Yesterday, Trulia announced it was replacing Classified Ventures’ HomeFinder.com as the real estate search provider on WashingtonPost.com. Today, the paper seems to have reaffirmed its ties to CV via a new deal with CV’s HomeGain.
The deal with HomeGain provides paid leads to real estate agents, and on paper, complements the deal with Trulia, which is officially limited to real estate search (but could actually go in many directions, given Trulia’s wide capabilities).
HomeGain, which was started by TurnHere‘s Brad Inman and sold to CV in 2005, certainly has a different model from Trulia (and HomeFinder and Zillow). While those are ad-supported services that aggregate listings from broker feeds and Web crawling, HomeGain sells leads to agents. Consumers who are looking for homes are provided with information to compare several agents.
If chosen, the agents, who pay between 55 cents and $2 per use, provide listings from their Multiple Listing Services and Internet Data Exchange subscriptions. These are theoretically more up to date and thorough than broker and crawled listings. But obviously, they don’t provide immediate gratification.
HomeGain GM Louis Cammarosano told us the new deal with The Post represents a different relationship for the paper, which, like other CV owners, had previously syndicated HomeGain’s “valuation tool.” The tool is a box on the real estate section that home owners can use to look up property values – and access other parts of HomeGain from there.
Cammarosano doesn’t anticipate any formal dealings with Trulia, which is handling real estate search on the site. “They are different things,” he noted, adding that business for HomeGain is probably healthier than for other real estate services since it is supported by leads, rather than ads, which are way down. Agents are still trying to sell houses, he observed.
In addition to leads, HomeGain has done well selling search-optimized Web pages, which are available for agents in 2,000 different ZIP codes. “Average” fees run from $400 to $500, but he cautioned that prices vary, given the wide scope of HomeGain customers, who include both full-service agents and brokerages, and limited service firms such as ZipRealty. The company has about 5,000 subscribers for its various services.