Trulia going direct to brokers for listings

Incentives aimed at boosting accuracy of data, addressing ad concerns

Trulia is joining rival Zillow in offering incentives to brokerages that provide the real estate search portal with listings, including unlimited photos and property descriptions, and prominent identification of broker and agent contact information.

The Trulia Broker Program will deliver weekly reports to participating brokers to help them track the number of leads their  listings generate on the site, and through distribution on Trulia’s mobile apps.

Some brokers and agents have questioned the value of syndicating listing data to third-party sites like Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com, voicing objections about lead forms for competing agents that appear next to some listings on the sites. There have also been complaints that third-party sites sometimes publish inaccurate or out-of-date information.

Zillow announced a program in June to take listings directly from real estate brokerages to improve the accuracy of listing data, instead of relying on intermediaries like ListHub and Point2. Those intermediaries, or syndicators, take listings data from brokerages and multiple listing services and distribute them to multiple websites (Realtor.com, thanks to its ties to the National Association of Realtors, gets listings directly from MLSs).

Last week, Zillow announced it was expanding its "zPro for Brokers" pilot program from 10 brokerages to 15.

Trulia — which has reportedly filed a confidential application with securities regulators to make an initial public offering of shares — announced in May that it would launch a series of updates to improve broker marketing tools and address accuracy and advertising concerns.

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"We are committed to help you, and your agents, succeed," Trulia’s head of industry relations, Matt Dollinger, said today in announcing the launch of the Trulia Broker Program. In the next few days, he said, Trulia will also be announcing "an exciting new product designed specifically for brokerages."

Trulia recruited Dollinger in May from Chicago brokerage @properties to head up its industry relations team, which also includes Todd Carpenter, formerly director of digital engagement for the National Association of Realtors, and several former Realtor.com, Yahoo! and HouseValues executives.

Zillow has made similar moves of its own, hiring former Arizona MLS CEO Bob Bemis and Phoenix-based broker and blogger Jay Thompson to improve industry relations.


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