Hitwise data misses the mark when it comes to Real Estate.

Not long ago, Marketing Pilgrim posted about some Hitwise data on real estate search terms and real estate web sites. As expected Realtor.com did very well ranking #1 as both the most visited real estate web site and the most used real estate search term. This wasn’t much of a surprise to those in the real estate industry. What surprised some (and still confuses me) is the list of most visited real estate web sites.

Hitwise Most Visited Real Estate Web Site Rankings
1. realtor.com – 9.08 percent
2. HomeGain – 2.44 percent
3. Yahoo Real Estate – 2.25 percent
4. RE/MAX real estate – 2.21 percent
5. Rent.com – 2.19 percent
6. Zillow – 2.06 percent
7. Apartments.com – 2 percent
8. Move.com – 1.91 percent
9. ZipRealty – 1.86 percent
10. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development – 1.42 percent.

When I first saw that list I had this gut feeling that something was off. If any of you are familiar with my work in the past you know that I love crunching the numbers. So, lets take a look at what the numbers say:

zillow.com trulia.com remax.com century21.com

As I expected my analysis shows Zillow.com doing better than REMAX.com. And, even more interesting is Trulia.com doing better than remax.com as well! Trulia.com isn’t even listed on Hitwise’s report!

Confused? So am I. But, don’t worry, I will explain all of this and more in a future guest post at Wolf-Howl.com….stay tuned!

If you thought this post was half way interesting, you might want to follow @joehall on Twitter. Hes a total nut bag over there, but worth a few laughs.


Cathy on July 29, 2008 at 6:56 am.

I don’t think you are comparing apples to apples in this case. Each service is measuring different metrics and the “categories” are not identical.


Joe Hall on July 29, 2008 at 9:12 am.

“Each service is measuring different metrics”

That’s exactly the point. In order to provide a well rounded assessment, I like to compare results from different services and look for relative similarities. This type of analysis doesn’t give exact numbers but it does give us a pretty good idea of the overall picture.

“the ‘categories’ are not identical”

What categories are you referring to?


RyanB on July 29, 2008 at 10:42 pm.

I played around on Google Trends and I must say the results are interesting. Once you throw realtor.com in the mix, even more so. Coldwell Banker shows up in “Also searched for” and “Also visited” more than any other brokerage that I observed for other realestate searches, yet their traffic is about the same as Century21. RE/MAX has lead on them, but not by that much. Still I’m surprised that Coldwell isn’t listed higher in the results.

I look forward to your future posting.


Shell Smith on July 30, 2008 at 12:13 pm.

hmmm….very curious. I’m excited to read part 2. Where does the company PropertyMaps stand in this list? They are new – so might not even be on the list, but then again neither was trulia – and I have never even heard of ziprealty. Good discussion!


RyanB on July 30, 2008 at 1:41 pm.

PropertyMaps? Maybe I’m missing the mark. In full disclosure, I’m a tester for Zillow.com. From what I can tell it is mostly a foreclosure aggrigate for RealtyTrac. According to their “Why PropertyMaps” page, they will “show you all of the listings from virtually all firms,” but when I do a simple search say for a Seattle condo for 900+ sqft, I get 0 results. I like the fact that they have a mobile app, but I don’t see it hooked up to any data. They also claim to have access to, and list all MLS feeds (certainly not all marketed homes), but in their July 15th press release [http://www.propertymaps.com/corporate.press_2008_07_15_a] they say “PropertyMaps has more than 2 million listings – one of the largest on the Internet.” As I’m writing this right now, Zillow has 3,108,055 listings and details for over 80 million homes that aren’t listed on the market. To further call in to question their claims, other press releases announce their partnerships with various brokerages. Why would that be required if they had listings from every MLS? I’d be curious how this develops, but I’m not seeing any substance right now. Am I missing the point?


Joe Hall on July 30, 2008 at 9:18 pm.

@RyanB thanks for stopping by! It looks as if you might be interested in a former post of mine as well. BTW, the post that I am working on for Wolf-Howl.com will talk a good deal about zillow so stay tuned!

@Shell PropertyMaps looks way to young to have enough traffic to be comparable to the other sites listed.


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