The Zillow-Trulia integration just took a giant step forward

Sharing of rental data provides a preview of Zillow Group future

Ever since the merger of Zillow (Z) and Trulia was first announced, industry observers, including the online real estate giants’ largest competitor, have all wondered how Zillow and Trulia would integrate their operations. Will Zillow listings be shown on Trulia and vice versa?

Well, anyone who was wondering how the creation of the Zillow Group, which includes Zillow and Trulia, would impact the two sites is about to get a big preview of the future.

The Zillow Group announced Tuesday that Trulia has joined the Zillow Rental Network, making it the first cross-platform data-sharing agreement between the two sites.

“Starting today, rental shoppers who visit Trulia or Trulia’s mobile apps will have access to hundreds of thousands of rental listings from the Zillow Rental Network,” the Zillow Group said in a release.

“Now, rental property marketers and landlords will have access to Trulia’s 55 million monthly unique visitors providing an even larger audience of renters through one marketing platform,” the Zillow Group continued. “As the Zillow Rental Network already attracted the largest audience of rental shoppers on the web, the addition of Trulia’s audience expands this reach even further.”

In the war for online real estate domination, the most potent ammunition for Zillow, Trulia, or any other site is the listing data.

And this agreement could set a precedent for the sharing of listing data across the two sites and could provide a preview of the future of Zillow and Trulia.

The sharing of listing data between the two sites could prove to be a boon for the sites, considering the sites will soon likely lose listings provided by ListHub.

The Zillow Group is currently embroiled in a legal battle against Move, which is owned by News Corp (NWS) and operates for the National Association of Realtors, after Move-owned ListHub informed Trulia recently that it was terminating its listing agreement with Trulia, effective Feb. 26.

Zillow filed for a temporary restraining order against Move, requesting ListHub to continue providing listing data to Trulia. A California judge ruled that ListHub is required to continue to provide listing data to Trulia until at least March 12, when Move and the Zillow Group are due in court again.

Zillow announced its own decision to cancel its listing agreement with ListHub in January. As it stands now, ListHub listings will disappear from Zillow on April 7.

On the other hand, rental information will now flow freely between Zillow and Trulia.

“We are incredibly pleased with how quickly we’ve been able to bring Trulia into the Zillow Rental Network,” said Greg Schwartz, Zillow Group chief revenue officer.

“Adding Trulia to the Zillow Rental Network brings new opportunities to our multifamily partners and landlords, giving them exposure to a much larger audience while providing a more streamlined customer service experience,” Schwartz added. “Rental shoppers will continue to benefit from two very large and diverse rental sites.”

How long before potential homebuyers benefit from a similar arrangement?

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