The sniping continues: Trulia heralds itself as the top dog over Zillow in online real estate

Trulia CEO Pete Flint took a shot at his Seattle competitor Zillow.com last month, telling GeekWire that it was “just a matter of time before we overtake them.” Bold words for sure. And now the San Francisco online real estate startup is elevating the rhetoric and the rivalry. In a blog post today titled “Audience Milestones: Trulia’s Ascent to the Top,” the company cites statistics from comScore and repeatedly mentions how it is essentially kicking Zillow’s butt.

“This month, consumers spent more time on Trulia than Zillow, marking Trulia’s steady ascent,” the company wrote. That was one of more than a half dozen mentions of Zillow in the short post, which also describes how Trulia has surpassed its rival in page views.

“In summary, Trulia is now ahead of Zillow in major scale and engagement numbers, and we are growing faster than Zillow on all key audience metrics,” the company writes. “Trulia is growing faster in terms of unique visitors, visits, minutes and page views.”

We’ve mentioned the intense rivalry between the two companies, which are both growing fast and positioning to go public. But the latest Trulia salvo certainly elevates things.

Zillow.com, for its part, doesn’t appear to be taking the bait. The company declined to comment on Trulia’s latest blog post when contacted by GeekWire.

Earlier this week, the company released numbers for March, saying that its unique visitor count topped 19.4 million. (comScore puts the figure at 11 million, which is still ahead of Trulia’s count of 8.5 million). Last month, a Zillow spokeswoman said that page views were not as important of a metric, since it was more concerned with optimizing the consumer experience in order to reduce the number of clicks.

It’s a little unusual to see a company — especially one of Trulia’s stature — taking such an aggressive tone towards a rival. Maybe Zillow is playing by the rules of “Seattle Nice,” but even so I don’t recall seeing such a verbal slug fest played out before in the blogosphere.

I asked Flint about the rivalry with Zillow.com last month, and here’s what he had to say:

“We both started at a similar time, and both have silly names. So, we are quite similar companies in some respects. But at the same time, there’s a huge number of differences between the way we think about the business and the way we are growing. We started as four guys in a student library, and they started with 150 employees and an army of vice presidents. So, we are quite different in how we think about business.”

Zillow.com has raised $87 million from investors such as Benchmark Capital, while Trulia has raised some $33 million from Accel Partners and Sequoia Partners.

John Cook is co-founder of GeekWire. Follow on Twitter: @geekwirenews and Facebook.


  • http://www.lofts.com/blog Shuki Haiminis

    What is next an arm wrestling match :)

    • johnhcook

      I’d pay to see an arm wrestling match. :) HouseValues CEO Ian Morris once challenged Zillow’s Rich Barton to a tennis match.

      Not sure that ever occurred, though.

  • Dumbstory

    GW- I’m surprised you’re even wasting your time with this story about a whiny kid on the playground…YAWN………

    • johnhcook

      These are two very heavily-funded companies in an intensely competitive space with all sorts of ties to what’s going on in Seattle. In other words, it is right up our alley as a story. That’s especially the case as both companies position to go public.

      The spat also is part of a larger discussion in terms of which company is bigger (or at least perceived as bigger), something that investment bankers certainly will be digging into this year.

      As I said up top, I also haven’t really seen anything like this rivalry before, at least in recent memory. I find it pretty fascinating to watch, actually.

      Are there any other examples of companies taking on their rivals like this? RealNetworks used to hit Apple over the head, but this messaging from Trulia is so direct.

      Thanks for the comment.

  • http://www.duncanhaley.com John Haley

    Its so interesting to see the effect of someone blowing their own horn. Trulia may or may not be “kicking Zillow’s butt” – but even if they are, it gets lost in the chest pounding….

  • Guest

    Money, gentlemen. How much value is Trulia generating? How much is Zillow generating? I care little about men’s contrivances about the number of sticky eyeballs. At this point it’s like Excite comparing its hit counts to Lycos.

    Money, gentlemen.