You might think from what you’ve read about it that the Zillow-Trulia merger is going to be like the resurrection of Godzilla.

“Run for your lives — Godzulia is coming,” many are warning “Muah!”

But the impending merger does not have to leave the odd man out. Here’s my wish list to make sure our beloved Realtor brand stays top of mind:

4. Improve SEO and include reviews and ratings that appear in search results

Notice in the image below that if someone searches for me using my name and the term “Realtor,” my profiles on Zillow and ActiveRain (the Trulia-owned agent blog) appear higher than in the search results.

Screen shot of from mobile device’s Web browser.

Say it isn’t so! This needs to change, stat.

Additionally, notice that Zillow shows an agent’s ratings, which is known to be an enticement for Web searchers to click on a link. And no, I am not paying for ads on Zillow but, because of their SEO placement, I constantly get leads from them. Let’s get this on track, please,

3. Simplify the interface

If you notice in the mobile screen shot below, the consumer experience is … ummm, cluttered!

Screen shot of’s home finance landing page.

This was very uninviting for me as a real estate broker, and I can only imagine how this is a turnoff to prospective clients searching the site.

2. Remove Realtor-speak

The home page hits Web surfers with informative articles that are laced with real estate jargon. This may not pose a problem for repeat sellers and buyers, but can be intimidating for first-time buyers or sellers.

Also, the “Find a Realtor” search is cluttered with designations (i.e., the Agent Alphabet Soup like ABR, ALC, etc.) with no layperson’s explanation of their meanings, which is vital for newbies to the homebuying or selling process.

Screen shot of “Find a Realtor” tool showing drop-down allowing users to search for Realtor by designations and certifications. should be more user-friendly, and written in everyday, understandable and plain vernacular instead of industry jargon. This may mean hiring a writer unfamiliar with Realtors to be able to translate the site into common terms.

And here is my No. 1 wish that would implement to improve Realtors’ online presence…

1. Make the best and most sophisticated way to find a Realtor!

With all the jargon, this site seems like it is more for Realtors than consumers. But it can serve Realtors best by attracting more buyer and seller clients.

To that end, the meager “Find a Realtor” search options should be beefed up to be more dynamic and customized to deliver the type of Realtor that a particular home seller or buyer is searching for in her “neck of the woods.” has a unique branding opportunity to become the eHarmony or of real estate agents and the homebuying and selling public. See my mock up of this.

Zillow and Trulia have thrived by offering more information around listings than what was typically available on traditional broker and agent real estate sites. Zillow is known for its Zestimates, for example — home valuations that are lacking in accuracy but still have a captive audience. should be known for aptly matching buyers and sellers with Realtors. If consumers knew that every time they needed to buy or sell, their home would be handled by a near perfectly matched Realtor from, this site’s audience would skyrocket.

Of course, should continue to host real estate listing data, search, ads and informative articles. But it should be called for a reason — because buyers and sellers can use it to find well-matched, capable Realtors.

I would love to see and help this come to pass, so that can innovate beyond the perceived threat of Godzulia.

This is not to say that there is anything wrong or right about the Zillow-Trulia merger.

But represents us. As our namesake, should do better than the other guys.

Lee Davenport is a licensed broker and the owner of Agents Around Atlanta Plus, which provides training and on-demand agent coaching for local Realtor associations, franchisors and brokerages.

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