The rumor that has been floating around in the business world for months has come true. As of today, July 28, 2014, it was announced that Zillow will buy Trulia for $3.5 billion in stock. This deal is anticipated to close sometime in 2015. According to various media sources, the two companies will still operate separate websites and keep their respective names. Trulia and Zillow have changed forever how people start their initial search for a home. Combined they had over 137 million unique visitors in June 2014, far more than their largest competitor Move In, which represents realtor.com.
Most of their revenue has been generated from selling to real estate agents, and with this move, revenues should grow even more. By not competing so strongly, they can save money on their own marketing costs and also gain more clout in their negotiations with MLS services and large real estate brokerage firms over listings. Currently, the companies’ combined revenue amounts to about 4% of the $12 billion spent on real estate advertising annually. The balance of this expenditure is mainly spent on offline advertising, with web and mobile advertising still being fairly new means of marketing real estate. As the sites grow, both Zillow and Trulia will be relooking at additional ways for realtors to spend more money advertising themselves, particularly as more and more consumers go to these sites to find their new homes.