f you’re searching for Boston condo information the first person you should ask is a Boston real estate agent, and the last place you should check is Zillow.

As of today, Zillow is the most widely used real estate website in the United States. It’s an awesome experience for users because the website has great functionality. It’s fast, it’s clean, and its very easy to use. It also appears that they have future plans to operate with boots on the ground and to have Boston condo sellers list their property directly with them. If you think that’s interesting it gets better…..

Did you know Zillow and Trulia are owned by the same company?

However, News Corp has other plans for the Real Estate Marketing Giant. Let’s just say Zillow, you don’t want to mess with Rupert Murdoch.

Let’s start with a little of the background drama. Last week one of my agents told me that his clients were obtaining listings from MLS before he was. I was thinking how can that be? He told me his clients were getting listings directly from Realtor.com. So I did a little research; why would MLS provide listings to Realtor.com before its own paid MLS members? It just didn’t make sense to me. This is what I found out:

News Corp owns Realtor.com and recently they purchased a company called ListHub. Who is ListHub? It’s the syndicating service that takes real estate listings from the local MLS and pushes them out to real estate websites all over the world. What is MLS? It’s a multiple listing service, in which data is imported by local Boston real estate agents to market their Boston condos for sale. The data that Real Estate Agents provide to the MLS goes to their portal, and this where it gets it gets interesting….. then ListHub takes that local data and syndicates it.

Why did News Corp want to buy Listhub (MLS syndication data)?

With a vested interest in Realtor.com, and with competition from Zillow and Trulia, News Corp chose to purchase the company that Zillow and Trulia rely on for accurate data. Which is ListHub. After purchasing ListHub, News Corp could cut off both Zillow and Trulia from receiving the data. While it isn’t exactly fair to Zillow and Trulia, this was definitely the play from the beginning and it is a great business move on News Corp’s part. Not that I’m a big fan of Rupert Murdoch, but you have to admit it was a ballsy move.

How did Zillow and Trulia Respond?

Zillow filed a restraining order vs. ListingHub when they heard that Murdoch was going to be terminating the Zillow & Trulia contract. Desperation like this shows how much Zillow relies on the data from ListingHub and real estate agents like me and my staff. In their own defense, it’s understandable why Zillow filed a lawsuit, it put Zillow and Trulia in a difficult spot if they stopped receiving the data from ListHub.

Besides the lawsuit. They decided to start stealing data from local Realtors and their websites, thi is not exactly something I would call fair play to the local Real Estate Agents. So it’s pretty safe to say that none of the marketing giants are playing fair whether it’s Realtor.com, Zillow, or Trulia. That’s the Boston real estate business in corporate America.

Zillows Next Move

Zillow Corp went out and bought Dotloop which is assists Agents in sending and receiving documents and signatures online. You can sign leases and Boston real estate offers ect….It gets better.

The Zillow Corp strategy is in a shift right now as it plans to do what Redfin did and start operating with boots on the ground and compete with local Boston real estate brokerage firms, like me. Bye, Bye, my little real estate office on Charles Street.

Real Estate Agents in Boston are already spending thousands of dollars per month with Zillow, so why wouldn’t Zillow recruit my agents for a percentage of each deal? They give my agents leads and the agents can now give Zillow a percentage of their commission.

So what am I going to do?

I have no “F…..ing idea”

File Under: Mom can I rent out my old bedroom.


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Author Profile

John Ford
John Ford

Over the course of 20 years in the Boston downtown real estate market, John represented and sold numerous, condominiums, investment and development properties in Greater Boston and in the surrounding suburbs

In addition to representing Boston condo buyers and sellers, John is currently one of the most recognized Boston condo blog writers regarding Boston condominiums and residential real estate markets. John's insights and observations about the Boston condo market have been seen in a wide variety of the most established local & national media outlets including; Banker and Tradesman, Boston Magazine The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald and NewsWeek and Fortune magazine, among others.


For over 24 years, John Ford, of Ford Realty Inc., has been actively involved in the real estate industry. He started his career in commercial real estate with a national firm Spaulding & Slye and quickly realized that he had a passion for residential properties. In 1999, John entered the residential real estate market, and in 2000 John Started his own firm Ford Realty Inc. As a broker, his clients have come to love his fun, vivacious, and friendly attitude. He prides himself on bringing honesty and integrity to the entire home buying and selling process. In addition to helping buyers and sellers, he also works with rental clients. Whether you’re looking to purchase a new Boston condo or rent an apartment, you’ll quickly learn why John has a 97% closing rate.


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John Ford and his staff can be reached at 617-595-3712 or 617-720-5454. Please feel free to stop by John's Boston Beacon Hill office located at 137 Charles Street.

John Ford
Ford Realty Inc
137 Charles Street
Boston, Ma 02114



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