth” real estate advertising platforms…”

    One thing that has to happen is a pragmatic agreement on the number of employees and value added to the real estate buyer. If they can’t describe why they’re an asset to buyers and sellers too, what good are one giant one of them, let alone two…perhaps they need less company expenses tagged for what isn’t working?

  2. 2
    Blurtman says:

    History shows again and again
    How nature points up the folly of men

  3. 3
    Rudolfo says:

    It took a while for Google to figure out how to monetize their product/service mix.

    Zillow is no Google, but they’ll keep at it until they are successful or spend all they have trying.

  4. 4
    Jonness says:

    By Blurtman @ :

    History shows again and again
    How nature points up the folly of men

    Good one! I played that song in the first band I was ever in. You brought back some memories. We only had two weeks to throw a show together, so we played cover tunes. After that, we went all originals.

  5. 5
    bingo says:


    Zillow’s stock price up nearly 15% today. Tim, you should have told us about this on the 17th.

    Oops! Wait a minute…you did.

    Nice going. Quit your day job.

  6. 6

    As a real estate broker, part of me would love to see godzilla crumble and fall. Sure they are a direct competitor to me for Google rankings, they call often trying to sell me a “hot zip code” that just opened up filled with quality “leads” and yes, they package listings and resell home buyers as leads to us. But mainly, I just don’t see any true benefit they provide to the average home buyer or seller.

    Although I require registration on my listing websites, I’m not one of those that thinks Realtors should still be running around with 3 ring binders keeping all information hidden from the public. I do question what value Zillow, Trulia or Realtor.com bring to the customer experience.

    For a potential house buyer, there is no more accurate compilation of available listings than a website owned and operated by a member of the NWMLS. We all use the same idx feed, some sites are better than others but we are all using accurate data and those listings are available to the public if they wish to view it.

    Godzilla does not have that access (yet), they gather their information from many sources including direct submissions from brokers and third parties. As a result, their active listings are often nearly as unreliable as a zestimate.

    This is more than a nuisance to a home buyer, especially if they are buying in a tight market. Bank owned homes don’t sit around and the best quality resale homes sell quickly as well. If you are using zillow to search for listings, chances are high you will be beat to the good homes by another buyer.

    The part of me that wants godzilla to stay is mainly selfish. Their FSBO and make me move listings are sometimes good deals and often entertaining. I also see value in godzilla for real estate investors for the same reasons.

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