“When you combine the assets and resources and capital that are coming into the equation through News Corp with the positive momentum realtor.com® and move have had over the last several months, and add to that the investment NAR has made in augmenting realtor.com®’s Accuracy Matters campaign with our own consumer awareness ads, you have a real powerhouse. Even before the acquisition, realtor.com® was getting positive results and seeing strong improvement. Now, with what News Corp brings to the table, there is huge opportunity for realtor.com and NAR members to benefit.
“The digital real estate space is very important to our industry and to organized real estate, but it is especially important for consumers,” he continued.” If you take the exposure that homebuyers and sellers will now get and add it to the accuracy of our data over every other source in this industry—due to how often we replenish and update our information—you’re creating multiple positive effects.”
News Corp and Move vs. Zillow and Trulia
While Move CEO Berkowitz says realtor.com® has always been a strong competitor in the space, it’s “game on now” with the power of the Murdoch empire behind it.
“Our focus has always been on building realtor.com®, and we saw this as an opportunity for us. What this does—it’s just game on now,” said Berkowitz. “When we think about our acquisition and we look at the set of resources that we now have, we think of it as complementing each other and broadening our reach and really creating a multiplier effect. Whereas, we see the [Zillow/Trulia] merger as cultures clashing. They were very strong competitors, always fighting each other and now loving each other, which can work, but we see their focus as being on cost cutting and eliminating duplication, whereas ours are increased audience and customer opportunity.”
Addressing Zillow’s proposed acquisition of Trulia on the Tuesday investor call, News Corp CEO Thomson said, “We do think this development helps illustrate the size of opportunity in the U.S. given the current valuations of those two companies. We certainly expect competition,” said Thomson. “However, our strategy is quite different from that of Zillow and Trulia. We see a tangible and enduring value in the role of REALTORS, who are pivotal to navigating the sale and the acquisition of real estate.”
Berkowitz and Move Chairman Joe Hanauer wrote an Open Letter to the Real Estate Industry Tuesday further outlining the details of the acquisition and proposed benefits to industry professionals as well as consumers. You can read the letter here.
In addition to realtor.com® and its online destinations in the moving and rental spaces, Move’s leading brand assets include ListHub, a digital platform that aggregates and syndicates MLS data to more than 130 online publishers, reaching approximately 900 websites; as well as Top Producer®, TigerLead® and FiveStreetSM.
RISMedia editors Maria Patterson, Suzanne De Vita and Beth McGuire contributed to this report.
Stay tuned to RISMedia.com for further developments on this story.