Hamburg, Germany-based luxury real estate franchisor Engel & Völkers, which has 34 affiliates and about 350 agents in the U.S., has signed a deal with Zillow to enhance its listings on the portal.

As part of the deal, Engel & Völkers listings on Zillow will feature the franchisor’s logo; no competing agent branding or advertising will show up on property detail pages; and lead forms will direct Zillow visitors exclusively to Engel & Völkers agents.

"A big advantage for us is the strong recognition of our brand globally, which means that our listings will be recognized by the many international buyers utilizing Zillow to research U.S. properties," said Charles Kim, communications manager for Engel & Völkers USA.

"Zillow‘s marketing program will help (Engel & Völkers’) U.S. agents reach tens of millions of home shoppers and sellers, and give them access to online marketing tools and listing distribution to the leading real estate network," said Greg Schwartz, chief revenue officer at Zillow.

Last week, Zillow announced that as of April 1 it will power the listings on HGTV’s Zillow already exclusively powers for-sale and for-rent listings on Yahoo Homes. The Zillow Real Estate Network —, Yahoo Homes, HotPads and RentJuice — attracted nearly 46 million unique visitors in January, a 45 percent increase from the same time a year ago, the company said in a regulatory filing.

Other real estate companies have paid to advertise their listings on the large portals. Pittsburgh-based Howard Hanna, for example — ranked by Real Trends as the fourth-largest brokerage by transaction sides in 2011 — said in February it would pay a seven-figure sum (between $1 million and $10 million) for special treatment of its listings on Trulia and Zillow.

Some have complained about advertisements and the accuracy of listings on third-party search portals that aren’t operated by brokerages or multiple listing services. But some of the biggest names in the business continue to enter into agreements that boost their visibility on third-party sites, which tend to attract more traffic than MLS- and broker-operated websites. 

In November 2011, Edina Realty, citing a desire to direct more traffic to its own website and an aversion to ads next to its listings on Trulia, announced that it would stop syndicating its listings to the portal. In May, the brokerage pulled its listings from for the same reasons.

Engel & Völkers, which has about 550 brokerages and 4,000 agents in 36 countries in high-end locations like Paris, London, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Rio de Janiero, has been laying the groundwork for a U.S. expansion.

In January, Engel & Völkers announced the addition of former Century 21 Real Estate CEO Tom Kunz, who will oversee the brand’s expansion in the western U.S. Currently, a majority of its affiliates are in Florida (about two-thirds) and there are a few boutique outlets in New York state in towns like Lake Placid and Locust Valley, and in Los Angeles and Newport Beach in California.

The franchisor has said it expects to add brokerage-affiliates in Texas, Arizona and New Mexico in the coming months.

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