Inside look at Realogy IPO shows strong alliances with Zillow and Trulia

The initial public offerings of online real estate upstarts Trulia and Zillow may have grabbed headlines in the past two years. But another big player in real estate just went public last Thursday, performing well in its debut.

New Jersey-based Realogy Holdings, the owner of Coldwell Banker and Century 21, now boasts a market value of $4.37 billion.

That’s more than double the combined values of Trulia and Zillow, which serve more as a feeder system for traditional real estate firms like Realogy.

Nonetheless, Forbes contributor Tom Taulli has some interesting details on how Realogy is working closely with Trulia and Zillow, noting that traditional classified ad listings are dead and that the newcomers provide more cost effective advertising channels.

Spencer Rascoff of Zillow at TechNW

Zillow and Trulia have worked hard to position themselves as allies of the traditional real estate companies, something that was highlighted by Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff at the TechNW conference in Seattle late last month.

Rascoff explained that Zillow really has “no skin in the commission game,” comparing it to information provider WebMD in the medical arena.

“You have as much information sometimes as the doctor, but you are still seeing the doctor because they are the expert,” he said.

In follow-up remarks to GeekWire, Rascoff defended the role of full-service real estate agents. “The real estate transaction is too infrequent, too expensive, and too emotional for people to select an agent primarily based on price,” he said.

Inman News has a good overview of how Realogy is working directly with Zillow and Trulia.

And the Realogy IPO documents even indicate the close ties, noting that Realogy has “attractive financial arrangements with third-party websites such as Google, Yahoo, Trulia, Zillow, and others that significantly advantage our agents and franchisees.”