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Broker Drives Hard Bargain with Realtor.com, Zillow

For years, brokers have griped about the willingness of Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com to sell ads to competitors of the listing agent. The practice has led a handful of large brokers to yank their listings from the sites altogether, others are negotiating tough deals.

(Boonton, NJ, July 31, 2014) — Brokers love to complain about Zillow, Trulia, and, to a lesser extent, Realtor.com. But Howard Hanna Real Estate Services, one of the nation’s largest brokers, has shown it’s possible to gain the upper hand when negotiating with listing aggregators.

Howard Hanna’s latest deal with Realtor.com is noteworthy for the concessions made by Realtor.com. The brokerage negotiated a Showcase Listings package that shows only the Howard Hanna agents’ contact information and photo.

“Advertisements by other companies are not permitted on our listings, and a significant factor in our decision to work with Realtor.com is that they do not feature competing agents’ photos and contact information on listing detail pages,” says Helen Hanna Casey, president of Howard Hanna.

As the listing sites have gained power and traffic, brokers have largely decided that they have two choices: To go along with the practices or to opt out altogether, as a handful of large brokers have done.

Howard Hanna suggests that there’s a third alternative, one that involves driving a hard bargain.

Details of Howard Hanna’s deals with Zillow and Realtor.com appear in the August issue of Real Estate Broker's Insider.

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