Where Real Estate Gets Its Dirt

What Zillow got right and wrong about the launch of ShowingTime+

From Inman News: Real estate agents weigh in on Zillow’s ShowingTime+ debut

“The brand, dubbed ShowingTime+, is the latest development in Zillow’s ongoing attempts to build a “housing super app.” As it’s name implies, the brand includes popular showing management platform ShowingTime, as well as other offerings such as dotloop and Bridge Interactive. When the company announced the move Monday, it framed ShowingTime+ as an effort to win over agents.

But in the days following the announcement, the response from industry professionals has been mixed at best.”

I’m not sure this “mixed at best” statement is that fair. I mean, how many agents did they really talk to? But I do have some thoughts about what I think Zillow got right and wrong with the launch.

What they got right.

I think it’s super smart to put the teams together. ShowingTime, dotLoop and Bridge Interactive have a ton of smart people so getting them to work together as one makes a ton of sense. I think this move alone was worth the effort.

What they got wrong.

First, I think there was a missed opportunity in the naming. Never mind the lazy addition of a “+” to the end of ShowingTime, which I’ve already joked about. It’s been a minute since the acquisition of ShowingTime and things seem to have settled. But leading with the name “ShowingTime” has seemed to have caused agents to bring out the pitchforks again. Don’t get me wrong, I think ShowingTime is a great company and service, but it now has…baggage. I have to think either renaming ShowingTime or at least giving the umbrella brand (bundle?) a new name with ShowingTime underneath might have been a better option.

The final thing is a head-scratcher for me. Leadership. Why isn’t Errol Samuelson leading this effort? I don’t know Jun Choo. He seemed to have impressed Zillow’s leadership and has some OG creds, all the way back to HouseValues.com. Maybe Errol didn’t want it? But all these products touch MLS in some shape or form and I’ve always thought of Errol as one of the best product guys in the industry. That’s who I would want as my quarterback.

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