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Where’s the pony?

by Greg Robertson on December 7th, 2017

Walk with me…

July 2006

Fortress, a Private Equity (PE) firm, buys Nationstar Mortgage, LLC.

2008 – 2010ish

The Great Recession

July 2011

Zillow goes Public

May 2014

Nationstar acquires Real Estate Digital (red) in 2014, under its sub division Solutionstar. See what happen there?

July 2014

Zillow announces it will acquire Trulia.

May 2015

Solutionstar re-launches as the unpronounceable name “XOME” in May 2015. With Nationstar CEO saying “We expect to revolutionize real estate.”

July 2017

Softbank acquires Fortress (owners of Nationstar and XOME)

Redfin “Amazon of real estate” announces IPO, eventually raising $138M

December 2017

Softbank invests $450M in Compass, a “a technology-driven real estate platform.” Sound familiar?

Okay, so it seems the whole “Amazon of” “tech-driven” “reimagine real estate” brokerage of the future is hot right now, white hot.

So I see a few scenarios here playing out. Seems Compass has the branding figured out but, sofar unproven tech. XOME does a lot of the backend “services” bundling. Maybe Softbank, owners/investors of both Compass and XOME, reach the same conclusion that the dual investors of Zillow and Trulia reached back in 2014, “why are they two separate companies?”.

And don’t forget Opendoor, co-founded by former Trulian Eric Wu, or as I like to call him Head of Product Development of Zillow and Redfin (see Instant Offers and Redfin Now). They raised $210M back in December of 2016. What’s their next move?

My “Black Swan” Prediction (nod to the Notorious R.O.B.)

As part of Zillow’s “multi-brand strategy”, they buy fellow Seattle company, Redfin. Boom, now they are a brokerage, which a everyone knows is the sixth sign of the real estate apocalypse.

But, even after all this, I still don’t see the $450 million dollar pony.

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