Zillow-logoBloomberg reports:

Zillow Inc. is seeking to acquire rival Trulia Inc., people with knowledge of the matter said, in a move to combine the two most-visited U.S. real estate websites. Shares of both companies jumped.

Zillow could value Trulia at as much as $2 billion in a purchase, and an agreement may be announced as soon as next week, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. Talks between the companies are ongoing and may not lead to a deal.

Zillow rose more than 16 percent to $146.78 a share, giving it a market value of about $5.8 billion as of 2:06 p.m. in New York. Trulia surged 23 percent to $49.91 a share, giving it a market value of $1.8 billion.

The companies help buyers and renters find information on homes, generating revenue by charging realtors to give their listings prominence and by selling advertising. Together Zillow and Trulia had more than 85 million unique visitors in June, accounting for about 89 percent of all traffic to real estate sites, according to data from ComScore.

Katie Curnutte, a spokeswoman for Zillow, declined to comment. Matt Flegal, a spokesman for Trulia, said the company doesn’t comment on speculation.

What this means: Wall Street would LOVE nothing better than to have a huge consolidated PUBLIC real estate site for consumers. Can you imagine the ad potential? (Realtors buy online leads from Zillow and also pay to advertise against their own listings.)  I also read somewhere recently, will try to find the source, that Wall Street thinks Zillow, Trulia and the other portals are sucking only a fragment of the $28 billion ad potential they could be. (Where will it come from? Print!) Such a merger would create not just an on-line giant but a mega-media behemoth! Zillow and Trulia sell House Porn as entertainment, and it works! I was at Inman last week in San Francisco and am currently trying to write up all the take-aways, one of which includes Brad Inman’s interview with Zillow Chief Revenue Officer Greg Schwartz.

Zillow already has millions of viewers, like 54 million something uniques per month. A Trulia-Zillow merge could create a monster that could hog 89% or more of online listings

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OwnTheMarketYou may have gotten the message: newspapers and some print products are in financial trouble. Newspapers, and now even broadcast, has a shrinking audience.
The number of people who used a print newspaper in the last week to get local news ranged from 36% in metro areas to 42% in small cities, according to a study released in late September by the Pew Research Center.  The survey found that newspaper website consumption was weaker than print, with use running from 31% in metro areas to 20% in smaller markets.
Once upon a time we had a limited amount of media to turn to — daily newspapers, radio, daily TV stations — we had at least five in Chicago, where I grew up, and thought we were special indeed — and some local magazines. The broadcast media usually took their news from the newspaper. It was a slower time. It was a time where you could advertise a listing because it usually stayed on the market for a few months, so you could market it in a newspaper or magazine before it sold.
Now, any homes published in a magazine with a 30 day lead time are likely under contract if not sold by the time the ad hits the shelves. Your ad dollars, sweet peeps, are going down the drain.

 But that’s about to change.

CandysDirt is partnering with BubbleLife to present an online marketing class specifically to address how realtors can use social media and email to own their local market. The class is free, as are most of the techniques. It’s scheduled for Tuesday, July 22 at 11:30 am and you can attend right from your PC or iPad. To signup visit: http://www.realtormarketingclass.com/. There’s no charge! Attend in front of your computer, then tune back in so we can talk about it.

Check out these graphics, too. It’s a crazy media world out there, almost as nuts as our real estate market. We are here at CandysDirt.com and committed to helping you navigate it in the best possible way. In fact, I’m on my way to Inman Real Estate Connect to load up the oars. Stay tuned.

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Jabba_the_Hutt (2)Recall that in March, we told you that the biggest battle brewing in the U.S. right now is between Realtor.com, owned by the National Association of Realtors, its digital company Move.com, which operates Realtor.com’s websites and social media, and Zillow, the huge and ever-growing third party real estate beast portal that agents both love and hate.

Zillow-logoRecall all those defections to Zillow? Well,  yesterday, Washington State Superior Court Judge Barbara Linde issued a preliminary injunction in the case of Move, Inc. and the National Association of REALTORS et al. vs. Zillow, Inc. and Errol Samuelson et al. (more…)

water Spigot

We’re reporting from the National Association of Real Estate Editors Houston Conference today and it has been an incredible morning just stewing with new information. The opening remarks were especially mind-boggling, as Counselors of Real Estate chair Hugh F. Kelly listed the top 10 issues facing real estate now and into the future.

“The list reflects growing economic and political turmoil, changing demographics, and the lifestyle choices of an emerging generation, rising energy independence in the United States, and a strengthening job market fueled in part by massive changes in the delivery of health care,” Kelly said.

For the full list, jump.

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Luxury-Panel-June-2013-575x323Yoo hoo. If you are thinking about selling a luxury home anytime soon, well, clear your calendar for June 19 and 20.  Realtors from across North America, even and a few from Canada, will be coming here for a special two-day luxury home training session offered by The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing® (ILHM). The ILHM is the largest training and research organization serving luxury real estate sales professionals internationally and it’s located here in Dallas. The training will be offered June 19th and 20th and will be hosted sponsored by Great Western Home Loans. It is wide open to agents regardless of their company affiliation. (more…)

Sachse Home

(Names  and photos have been changed to protect innocent sellers from completely crazy buyers)

*Cue the “Law & Order” theme song*

This just in from Sachse, where a family staged their gorgeous home and then put it on the market on Friday. Thanks to their talented Realtor and a ton of hard work, they received several attractive offers that weekend. On Sunday, one lucky bidder accepted their counter, and like that, the home was under contract.

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Fort Totten Square WalmartYou guys, LOOK at this Walmart store going up in Totten Square, Washington, D.C. I had heard or read that Walmart was doing smaller-scale stores for urban infill sites, even connected with public transit. Look at these two D.C. stores that opened late last year. A third is under construction in Fort Totten. If this was going up at our Cityplace, I would be jumping for joy and dying to write about it!
The Fort Totten Square store is designed by Hickok Cole Architects and is a sharp departure from the retailer’s usual big box formula. Get this: Hickok Cole is placing 345 residential units above a Walmart that, at 125,000 square feet, is hardly small, but is a step down from the old “supercenter” format, which averages 180,000 square feet.Then on top of the Walmart, multi-family. Four stories of apartments will wrap around two large courtyards, one with a swimming pool. At the northeast corner of the site, smaller stores and restaurants will occupy another 10,000 square feet. The Fort Totten Metro station, offering access to three subway lines, is a five-minute walk away.
Mom's wino basementScreen Shot 2014-05-09 at 12 24 15 PMHey, she car-pooled you ’till she was blue in the face, did your laundry when the maid was off, and carried you around for nine months not to mention nursing, diapers, and (post-partum) liposuction. The least you can do is treat her to her own below-ground retreat where she can  collect vino and drink all she wants. Besides, recent studies show that 90 year olds who drink a little wine daily, red or white, actually live longer and somehow bypass dementia. (more…)