A real estate technology company and an industry consulting firm report that Yahoo’s real estate portal, Trulia, the Google Base classified site and Zillow are among the top third-party sources of online traffic to brokers’ property listings in a case study of a multiple listing service region in Nevada.

The case study, conducted by real estate consulting company The WAV Group and published by Threewide Corp., focuses on Threewide’s ListHub, a listings syndication tool, and its use by brokers members of the Northern Nevada Regional MLS.

That MLS has about 3,100 subscribers and their access to ListHub allows subscribers to distribute property listings information to any of 21 online property-search sites. Point2, vFlyer and Postlets, are also among the real estate technology companies that offer listings distribution tools for real estate professionals.

Yahoo Real Estate, at realestate.yahoo.com, is the top source of consumer visits to property listings for the MLS’s subscribers who use ListHub to distribute listings information to third-party sites, according to the study, accounting for about 32 percent of consumer referrals. Trulia was next with 23 percent, followed by Google classified portal Google Base with 20 percent and Zillow at 12 percent. No other site exceeded a 4 percent share of consumer referrals.

The report notes that these stats may not tell the whole story, though.

"At the MLS level there are a couple more factors that can impact their results. Some listings may potentially be featured or enhanced by the broker or agent, which is not reflected in the reported numbers and which might explain variations in the results. Finally, brokers opt in to each site individually, so some sites receive fewer listings, resulting in fewer consumer visits," the study states.

Yahoo represented the largest portion of lead volume to MLS subscribers using ListHub, accounting for a 40 percent share. Yahoo was followed in this category by Zillow, with a 21 percent share. Trulia and Google Base each had an 8 percent share, and Oodle had a 5 percent share.

"It was interesting to note that Zillow’s lead conversion numbers are proportionally higher relative to their referring traffic volume. Not all traffic is the same: some sites attract consumers who are closer to making an actual purchase. This type of information is key to the decision making process by brokers," according to the study, and brokers can view reports to gauge their return on investment.

The report states that the 8,782 listings from NNRMLS members that were distributed to at least one third-party Web site in May 2008 were clicked on a total of 42,264 times that month — a click means a consumer viewed a property’s complete details. That means each of the property listings received an average 4.8 views during the month.


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