Why Trulia and Zillow won’t become a single search portal

If it closes next year as planned, Zillow’s acquisition of Trulia will give the company more audience, and scale, CEO Spencer Rascoff tells Bloomberg Television’s Trish Regan.

“As a media property, we want to have more audience,” Rascoff says. “Having multiple brands — Zillow, HotPads, StreetEasy, and soon, upon closing, Trulia — will allow us to appeal to a larger audience. In the media business, audience is everything.”

“But why separate those brands, why not have everything just under the Zillow brand?” Regan wonders. A good question to ponder. Although Zillow has made clear from the start that it intends to maintain Trulia as its own brand, some real estate industry professionals have concluded that Zillow and Trulia will end up being a single search portal.

Rascoff explains why that’s not the plan — for now at least.

“Certain consumers gravitate to certain brands for different reasons,” Rascoff says. “They like the color palette of one or another, they like a particular feature in one or another, and there are a lot of media companies that adopt multiple brands. The Weather Company is a good example — they operate weather.com and Weather Underground and Intellicast, all different brands to the consumer, but behind the scenes, it’s a lot of the same data.”

How does Rascoff see the Trulia brand as different from Zillow?

“Trulia’s done a really nice job of going deep on local data. For example, they integrate crime data very nicely into their listing pages,” he said. “Zillow tends to focus on all homes, not just those that are for sale, but also those that are off-market. And so we tend to be relevant not just when you’re in the transaction, but also when you’re a homeowner looking to keep track of your home’s value.” Source: bloomberg.com.


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