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Zillow Just Expanded Its Reach With AOL Real Estate Deal (Update 1)

Updated from 7:51 a.m. EST to reflect interview with Zillow chief marketing officer.

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Zillow (Z) has been a powerhouse when it comes to online real estate advertising. Now, the Seattle-based company is about to have an even bigger reach, thanks to a new deal with AOL (AOL).

Zillow is now partnering with AOL Real Estate, powering the site's home shopping experience, and continues to expand Zillow's reach in the massive online real estate market. Zillow now powers four of the top real estate sites in the country: Zillow, Yahoo! Real Estate, AOL Real Estate and HGTV's

Not only is Zillow expanding its reach by giving AOL Real Estate access to millions of Zillow's sale and rental listings, it's also giving AOL Real Estate access to 1 million pre-market listings and data on all homes.

In a phone interview, Amy Bohutinsky, Zillow's chief marketing officer, said the deal "strengthens our position for real estate agents to be when it comes to advertising. I think it really speaks to our market leadership. AOL had an old partner, and with Zillow being a top brand, it's natural that they would want to partner with us."

Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff in a press release reiterated that. "Both Zillow and AOL Real Estate serve consumers with great content and information about homes, so this made perfect sense," Rascoff said. "It also represents a tremendous benefit for the real estate professionals and organizations who market homes for sale on Zillow, as we continue to expand the audience of home shoppers who see these listings."

The move continues to expand Zillow's reach, as the company continues to be the dominant player with regards to audience leadership. When discussing third-quarter earnings, Rascoff noted that Zillow is now "running away in terms of audience leadership." "We had 27% category share in the beginning of the year, we're now at 34% according to comScore.  Trulia had 21.5% in the beginning of the year, it's now at 21%," Rascoff said in a November interview.

AOL noted that it's "thrilled" to be taking this step toward growing the partnership with Zillow. Susan Lyne, CEO of AOL's Brand Group noted that Zillow is becoming the leader in the Internet real estate space and this partnership will be extremely beneficial. "We've watched Zillow become a leader and innovator in this space," Lyne said in the press release. "By introducing their powerful search tools across all screens we will create a better experience for our users, whether they are looking for the perfect home or just staying abreast of market trends."

Shares of Zillow were higher in Wednesday trading, up 0.13% to $87.81 following the announcement.

--Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

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