Move Inc. says it will now be the engine under the hood of AOL Real Estate’s homes for sale search, syndicating listings and providing proprietary search technology. Move Inc. is the owner/operator of Realtor.com for those who do not know. Furthermore, Move and AOL Real Estate will synchronize ad sales to real estate brokers, agents and additional advertisers — allowing them to expand the audience reach of AOL Real Estate’s.
The real estate industry will liken this to the deal Zillow and Yahoo Real Estate announced in July of 2010. In that deal, Zillow controls a group of for-sale listings on both Yahoo Real Estate’s site and its own — with ads, brokers and agents purchase from Zillow appear on both sites.
According to Experian Hitwise, Realtor.com and Yahoo Real Estate have been jostling for the number one spot as the most popular real estate website since August of last year. Here is a quote from the Move press release by AOL Inc. Chairman and CEO Tim Armstrong:
“AOL will be doubling down on our strategy in 2011. As part of that effort, we will be partnering with companies in areas that add strength to the consumer experience and drive profitability for AOL.”
Overall this seems to be a mute-point, or no win for homeowners. The data will largely be the same, but there is another place to find it. I think real estate news that homeowners would prefer hearing is that average home sales prices across the board are up. Wishful thinking I guess. A much larger question looms on the horizon for this writer; “When will Google enter the real estate game?”