Technology

Move CEO Ryan O’Hara: ‘We’re a safer option’

Zillow Group + Move have a long rivalry ahead of them

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Takeaways:

  • Realtor.com does not plan to enter the transaction business.
  • Realtor.com has grown its traffic since News Corp. acquired it in November.
  • Move Inc.’s CEO thinks Move and Zillow Group have a long rivalry ahead of them.

SAN FRANCISCO — With real estate brokers and agents grappling to understand the implications of Zillow Group’s pending acquisition of transaction management platform dotloop, realtor.com’s leader has a message.

“We’re a safer option,” said Ryan O’Hara, CEO of the portal’s operator, Move Inc.in a one-on-one interview with Brad Inman on stage at Inman Connect San Francisco.

Ryan O'Hara

Ryan O’Hara

Some brokers and agents worry that Zillow Group may use dotloop data in other areas of its business. Zillow expects to close the $108 million acquisition in the third quarter.

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“We’re truly a media company. We’re not in the transaction business,” O’Hara said, emphasizing that the firm would continue to focus on end-to-end marketing solutions for the industry.

O’Hara’s part of the new Move, which has undergone a rapid revamp since November when global news giant News Corp. acquired the firm.

The changes include a new brand design, fresh execs, and a deep integration between realtor.com and a handful of News Corp.’s other media companies, including The Wall Street Journal, MarketWatch and Barron’s.

The latter effort has helped realtor.com grow its Web traffic significantly, O’Hara said. For example, realtor.com widgets and links have approximately 500 million placements each month on News Corp.’s other sites.

Site November 2014 share of Web and mobile traffic July 2015 share of Web and mobile traffic
Zillow.com 21.76% 23.38%
realtor.com 7.74% 10.73%

Source: Experian Marketing Services *Does not include traffic from mobile apps

Move is also dusting off its software and focusing on innovation, O’Hara said in response to one audience member who complained about a realtor.com marketing product he used.

In the end, O’Hara sees Zillow Group and Move battling it out for a long time as the industry’s dominant online real estate partners — the equivalent of the Coke-Pepsi dynamic in the soda world.

Email Paul Hagey