Zillow Acquires Trulia in a $3.5 Billion Stock Merger
| News | Deidra Poltersdorf
In a press release last week, real estate search engine giant Zillow announced its acquisition of Trulia for $3.5 billion in stock. Together with Trulia, another real estate search engine, the websites make up 48 percent of housing listing traffic.
Zillow states their merger will lead to faster innovation, greater access to free real estate market data and broader distribution. Both Zillow and Trulia have similar, interactive websites full of blogs, infographics and moving advice. Together they’ve built themselves up to be of the strongest online influencers in real estate.
There has been a lot of talk about how this merger will affect the business of real estate. Neither company is a Multiple Listing Service, or MLS, nor do they sell the property on their site. Instead, they use their powerful internet presence to sell advertisements and leads to real estate agents.
The biggest competitor to the two websites is Realtor.com, run by the National Association of Realtors. The association and many other real estate agents commenting on this merger question whether the partnership will result in greater accuracy. Neither company has access to a large sample of MLS data that would allow for the most accurate data on real estate listings.
The unanswered question in all this is whether the merger will result in tension between the company and real estate agents or a stronger relationship. Zillow and Trulia will officially merge at the beginning of 2015. Regardless of what the future holds, for now and throughout 2015, Zillow is sure to carry a lot of influence over online real estate listings.
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