Realtor.com revamps pricing structure

Costs now determined by price of homes in a specific area

Screen shot from realtor.com highlighting "Showcase" listing enhancements.Screen shot from realtor.com highlighting "Showcase" listing enhancements.

Realtor.com operator Move Inc. has introduced a new pricing scheme that features the introduction of market-specific pricing and an increased number of pricing tiers.

Before this update, realtor.com customers — brokers and agents who pay to enhance their listings on the portal with branding, more property photos, agent photos and contact info, and other perks – paid the same fee to enhance their listings on the portal regardless of whether they fell within high-value locations or low, said Ray Picard, vice president of sales at Move.

Now, realtor.com sets the costs to advertise listings on the site according to the price of homes in an area at the metro level.

Picard, who joined Move in April, said that feedback from customers, clamoring for ad prices that tracked the value of the listings they wanted to enhance, prompted the firm to design and roll out the new pricing scheme. The new pricing structure was not related to the amended agreement that the National Association of Realtors and Move hammered out recently about the operation of realtor.com, he said.

Move, which charges brokers and agents a set fee to enhance a certain quantity of listings, also increased the number of tiers in its listing-advertising packages, allowing customers to choose from more finely grained buckets of listings.

“We don’t anticipate revenue to increase from the rate change,” Picard said. Rather, Move expects revenue to grow organically as the number of listings enhanced on the site increase with the recovering market and the new, more “fair-value” rate scheme, he said.

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“There’s a more balanced approach with this rate card, and we anticipate we’ll reach brokers and agents that haven’t advertised yet,” Picard said.

Realtor.com, like its large portal competitors Zillow and Trulia, entices brokers and agents to advertise with the platform in exchange for getting a lead form, their name, photo and contact info next to their listings, among other enhancements, and access to the firm’s reporting metrics and other tools. Listings not “Showcased” on realtor.com show no agent or broker branding, have a list of nearby listings show up on the right of the property detail page and limit the number of photos displayed with the property.

Enhanced listings on realtor.com have (see a comparison between an unadvertised and enhanced listing on realtor.com here):

  • Agent and broker branding, including photos, contact info and logos.
  • Up to 36 photos on their property detail pages compared to the four limited to unenhanced listings.
  • Custom toll-free phone numbers that allow agents to track phone leads.
  • The ability to link to open houses, virtual tours and videos.
  • More content fields.
  • Custom headlines.

Agents advertising with realtor.com also get access to a listing presentation tool, seller traffic reports and other tools.

On Friday, Move reported that it sent its realtor.com customers about 50 percent more consumer leads in the year ending June 30 as it did the year before, according to a regulatory filing the firm posted that day.

Editor’s note: Unenhanced listings are limited to four photos, not the nine a previous version of this story noted. The story has also been updated to note that realtor.com sets the price for advertising based on characteristics of an area at the metro level, information that wasn’t available at press time.

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