Someone commented to me on a popular social media platform that Zillow seems in a rush to acquire listing content. It makes sense to me that Zillow would be in an ongoing rush to acquire clean fresh listing content. In fact, when I was in the data aggregation and syndication business a few years back, it was not unusual for Spencer Rascoff, when I met with him at Industry events, to encourage my efforts to acquire more MLS contracts and more listings, and to do it faster.
While REALTOR.com has some 800 plus direct MLS data feeds, Zillow, has few direct feeds, and depends pretty heavily on the data provided by Listhub.
This reliance on Listhub by Zillow increased when Listhub acquired the data contracts from the number two aggregator and provider of MLS listing data, Point2, in early September this year.
When does Zillow’s current contract with its major competitor, Move/REALTOR.com/NEWCORP/Rupert Murdoch…the company which provides a large portion of the oxygen Zillow needs to be healthy (listing content), expire?
And then…what will Rupert and his Team do, to take back the Number One spot, which is the publically stated intention? Will this be hardball or softball?
I thought I had read somewhere that Zillow’s data contract with Listhub expires early next year, and about a year later, Trulia’s content contract expires.
If that is true, and I were managing Zillow’s data acquisition strategy, I would be looking hard for alternative sources of listing content too, and fast. Nothing worse for real estate portals than big “black holes.”