operator Move Inc. has been feisty out of the gate with its new rival, Zillow Group Inc.

Just a week after Zillow’s acquisition of Trulia closed, the two already have a new court date. On March 12 a judge will decide whether Move’s syndication platform ListHub can cut its listings feed to Trulia — as Move wants to do — ahead of their contract’s June 2016 expiration date.

The two are not facing off only over listings, however.

If you monitor the portals’ Twitter accounts, you’ll notice that has significantly upped the tweet frequency of both its main account and pro-focused accounts to match Zillow’s output in the last few weeks. Zillow and’s tweet frequency has reached near synchronicity.

What does this mean? Not much, other than it’s more evidence of how Move’s new owner, News Corp., is sweating the small stuff. Or a lot if you crave news like whether a teenager like Kylie Jenner, for example, can even buy a home or photos of the “swankiest #Treehouse you’ve ever seen” — at a rate of more than 10 times per day.


Zillow’s drinking the Trulia Kool-Aid 

Meanwhile, Zillow’s literally (and figuratively) drinking the Trulia Kool-Aid as the two firms continue their headlong race toward integration.

This week, Zillow execs attended Trulia’s “Innovation Week” where they heard the portal’s developers present the products and features they cooked up during the previous week.

True to its startup roots, Trulia unchains its developers for a week each quarter to give them the time to dream up and build new tools for both consumers, the industry and the developers themselves. Some features, like Trulia’s commute heat maps, make it to see the light of day.

Zillow holds a similar event each quarter it calls “Hack Week.” Zillow Group CEO Spencer Rascoff, who attended innovation week, will apply some of what he saw to Zillow. That overlap provides a window into how the two innovative companies, now under one roof, may accelerate the rate at which real estate sees new products.

At an industry event this week, executives with Zillow and Trulia said the companies will continue to compete with each other to innovate.

Changes to homes display

At the same event, Move’s senior vice president of industry relations, Russ Cofano, hinted at changes coming to the way displays listings.

Zillow, too, is making changes to the way it displays both listings and homes not for sale on its site.

Today, it announced that its oft-lamented automated home valuations known as Zestimates will immediately update the moment homeowners edit facts like the number of bedrooms and bathrooms and details on significant remodels on their homes’ pages on Zillow. Before, it could take weeks before homeowner edits were reflected in the Zestimate, Zillow said.

A look at the new portal landscape

Now that Zillow and Trulia are one, nearly a third of visits to real estate sites from desktop computers go to one company.

Combined, the portals accounted for 29.25 percent of all visits to real estate sites in January, according to Experian Marketing Services.

Portal Share of total visits to real estate sites from desktop computers in January
Zillow + Trulia 29.25% 8.21%

Source: Experian Marketing Services

In one fell swoop, suddenly Zillow has 3.5 times’s market share.

Zillow hypes its rental business

Zillow has plans to grow its rentals business into a juggernaut. It displayed its hopes for the division this week on Nasdaq, where Zillow execs rang the opening bell for the Zillow Rental Network.

Stock activity

Company Market cap* Share price* (% change from last week)
Zillow Group $6.70 billion $114.75 (-8.5%)
News Corp. $9.93 billion $16.82 (0.9%)

Source: Google Finance *As of market close on Friday, February 27, 2014

Email Paul Hagey.

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