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Candy already told you about this incredible, game-changing transaction. Of course, Zillow started out with a low-ball offer of $2 billion in stock, but the deal was sealed at $3.5 billion as Zillow acquired Trulia. This transaction will create a Goliath in a market where a new real estate internet start-up crops up seemingly every day.

Trulia shareholders will be getting compensated quite well, as each Trulia share will convert to .444 of a Zillow Class-A share, according to Business Insider. The acquisition will move Zillow head-and-shoulders above its next-closest competitor, Move Inc.’s Realtor.com. Just check out this chart from Inman News:

Zulia Chart Inman News

There are so many questions to answer! I wonder how the ongoing litigation involving Errol Samuelson’s defection from Realtor.com will affect the deal. And what about all of the duplication in talent? Both firms have excellent economists and analysts, so who will stay on? Will Trulia just become a Zillow brand? And what about mobile apps? Will Trulia be nixed? Or will they launch a new one that has access to all of that data?

One thing is for sure: All that data is going to change the way we do real estate. BubbleInfo.com’s Jim Klinge published a piece in BI about this very thing, and it will surely send shivers down the spine of any Realtor:

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InmanConnect7.11DeidreWPeteFlynn-007We told you this was up last week. Well Inman broke the story this morning with a Tweet I got around 8 a.m. which means it was only 6 a.m. in California. While the John Wiley Price et al arrest of the “Texas Four” is all anyone is talking about at the water cooler today, you might want to shift your radar over to this: (more…)

Would a Trulia-Zilllow merger be good for the Real Estate Business?
  
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InmanConnect7.11DeidreWPeteFlynn-007There’s more insight over at Inman News about the possible Zillow-Trulia merger that still is just based on a solid source lead over at Bloomberg News. (That’s Pete Flint, CEO and co-founder of Trulia, above with me back in 2011.) Merger talk has been everywhere, even last week over drinks at Inman Real estate Connect. Inman’s Paul Hagey says such a merger would not really affect agents that much, with the exception of a possible increase in ad prices that could pinch agents a little more — and I am thinking about all the folks who work for both companies: will they be absorbed as well? (more…)

Zillow-logoGood stuff last week at Inman Real estate Connect in San Francisco when Brad Inman got Greg Schwartz, Chief Revenue Officer at Zillow, up on stage for a Brad-style grilling.

What’s the deal with these Coming Soon listings, asked Brad. Is Zillow trying to replace the MLS? (more…)

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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Jabba_the_Hutt (2)Andrea Bramblia at Inman has more on the victory for Move Inc. and the National Association of Realtors, handed out yesterday by a Washington state Superior Court judge who gave the companies a preliminary injunction against Zillow and its chief industry development officer, Errol Samuelson. Samuelson scooted over to Zillow last March without much warning. While this is just a preliminary injunction, I find this graph to be very interesting:

Judge Barbara Linde said Samuelson, formerly Move’s chief strategy officer and realtor.com’s president, had misappropriated Move’s and NAR’s trade secrets by acquiring them using improper means and by copying information without authorization.

She further concluded that Samuelson’s conduct both before and after his resignation from Move threatens misappropriation of Move’s and NAR’s trade secret information and could result in “irreparable harm” to them if disclosed. (more…)

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…)