imageRealtor.com will soon be changing to better compete with the likes of Trulia, Zillow, and other real estate listing aggregators. That’s the result of a nearly unanimous vote of the NAR board of directors, which has seen Realtor.com’s market share erode in the face of third parties.

The "new" Realtor.com will now…

  • …include listings from non-Realtor companies and brokers — not just Realtor-owned MLSs;
  • …include information about not-yet-listed properties such as new homes and communities, as well as unlisted properties that are for rent;
  • …include information about defaults, short sales, foreclosures, distressed-property auctions, and REOs unless the listing broker objects. (Previously permission worked the other way around: The site wouldn’t list those properties without the listing brokers’ consent.)

Why the change? Although Realtor.com is still the big gun of real estate websites ("preferred by consumers in the home sales space two times more than Zillow and 28 times more than Trulia" according to NAR), it’s been losing traffic to those sites. "particularly in markets where there are many non-Realtor practitioners."

Realtor.com also wanted to push back against sites like Zillow, according to Curt Beardsley, its vice president of business development:

The site, he said, leaves the real estate practitioner out of its advertising; puts inaccurate Zestimates next to list prices; encourages consumers to sell without an agent; posts inaccurate, out-of-date information; and buries basic listings behind pages of “featured” (paid) listings.

Oh, and if you’re worried about your listings being mixed with those of non-Realtors, fear not. NAR said that Realtor.com "will continue to clearly distinguish Realtor-represented listings and will use language that more prominently emphasizes the difference between Realtors and non-Realtors.”

Want the whole story, including history going back to the 1990s? Click here for the NAR article.