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Brad Inman’s take on Zillow.

by Greg Robertson on April 4th, 2014

Zillow Plays To Win
Brad Inman, Publisher Inman News

“Zillow’s relationship with this segment of the industry is shaping up somewhat like Amazon’s relationship with big book publishers.

Tense cooperation is the best way to describe how Amazon works with publishers (think brokers and franchises). They have no choice but to partner, but Amazon has the power because it controls the consumer. On the other hand, Amazon seems to favor authors (think real estate agents), as their position in the value chain is closer to the reader (think home shopper).

Great analogy and spot on.

“As many real estate insiders know, there is a secret real estate initiative dubbed Upstream that promises to give brokers more control over their listing data and leverage with the likes of Zillow. Is this folly? If it follows the path of becoming a feeble reaction to Zillow like publishers tried with Amazon, certainly yes.”

Brad instinct here is also correct. Those who find themselves backing Upstream will be left without the proverbial paddle.I’ve been waiting six weeks to use that last sentence-thanks Brad!

“After the recent fiasco with Zillow, a leading real estate executive was somehow inspired to call me and unload his frustrations with NAR. (I promised to keep him on background, sorry for the mystery).

He pointed to the suing of the ex-Move exec as only one example of problems with NAR.

In the last several years, he calculates that NAR has spent $100 million on ventures outside of its core competence — including RPR, a credit union, a university and a venture capital fund — without the level of adoption or return on member money that was expected.”

How great would it be that the incoming President came in to NAR and made it his/her mandate shut these down? (I would also add HouseLogic.com to the list.)

Excellent read and analysis and reminds me of the old adage, “The only thing new in the world is history you don’t know.” This game has been played out long before online real estate. Get your popcorn out.

One Comment
  1. Russ Bergeron permalink

    “In the last several years, he calculates that NAR has spent $100 million on ventures outside of its core competence — including RPR, a credit union, a university and a venture capital fund — without the level of adoption or return on member money that was expected.”

    All will be forgiven when DocuSign goes public. 🙂

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