Ken's Naperville Real Estate Blog : Trulia and Zillow are free. So why am I paying for

Trulia and Zillow are free. So why am I paying for

Trulia and Zillow are free.  So why am I paying for


As a real estate agent, I love the opportunities that the internet and social media give me.  Opportunities to market myself, my company, and my listings.  The amazing thing is most of those opportunities can be had for little or no cost.

Two example are the real estate websites Trulia and Zillow.  I have profiles on both sites, a real estate blog on Trulia, and have received leads and closed business from both in the past...

And they are both FREE.

So why am I paying money for  The honest answer is I don't have a choice.  My office has an account and agents are billed $17/month for the service.  And while I do use to send traffic reports to my sellers, I can send similar reports from both Zillow and Trulia...

And they are free.

As a business owner, I like to keep track of my expenses, and although $17 per month isn't a lot of money, it feels like money out the window I don't think I have ever had a client tell me they "found me on"

With all the free marketing available to me, I don't understand paying for a site when similar sites (possibly even superior sites) can be used for free.

So what are your thoughts?  Would you pay for it?


Comment balloon 14 commentsKen Tracy • January 13 2012 04:49PM


Ken, I can say I am not 100% up on all this, but the sites change and quality seems to change constantly. Sometimes ringing out the old and bringing in the new is just necessary. 

Posted by Anonymous almost 7 years ago

$17 for is money out the window.   I spent a lot of money on a couple of years ago; the ROI was not there.   No more for me, thanks!

Posted by Fred Griffin, Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker (Fred Griffin Real Estate) almost 7 years ago

Over the years we spent a small fortune on and nothing. Now that has integrated the lead system like Zillow and trulia. It is better to have your info on the listings or your competitor can take that lead. You can also purchase lead areas. Since we started this back in November we have received a handful more leads than before.   The one thing we the remarks restate your name and contact info. Good luck. From Arizona. We are from Chicago, not missing that weather.

Posted by Ed & Tracy Oliva, The Oliva Team Arizona Agents (West USA Realty - Arizona) almost 7 years ago

Hi Ken - I agree with your point about, but find myself much more concerned with my NAR dues, if you're talking about a complete waste.

Posted by Dick Greenberg, Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate (New Paradigm Partners LLC) almost 7 years ago

Hi Fred, Ed and Tracy, and ___.  Thanks so much for stopping in!

I feel is a dying site.  Less relevance than Trulia or Zillow to today's consumer...

I hope I get more feedback on this.

First good snowfall of the season was yesterday!

Thanks again!


Posted by Ken Tracy, Helping clients buy and sell since 2005 (Keller Williams Realty Infinity) almost 7 years ago

Ken:  My policy is not to pay if there's a basic free account.  My $$$ need to stay in my wallet.  I get leads from Trulia frequently.  It's just like all the other sites - you've got to work them to be successful.

Posted by Gwynn Carpenter, : Broker, Home & Hearth Realty (512)467-6191 (Gwynn Teal Carpenter-Broker: Home and Hearth Realty (Austin)) almost 7 years ago

Hi Dick and Gwynn.  Thanks so much for reading!

Dick, I bet you loved that they raised the dues last year.  :)  Subject for another post!

Gwynn, that is probably a smart policy.  Trulia has been pretty good for me too.  I think a lot of customers use the site...

Thanks again!


Posted by Ken Tracy, Helping clients buy and sell since 2005 (Keller Williams Realty Infinity) almost 7 years ago

Ken - You should talk to your brokerage's broker of record (or your state's equivalent).  Perhaps the decision had been made many years ago and should be revisited.

Posted by FN LN almost 7 years ago

We have an office account with as well. We have received leads from them this past year and closed two of them.  There is also a chance that another agent's buyers started the process by viewing the listing on I'm OK with the price I pay per month right now.

Posted by Ken Brandon, Camp Lejeune, Jacksonville, NC (Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage (Jacksonville, NC)) almost 7 years ago

Hi Marc and Ken.  Thanks so much for reading.

Marc, I was hoping to revisit this with my office.  I wanted to see AR's opinion on the subject.

Ken, I am glad to hear you have had success.  Maybe there is hope!  :)

Thanks again,


Posted by Ken Tracy, Helping clients buy and sell since 2005 (Keller Williams Realty Infinity) almost 7 years ago


One of the things I hated about working at a large franchise/company was the manadatory fees. Being the interent marketer I was I felt I should not pay for something twice. Even the stuff that was not duplicated was an utter waste of my money. The writing was on the wall, I went solo. Now I am in control of my own expenses, 100%

God luck with the fight if you choose to take it there. :)

Posted by Corinne Guest, Barrington Home Buyer Advocate (Barrington Realty Company) almost 7 years ago

Great post, Ken. We agree that the Internet and social media provide opportunities for agents/brokers and their clients. And actually, all MLS listings display on for free. connects hundreds of thousands of Realtors with interested buyers and sellers who are actively engaged in real estate through both free and subscription-based tools and services. An important fact to consider is that 82% of the listings on are updated every 15 minutes directly from our  900+ MLS partners, and the rest of our listings are updated every 1 to 24 hours. Most listings are being updated more than 98 times a day, and are accessible on our desktop or mobile experience.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with the community.


Posted by Jill Kipnis (Move, Inc.) almost 7 years ago

I think that Truiia and Zillow are overpriced for what they offer. Yes we can have free accounts. But we have to do a bit more work. 

Realtor is less than $20 for some extra exposure and everything is populated from MLS. 

Trulia pro and Zillow do charge $49 for the extra exposure and I think that's way too much for what they offer. 

In my opinion many agents do not post their listings on other 2 sites.

In long run will always have more homes to show but maybe less of a blog. 

You are right about the free blog.

It's up to us where will spend  our time and money. 

Posted by Haris Dedic, Glenview Real Estate - Chicago North Shore (RE/MAX Villager 847-878-2588) almost 7 years ago
Hi Haris, Jill, and Corrine. Thanks for reading and the input... I am glad to see the answers here. Corrine, you are right. Since you have your own office, you are in control... That has always been my long term plan... Thanks again, Ken
Posted by Ken Tracy, Helping clients buy and sell since 2005 (Keller Williams Realty Infinity) almost 7 years ago

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