Realtor.com operator Move Inc. will no longer power listing search for the nation’s seventh-most popular real estate site, MSN Real Estate, as it implements a “strategy shift” from Internet portals to “a portfolio of online and offline channels.”
“We are no longer focused on Internet portals for traffic acquisition,” said Barbara O’Connor, chief marketing officer of Move, in a statement.
For more than a decade, MSN Real Estate has served up framed search results from realtor.com, the official listing portal of the National Association of Realtors. Realtor.com features listings that Move obtains directly from more than 800 multiple listing services across the U.S.
Visitors to MSN Real Estate can also search for new homes and rentals featured on Move New Homes, the official new-home search site of the National Association of Home Builders. MSN Real Estate gets foreclosure data from foreclosure.com, which is not a Move property.
Move and MSN Real Estate last renewed their content sharing agreement in June 2013. It’s not clear yet if Zillow, Trulia or another portal like Homes.com will step in and provide listings when Move no longer powers MSN Real Estate’s search.
Zillow began powering listing searches on AOL Real Estate in December, after a 2-year-old agreement that fed a different set of listings from Move’s listing distribution platform, ListHub, to AOL Real Estate ended.
Move says the decision to end its long-standing content-sharing agreement with MSN Real Estate is part of a larger strategy of developing — and bringing traffic to — its own sites.
The MSN Real Estate network attracted 5.1 million unique visitors in March, the seventh most of any real estate network that month, according to digital analytics form comScore Inc.
“My recommendation to shift our strategy was based on key metrics, new channel performance testing, and optimization driven by the results,” O’Connor said in a statement provided to Inman News via email.
According to comScore rankings, realtor.com was the second-most popular real estate portal in March, by number of unique visitors from desktop and mobile devices. A Trulia spokesman said the company has raised questions about the reporting methodology used, and expects to be ranked the No. 2 portal by unique visitors in April.
In addition to AOL Real Estate, Zillow powers search on Yahoo Homes and HGTV’s FrontDoor. Trulia gets rental listings from RentPath Inc., which owns the popular rental sites apartementguide.com and rent.com.