NEW YORK — Zillow and Trulia, two companies that changed the way people shop for homes, are combining.
Real estate website operator Zillow is buying its rival in a $3.5 billion deal that will make the biggest player in the online real estate information market.
Zillow will also become king of real estate listings available on smartphones and tablets — the fastest growing area for listings. Both Zillow and San Francisco-based Trulia were founded nearly a decade ago and have capitalized on Americans’ increasing preference for researching purchases, including homes, online, rather than relying solely on a real estate agent.
“It’s a very sound business move by Zillow. They wiped out their closest competitor,” said Benchmark analyst Daniel Kurnos.
According to Benchmark estimates, Zillow and Trulia are No. 1 and 2 in the online real estate market, followed by No. 3 Move, which is based in San Jose. Zillow reported nearly 83 million monthly unique visitors in June. Trulia reported 54 million.
“We’re moving away from word of mouth, or calling an agent to try to find a home,” Kurnos said. “Now people realize, ‘Hey, I can go look for houses online, and use the Internet to start searching for a home.'”
Zillow, which debuted in late 2004, became well known for its “Zestimate” housing price estimate for 100 million homes nationwide. The number is based on geographic data, user-submitted information and public records. Zillow says the “Zestimate” has a 6.9 percent median error rate, and should be used as a starting point in determining a home’s value.
Both Zillow, which went public in 2011 and Trulia, which had its stock market debut in 2012, offer similar information like neighborhood school and crime reports and mortgage calculators.
Both Zillow and Trulia generate revenue through advertising and subscription software and services sold to real estate agents.
Trulia shareholders will receive 0.444 shares of Zillow common stock for each share they hold, and will own approximately 33 percent of the combined company. Zillow shareholders will receive one comparable share of the combined company and own the other two-thirds of the business.
The combined company will keep both the Trulia and Zillow brands.
The companies said that there is limited consumer overlap of their brands, as about half of Trulia.com‘s monthly visitors don’t visit Zillow.com.
It’s not Zillow’s first expansion through acquisition. The company bought New York City-focused real estate website StreetEasy in 2013 for $50 million.
Zillow, based in Seattle, plans to save $100 million in cost cutting once the Trulia purchase is complete.
Trulia CEO Pete Flint will stay in his post and join the board of the combined business. He will report to Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff. Another Trulia director will join the combined company’s board after the transaction is finalized.
Both companies’ boards approved the deal. Both companies’ shareholders still must approve it. The transaction is targeted to close next year.
Shares of Zillow fell $3.97, or 2.5 percent to $154.89 in midday trading. Shares of Trulia jumped $6.84, or 12 percent, to $63.19.
More than 61 percent of San Francisco home shoppers want to move to South San Francisco.
Or so it would appear from a report from Trulia, which breaks down where local shoppers in major U.S. cities are most likely to search for listings on the sight. Careful consideration of the data suggests it’s not so simple as that.
The report released this week (“Local By Locals”) says that, while out of towners perusing Bay Area homes on the Trulia site concentrate on San Francisco itself, actual San Franciscans cast their eyes south:
In San Francisco, which has an unemployment rate of 3%, the fourth-lowest in the country, demand for homes is at record highs. Locals, as opposed to outsiders, look more to places such as South San Francisco [...] as well as nearby Daly City, Brisbane, and San Bruno. [...] These neighborhoods offer median listing prices roughly $300,000 cheaper than the metro median.
Trulia reports that 61.7 percent of San Francisco-based searches on its site concern South San Francisco, with 61.1 percent focused in San Bruno. Brisbane, Westlake, and Daly City were only slightly less popular at 60.8, 60.5, and 60.4 percent, respectively.
To put these numbers in proper context, remember that this only reflects Trulia browsers, which may or may not parallel what browsers on other sites do or where eventual homebuyers actually buy.
In fact, the latest U.S. Census estimates suggest that South San Francisco’s population is in decline. The latest figures peg it at 66,989 people, down from 67,271 a year prior and 67,011 the year before.
South City’s overall population is still up since 2012, when it was 65,565. But that’s growth of less than 2.18 percent, compared to more than 5.45 percent in San Francisco itself, 2.7 percent in Daly City, and 3.1 percent in San Bruno.
Even Brisbane grew faster in the same period at 5.3 percent. Although admittedly in the case of Brisbane that’s a difference of fewer than 300 people.
Despite its popularity on Trulia, South San Francisco actually seems to be one of the slowest growing communities on the peninsula.
But that doesn’t mean that a significant number of San Franciscans might not decamp there soon, or indeed that they haven’t already. Either way, having this many local eyes on South City homes can’t hurt the prospects of sellers immediately south.
Trulia Employee Reviews in San Francisco, CA
“Employee centric, fun environment, passionate people, successful trajectory.”
Sr. Director of People (Current Employee) - San Francisco - March 6, 2012
The People - Every employee ("Trulian") I know is super helpful, collaborative, friendly, and sharp! The passion people share for the company & industry is impressive and I haven't personally experienced this before. The company tends to celebrate everything! (think social crowd) which makes for a fun environment.
The workspace - Great location (near downtown SF), the office itself is open, light, there are kitchens in each area/department (stocked with drinks & snacks), and "the penthouse" (aka, top floor space) is reserved for recreational activities like Ping pong, videogames, happy hours, meet ups, etc.
The work - The company is making a big difference, applying cutting edge technologies to make residential real estate search more personalized, fun, simple, and interesting. Trulia's mobile products are impressive, and real estate agents seem to truly benefit from Trulia's ad products (selling well)
Cultural divides: The speed in which the company has built its Inside Sales teams started to create a separate culture, one that worked different hours, had a different type of job (sales vs. development), and most people on these teams were pretty new to the company and didn't get entirely acclimated with the dev teams. Tons of work has been put in to this lately and we're already starting to see an impact.
perks - on site yoga, meditation, massage, stocked kitchens, games/toys, regular parties, commuter benefits, 401k match, parental leaves
Rapt Studio has recently completed a new office design for Trulia located in San Francisco, California.
Trulia unites people with their homes, and homes with their communities. Their headquarters were structured to bring the Trulia community inside. When designing their new space, it was important for Rapt Studio to learn what Trulia was all about, and make sure their new space reflected their culture. Trulia is an online real estate platform where sellers, brokers, buyers, and agents come together to help find a perfect home. It was important to portray the building of community in the project.
The overall concept of a tree was chosen to drive the spatial treatments and material transitions throughout the space. Upon entering, the plan radiates into rings of spaces, materials and textures, signifying the building and strengthening of the community. All the rings converge on the point of arrival, right at the heart of Trulia. Rapt expressed the concept sometimes literally, as seen in the fissure that opens up over the library space on each floor, as well as the wood finishes and furnishings throughout the space.
Floor-to-ceiling windows allow natural light to pour into the space. Non-orthogonal configurations create unique open collaboration opportunities that act as living rooms within the open plan. Accent lights, furniture and wall treatments were all pieces that could be used to furnish a home. The result was a space where people could relax as easily as they could work. And for a company devoted to the perfect home, they should expect nothing less.
Design: Rapt Studio
Photography: Ashley Batz
TAGS:black | brass | brown | building | fabric | gold | green | grey | library | lights | metal | modern | offices | Rapt Studio | San Francisco | space | unique | white | WoodSours: https://retaildesignblog.net/2015/02/05/trulia-offices-by-rapt-studio-san-francisco-california/
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