Zillow and Trulia changed the real estate market for buyers, in a way that had never been experienced previously. The sites presented another means of shopping for a home; they allowed for a separation from the traditional word of mouth and reliance on real estate agents. Zillow had a unique function, which it entitled its Zestimate; it served as a housing price estimate for over one hundred million homes nationwide. This figure was configured from several pieces of data—geographic location, user-submitted information and data pulled from public records. From there, it put the power in the hands of the buyer, allowing the user to estimate whether the house they were interested in was within their price range.
Zillow and Trulia had their common ground as well. Both sites offered similar background information on perspective communities. The name and data associated with the neighborhood school was provided, in addition to crime reports and mortgage calculators. Both sites also earned their revenue through similar means; Zillow and Trulia relied on advertising and subscription software and services sold to real estate agents to earn their profits. Through these profits, Zillow and Trulia have earned their spots as the top two competitors in the online real estate market. Zillow has the edge, with a reported eighty three million monthly unique visitors; Trulia falls to second, with a still impressive fifty four million unique visitors per month.
Their similarities are far more numbered than their differences. Therefore, it was unsurprising when an article recently completed by the Miami Heraldannounced the two have struck a deal to combine their companies. Zillow is buying Trulia for three and a half billion dollars. Trulia shareholders will receive .444 shares of Zillow common stock for every one share they currently hold; as a result, Trulia shareholders will own approximately thirty three percent of the company. Zillow shareholders will receive one comparable share of the combined company stock and will, therefore, own the other sixty seven percent of the new company. Both brands will be kept and, together, Zillow and Trulia will create the biggest player in the real estate information market.
Both Boards for the two separate companies have approved the deal; shareholders still need to approve, but it is believed that will come to a positive close by the end of the next year. When the companies do combine, Pete Flint, the CEO of Trulia, will continue to hold his position, but will report to Spencer Ruscoff, the CEO of Zillow.