Where Real Estate Gets Its Dirt

“Whistleblower” stirs things up between Move, NAR and Zillow.

Whistleblower alleges Zillow is stealing listing data from agent websites

Andrea Brambila from Inman News:

“In court filings today, Move said it received the letter yesterday, April 9. The company, along with fellow plaintiff the National Association of Realtors, is calling for the court to grant third-party discovery in the case, saying “The defendants simply cannot be trusted to be the sole source of evidence in this case regarding their conduct.”

Move declined to comment on which third parties would be involved.

“The plaintiffs have complained for months that the defendants are systematically hiding evidence in secret non-Zillow email accounts and file-sharing services,” attorneys for Move and NAR said in the court filing.

“The defendants have denied the claims, deriding them as ‘silly’ conspiracy theories and claim they have produced everything. The whistleblower’s letter appears to confirm, however, the plaintiffs’ worst fears.”

This is getting very ugly. The letter itself is pretty detailed. It doesn’t just focus on Errol and Curt but Spencer Rascoff, Zillow’s CEO, and Greg Schwartz, Zillow’s Chief Revenue Officer, and a bunch of other Zillow employees.

I think the letter was written by someone who had an executive position in the company (Zillow). I’m betting it’s a former employee, with an axe to grind, and I bet Zillow knows exactly who he is.

But its hard to believe any of the stuff the letter suggests. Its either blown out of proportion, not relevant, or taken out of context. Is having a rolodex a crime? Zillow has been kicking realtor.com’s ass without any sort of help, why risk it?

  1. I want to start by saying I don’t know if any of it is true or any of the other gossip angles.

    But there is, from a strategic standpoint, value in triangulating the potential decision-making process, capacity for change, and general status of the organizations. Even if Zillow does (and I think they do) have their own assessment of these things, having another solid view from a slightly different angle can make the quality of observation greater.

    Again, I don’t know if it’s true or relevant or any of that. Just wanted to address the question posed at the end because I’m a sucker for that kind of thing.

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