Editor’s note: The following post is from Property Portal Watch, a site that offers information about property-search portals around the globe.

When looking at the performance of property portal sites in a market, you often look at a point in time and try to draw some conclusions, or you may look at two adjacent months. However, to really get a feeling for movement in the consumer views of a market, it is more important to look at the movement over a longer period of time.

Based on the Hitwise visits, market-share numbers for the top U.S. residential-property portal sites for August 2007 and July 2008, you can make some interesting observations:

  • Realtor.com has slipped significantly, losing 2.07 percent of visits to property sites, or 22 percent of its traffic
  • Yahoo Real Estate has been a big mover, increasing market share by 1.16 percent
  • Zillow.com and ZipRealty.com also were strong movers
  • Trulia entered the top 10 over the period
  • RealtyTrac decreased significantly over the period, losing 2.67 percent

So what does it mean?

Although Realtor.com continues to be the clear market leader, the site has lost some market share and the challenge will be to continue to drive traffic. Perhaps a stronger focus on SEO is required.

Secondly, Yahoo, Zillow and Trulia are doing the right things in their approach to growing traffic to their sites. It would be interesting to see the frequency of visits during the period to get a feeling for for brand loyalty.

Finally, visits to RealtyTrac have dropped off either due to a decrease in interest in the foreclosure market or, as a result of the the content distribution deals they have done, people are looking at foreclosure market information from realtytrac.com on other sites.

Simon Baker is the creator of Property Portal Watch and is former CEO and managing director for REA Group.

***

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