How do brokers compete with the “new digital monstrosity” created by Zillow’s planned acquisition of Trulia? The same way Amazon competes with Google, Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman tells the hosts of “Bloomberg Surveillance.”

What he means by that is that Google is a media site where people search for products, but Amazon is where they go to buy books and lawn chairs.

“Zillow and Trulia are media sites,” Kelman says. “We advertise on Trulia, and then the consumer actually buys the house by working with a Redfin agent.”

Kelman didn’t delve more deeply into the analogy, which he used to bolster an Inman News guest piece proposing that brokers provide only a few basic details about homes they represent to portals like Zillow, Trulia and —  a few photos and a price, but not the entire listing description.

“Google does not display Amazon’s entire Web page about a TV or a book in a Google search result,” Kelman wrote in May. “Facebook shows a snippet of a New York Times article with a linked photo and headline to read the rest on Any Trulia, Zillow or visitor with a serious interest in a broker’s listings should end up on that broker’s site to evaluate the full listing.”

Redfin has built one of the few brokerage websites that’s in the same league as “ZTR,” as the big three are sometimes known. Kelman tells Bloomberg that the brokerage will cover 70 percent of the U.S. within about four months, up from 40 percent at the beginning of the year.

“We’ve figured out how to make money in big markets and in small markets. We understand how to cover the territory and meet customers at a very low cost. We’re expanding the geographical footprint.” Source:

Show Comments Hide Comments


Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive marketing emails from Inman.
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
Only 3 days left to register for Inman Connect Las Vegas before prices go up! Don't miss the premier event for real estate pros.Register Now ×
Limited Time Offer: Get 1 year of Inman Select for $199SUBSCRIBE×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription