Titled "Soaring real estate portal valuations are all about growth" the article rightly highlights the accumulated losses of US$2.1b incurred by the 3 portals over the past 20 years (in the case of Move Inc). The future as the article goes on to write is brighter and that growth is what is now powering these stocks in valuation to an accumulated total of US$5.3 billion.
The risk in the crystal ball gazing in the case of the challengers in the shape of Zillow and Trulia still comes back to that old bug bear of listings and the fact that the MLS's do not feed directly in the main collectively to these two sites. In my view as an international observe seems so dumb after all they hold the lion's share of eyeballs of the buying and selling community and for why would the brokers not want to ensure their listings are on all these sites. Simply put it is so mired in politics and patch protection by the MLS structure.
The other salient point made in the article is the reliance of Trulia and Zillow to the business model of agent advertising and lead monetisation rather than content subscription. There is a massive universe of a million or two million plus agents of which only a small percentage are advertising on these sites, the question is what is the real market opportunity. Could it be upwards of a third of all agents advertising or might it never reach double figure percentages?
Have a read of the article - worthy of your time.