Edina Realty Pull Plug on Trulia Listings Amidst War of Words

Edina Realty Home Services, the largest local residential real estate agents in Minnesota, and with offices in both Wisconsin and North Dakota, has announced that it is removing its listings from the popular Trulia.com and Realtor.com websites, in protest at “enhanced fees” that the two sites are asking real estate companies and agents to pay.

Edina Realty

Edina Realty has pulled the plug on Trulia.com, sparking a heated war of words between the two companies. © CYCLONEPROJECT - Fotolia.com

The decision by the company to pull its listings has started something of a war of words between the Edina Realty and Trulia, with both sides labeling each other as “acting unprofessionally”

Company CEO and President Bob Peltier told Finance-Commerce that the two websites had recently informed all real estate agents and companies that they would in future, have to pay a fee in order to have their listings on the site enhanced.

“They want us to pay to enhance our listings, and that doesn’t seem right to me at all,” complained Peltier when explaining his decision.

He said that Edina Realty had been providing its listings data to both Trulia and Realtor.com for the last two years, and that the arrangement was perfectly satisfactory up until now.

“We paid nothing, and they paid us nothing,” said Peltier, who saw the deal as something that was mutually beneficial to both Edina Realty and the two listings websites.

However, Trulia.com were quick to hit back at Peltier’s claims, accusing him of harming both his clients who were trying to sell their homes and his own agents, who number some 2,500. By providing listings to Trulia, real estate agents are accessing up to 17 million potential buyers, said the company.

“Edina are limiting opportunities for their agents to find buyers,” claimed Trulia spokeswoman Daisy Kong.

But Peltier rejected Trulia’s claims and insisted that Edina Realty could manage perfectly well without listing their properties on the site. He pointed out that Edina Realty already owned the biggest real estate website in Minnesota, and that they already received a very high level of traffic.

Peltier then went on to launch a blistering attack on Trulia, stating that the website is not even in the real estate business, that they were just a jumped-up advertising company with only one thing to advertise – other people’s data. Peltier added that Trulia had caused Edina Realty no end of problems by aggregating and sharing his company’s data with other websites, which of course would never be updated after a property was sold.

“The information we provided to Trulia was always accurate, but we get phone calls every day about homes we sold six or eight months ago,” Peltier complained.

Edina Realty also announced that they would stop providing listings data to Realtor.com, although it hasn’t said when it will actually stop doing so. Even so the NAR, who own the Realtor.com site, didn’t seem too perturbed by the decision, giving a muted response in comparison to Trulia’s accusations.

“Any company can choose not to post its listings on our site, though I don’t think it’s a common thing” said Ralph Holmen of the NAR.

About Mike Wheatley

Mike Wheatley is the senior editor at Realty Biz News. Got a real estate related news article you wish to share, contact Mike at mike@realtybiznews.com.


  1. Competing brokers large and small are loving this decision. Exposure of listings to the greatest number of offers is always the objective of any listing broker to bring greatest value to sellers.

  2. Has anyone mentioned RPR???

  3. All MLS’s and boards need to take their data back and create their own sites that reach the public. The problem is our data is now a commodity that the boards and MLS’s get money from and may want to sell the info for increased revenue to shareholders. Nothing makes me more upset than MY data being sold to “an advertising” co..(exactly) and then they call me to sell me placement with my data.

    • Hey Malibu,
      I couldn’t agree more!! with the dues we pay both locally and nationally, our local and national counterparts could easily afford to create a much better lead generating platform that is actually intgrated with the MLS. My MLS here in Arizona has all the tools that any of the third party sites have. They are just not set up to seamlessly transfer a lead into it’s existing system, (You have to enter the lead manually),. I think that would be easy. I think the Local MLS or the NAR could then charge a much smaller fee to it’s local agents for the leads and in turn make much more revenue than they are currently getting through it’s affiliation with sites like Realtor.com. In turn the leads we do get would most likely be much much more reliable.

  4. Lee Hudman says:

    I’ve been a Realtor for 20+ years. I’m lucky enough to do business in a city (Houston) that has one of the best MLS systems in the country, and our local board heavily advertises the site to the public. I would say that over 90% of my personal internet leads come through the local MLS site. I’ve NEVER received a lead through Realtor.com and the few leads that I have received through Trulia and Zillow have been worthless. I’ve also had a big problem with Trulia and Zillow (and some sites that they in turn feed) overlaying lease info on top of the sale info when a property is listed for both sale and lease – so I get people calling and emailing me thinking that they can get a $1m+ home for $6k. I’m not even going to start to tell you how many times I’ve had to warn people not to use Zillow for their pricing since it is so often dead wrong and the listings are not up to date. The point of this post is that if you have a great local MLS site that is advertised to the general public, then you don’t really need Trulia or Zillow or Realtor.com.

  5. Wow – what a weird article. For starters, anyone who knows Bob Peltier would know he’s not prone to “blistering attacks” – and that this decision was as calm and clear headed as I’ve ever heard him (and I interviewed him for almost an hour on it). But no matter; let’s call it blog sensationalism.

    On the other hand, there is an important error of fact – and one of omission – that should really be pointed out in your article. Trulia and REALTOR.COM aren’t just asking brokers to pay to “enhance” their listings – they are requiring them pay in order to *get leads on their own listings.* If a broker chooses not to pay, they will sell the “zip code” to one of their competitors who will benefit by picking up the buyer inquiries on another broker’s listings. So, let’s call it what it is, and it’s not just to make their listings look more pretty.

    Also, the National Association of REALTORS does *not* own REALTOR.COM in the way you suggest in passing. Move, Inc., has an operating agreement for the site on behalf of NAR which owns the URL and trademark. The NAR does not effectively “own” REALTOR.COM like you “own” and operate your own website.

    Thus, NAR (correctly) had minimal comment because Edina Realty is its customer (as in, a paying member) and should rightly have nothing to say about how one of its members operates its company. Edina has no obligation of any kind to populate their listings on their trade association’s site; and frankly, the NAR really should not have even been consulted, because it’s quite far removed from the operational (and money-making) operations of REALTOR.COM except as a very minor investor.

    This is a very important issue to the industry; the move by Edina Realty is a very big deal because it’s a *customer reaction* to the changes in the value propositions made by the listing aggregator sites. Rather than portray it as a war of words, perhaps you should see it as a customer rejecting the offer by an advertising vendor. In that light, it not only makes great sense, but it puts the onus on the vendors to prove their value proposition’s worth, not attack their customers’ decisions as bad for consumers. That, I submit, is very bad form for any company who *needs* its customers’ listing to even exist.

    • Mike Wheatley says:

      Hi Matthew,

      Thanks for clearing up some of my errors, I was slightly confused by exactly what Trulia were charging money for so that makes Bob Peltier’s stance much more understandable. It really should be a two-way thing, the realtor helps the listings site, and the site helps the realtor in return – there isn’t any need for one to start charging the other, so I can perfectly understand why Bob is so upset with them.

      • Hi Mike. As pointed out above, Realtor.com is the official site of the National Association of Realtors, and is operated by Move, Inc. Our goal is to connect consumers with real estate professionals so they can increase the number of real estate sales transactions, and this connection is important not just on enhanced listings, but on every listing. Through the Realtor.com Connections program, we think listing agents can benefit from the partnership a buyer agent sourced by reducing response time to capture a fresh inquiry. In today’s market, everyone can benefit from more connections and faster response times.

        • Mike Wheatley says:

          Hi Jill,

          To be honest I didn’t realize that Move, Inc. operated the realtor.com site, thanks for letting me know. Yes, there are two sides to every story, and getting more, faster connections is going to help, but then I can also see Bob Peltier’s side of things too. He obviously didn’t think the enhanced listings were worth the price he was being asked to pay! Still, I’m not taking sides, I’m not a realtor, just a reporter who thought this important story deserved highlighting!


    • I agree with Matt, this is a huge deal and I would not be surprised to see other large brokerages with significant market share following suit.

      Let’s keep something in mind, however, Trulia, and sites like Trulia would not exist if the industry had understood how important engaging the real estate consumer was ten years ago. All they did was provide internet consumers with what they wanted and were not necessarily getting from brokerages.

      Although companies like Edina have the footprint, marketshare, and resources to make a move like this, smaller brokerages may be apprehensive about doing the same UNLESS they can do a really great job not only driving traffic to their site through their blogging, social media and SEO strategies, but also by having an engaging web platform so when consumers get to their sites they will get all the relevant information they need.

      • Mike Wheatley says:

        Thanks for your comments Jose. I guess smaller brokerages will ultimately have to make a choice then, do they continue with the likes of Trulia and pay whatever is asked of them to be able to promote their listings, or do they invest in their own SEO strategy and try to get noticed that way? It will be interesting to see the repercussions of this, that’s for sure

  6. They have a point. Many have praised the company for its leadership in this crusade to protect its listings, but Edina is no small fish. They have sixty offices in three states, and more importantly, they’re owned by HomeServices of America, Inc., an affiliate of Berkshire Hathaway. It’s easy for a company with that kind of backing to make this statement—they can at least entertain the possibility of competing with aggregators. But where does that leave smaller brokerages? How can they drive their own leads when they’re up against the Trulias of the world? read more http://lnkd.in/kaF6Yg


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