Trulia will contine to get a feed of information about homes for sale from ListHub, at least for the time being. A judge has granted a temporary restraining order against ListHub, which said last week that it was terminating its agreement to share listing data with Trulia and would be cutting the home search site off from that information on February 26.
It’s good news for the Zillow Group, which filed for the restraining order on Friday to maintain the flow of listing data to Trulia. According to a copy of Trulia’s complaint obtained by Inman News, the site stands to lose more than 25 percent of its listings if ListHub pulls them. Lloyd Walmsley, an analyst with Deutsche Bank, said that he believes Trulia could lose 40 percent of its listings if ListHub removes its data.
All of this happened after Zillow closed its acquisition of Trulia early last week. ListHub, which is owned by Realtor.com operator Move (which, in turn, is owned by News Corp) has a clear incentive to remove the listings as soon as possible. Weakening Trulia’s position in the market, especially when it’s close to peak home buying season, could draw people towards Realtor.com.
Unsurprisingly, Trulia hailed the decision.
“The court’s order is a win for brokers, agents and the home sellers they represent,” Trulia President Paul Levine said in a statement emailed to GeekWire. “Since News Corp announced its decision on Friday to prematurely cut off the listing feed to Trulia, we’ve received an influx of calls from MLSs and brokers who were concerned that they and their clients wouldn’t be able to effectively market their listings ahead of the home shopping season. We’re very pleased with this preliminary decision, and hopeful the court will grant us the further time necessary to make this transition in an orderly way.”
Move seems unfazed by the judge’s ruling, telling GeekWire that it looks forward to making its case for putting an end to the partnership as soon as possible.
“We look forward to another ‘liberating moment’ for Zillow on March 12, when we will have the opportunity to make our full case in court,“ a Move spokesperson said in a statement provided to GeekWire via email. ”In the meantime, we are happy to continue supplying the industry’s best data.”
The statement references an earlier quote from Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff, who said that ending his company’s partnership with ListHub was a freeing experience that led it to request direct feeds of listing data from muliple listing services and brokers.
“When we announced that we were parting ways with News Corp. a couple months ago, we were really freed from the constraint of being reliant on a competitor for listings — a competitor whose incentive was to continue to send Zillow inferior listings in order to advertise that their own Web site had higher quality listings,” Rascoff said. “That was a liberating moment, and we have been fortunate in the last several months going and getting direct listings feeds from MLS after MLS.”
There’s a significant difference between Zillow’s decision to break ties with ListHub and ListHub’s decision to cut off listings to Trulia. Zillow offered 90 days notice for its change, which has yet to go into effect, while ListHub only gave Trulia five business days before it would pull its listings.