Where Real Estate Gets Its Dirt

Industry Relations Episode 51: We Don’t Know What to Call Zillow Anymore!

Zillow started out as a listing portal or syndication site. But the company has evolved to become… Well, we’re actually not sure what to call it anymore. Perhaps ‘the Amazon of real estate’ is most appropriate. And on September 23, 2020, the company announced that it’s hiring employee-agents to streamline the iBuyer process. So, if Zillow is a brokerage now, what does that mean for the industry?

On this episode of the podcast, Rob and Greg are discussing Zillow’s decision to take its iBuyer operations in-house and how that move will impact other aspects of organized real estate. Our hosts explore how MLSs might respond to having Zillow as members and describe how access to MLS data could change the consumer experience on the Zillow site.

Rob and Greg go on to consider the impact of Zillow being part of NAR and state and local associations, weighing in on how their participation can be seen as a win for the industry. Listen in for insight on how Zillow’s announcement demonstrates their commitment to becoming an iBuyer-brokerage and learn how Zillow entering the system might lead to an improvement for everyone—or a ‘horror show.’

What’s Discussed: 

The evolution of listing portals into brokerage and iBuyer hybrid models

How Rob and Greg define brokerages differently

Zillow’s decision to use employee-agents to bring its iBuyer operations in-house

How MLSs are likely to respond to having Zillow as members

Rob’s theory on how Zillow might reposition its Industry Relations team

The potential impact of Zillow being part of NAR as well as state and local associations

How access to MLS IDX data and VOW rules could transform the consumer experience on Zillow

The leverage Zillow has in getting information from smaller MLSs

What makes Zillow’s shift a WIN for humans (and organized real estate)

Connect with Rob and Greg:

Rob’s Website

Greg’s Website


Opendoor vs. Zillow on Industry Relations EP050

Greg’s Blog Post on BPP

Rob’s Blog Post on Zillow

Stop Zillow Campaign

Greg on Twitter

CLAW’s Delay to Syndication Feeds

REALTOR Political Action Committee

NAR’s Rules on Virtual Office Website

The 2008 DOJ-NAR Settlement Agreement

‘It’s a Good Life’ Episode of Twilight Zone

‘A Trifecta! NAR Sued Again Over Buyer-Broker Commissions’ in The Real Deal

Thomas Jefferson’s Quote on Change in Laws and Institutions

Collateral Analytics

Greg’s Blog Post on Zillow

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