After reportedly spending $864 million late last year to purchase Realtor.com’s parent company Move Inc., Rupert Murdoch is looking to cut his new rival Zillow down a peg.
Realtor.com, now owned by Murdoch’s company News Corp., is reportedly challenging the accuracy of Zillow’s main home-valuation feature Zestimates.
The two are fighting over control of the rapidly expanding industry of Internet marketing for real estate — of which Zillow owns the top spot — that was valued at $9.7 billion this year. It is fed by more than 90 percent of homebuyers who use the Internet to look for properties, Bloomberg reported.
The battle has already seen a lawsuit filed by Move Inc. for the alleged theft of trade secrets after its chief strategy officer switched teams to Zillow. The company has also attempted to block listings from getting to Zillow through other News Corp.-owned listing services like ListHub.
Zillow.com still has the lion’s share of page views, generating 48 percent of Internet traffic in March, with Realtor generating 26 percent, according to Bloomberg. However, Realtor.com’s traffic is quickly rising, with 38 percent growth in April from last year and a total of 44 million visitors every month. The Zillow Group was also downgraded by British financial services firm Barclays amid signs that its websites Zillow.com and Trulia.com were experiencing a slowdown in web traffic
But Zillow isn’t just taking the punches. The group told Bloomberg that it is constantly refining the Zestimates feature — now with a national median error rate of 8 percent — and that it’s making deals with local listing services around the country to stay relevant. [Bloomberg] — Sean Stewart-Muniz