Where Real Estate Gets Its Dirt

Industry Relations podcast: CoStar Buying Realtor.com Rumors

There’s been a lot of talk lately about CoStar buying Realtor.com. Will it happen or is it just a rumor? What advantages would CoStar have if they do acquire Realtor.com? With a history of bold predictions and Nostrodamus-like moments, Rob and Greg share their thoughts on what’s most likely to happen. Find out why Rob believes multi-brands aren’t a good thing and Greg shares how this could help with CoStar’s SEO. Lots of thought experiments in this episode as they unravel the rumors behind CoStar’s purchase of Realtor.com.

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This podcast is produced by Two Brothers Creative 2023.

Zillow settles lawsuit with MOVE/NAR

Andrea Brambila reporting for Inman News

Zillow and Move settle trade secrets lawsuit for $130M

$130 million smackaroos is all it took.

“Before the settlement, the case was scheduled to go to jury trial today. None of the parties admitted any liability, wrongdoing or responsibility in the settlement agreement, according to a Zillow Group public filing.

Move’s co-plaintiff, the National Association of Realtors, is entitled to 10 percent of the settlement proceeds after deduction of Move’s litigation-related costs and fees, with the remainder being paid to Move, according to a News Corp. public filing.”

All I can say is thank goodness. This was a huge distraction for everyone involved. I’m so happy for Errol, Curt and their families. This had to cause such undue stress on all involved.

I hoping that everyone involved can move forward and forgive and forget. I thought is was bullshit when MOVE and NAR first filed the lawsuit against Errol, especially in an industry where people seem to move from different companies on a regular basis.

But, I was also worried about Zillow’s timing and the aggressive way that they hired Curt. It seemed pretty ruthless.

This industry needs as many smart people involved in the conversation as possible. So NAR, let Zillow Group participate in trade shows and events.

Zillow, the last time I saw Spencer give a talk they asked him what was one of things he would have changed in the past. He said he would have reached out more to the industry. Well, you talked the talk, now walk the walk.

I’m also excited to see what is on the horizon for online real estate. You can bet the competition between MOVE, Zillow Group, Redfin and other is going to be fierce.

I glad were are back to innovation instead of spoliation.

Hanlon’s razor

“Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.”

Seems appropriate this week.

Zillow settles with Move. Trulia now part of Realtor.com

Inman News reported yesterday, in an article titled “Zillow On Hook for $2B, MOVE and NAR Allege.

“The damages claim is just over 40 percent of Zillow Group’s current market cap: $4.2 billion.”

Now word is that Zillow and MOVE have worked out a deal where Trulia would now become part of Realtor.com. More information can be found here.

Transcript says Crocker had “no information” to believe Samuelson used MOVE confidential data.

Last week Andrea at Inman News wrote an article titled, “NAR dodges 3 Zillow claims in Crocker letter countersuit, but defamation sticks“. I still think both parties should just drop each other lawsuits against each other but these two answers jumped out at me in the transcript.

Keep in mind this is Zillow’s attorney interviewing Chris Crocker:

“Q. Do you recall telling me that you had no information that would lead you to believe that Mr. Samuelson had ever used Move’s confidential while at Zillow?

A. That is accurate.”

and

“Q. As you sit here today, are you aware of any information that indicate that Mr. Samuelson used or disclosed confidential Move information?

A. I am not.”

Move, Inc acquires Reesio

reesio cageRealtor.com® Operator, Move, Inc., Acquires Reesio, Allowing Real Estate Professionals to Simplify Home Buying and Selling Process

“Reesio provides brokers and agents with a platform to collaborate and communicate with home buyers and sellers, mortgage professionals, title and escrow companies, inspectors and other service providers, making the transaction process transparent and speeding communication to relevant parties. Reesio’s secure online platform allows collaborators to share, edit, sign and store transaction documents such as offer letters, inspection reports, and loan information in one place, and helps brokers and agents to reduce transaction errors and risk by allowing workflow templates to guide the steps and requirements for closing.”

The industry consolidation continues…

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. I don’t think Reesio was generating much cash, so this deal was an obvious strategic deal to counter Zillow Group’s acquisition of dotloop.

I’ve written about Reesio and their CEO Mark Thomas before. They hustle and Move needs that kind of spirt to compete.

So, congrats to Mark and his team on an successful “exit”.

CRMLS wins “Most Innovative MLS” award from Inman Inman. Celeste Starchild from ListHub also honored.

Congrats to Art Carter and the rest of the CRMLS team for winning this year’s Inman 2015 Innovator Award winner for “Most innovative MLS”. Inman news cited “has been clawing away at getting local MLS organizations to participate in its shareable database of listings, which will expedite innovation.” I think what made the difference for CRMLS was the well crafted messaging, videos and social media around their #ItsMyBiz campaign.

Also happy to see Celeste Starchild being recognized as one of the “four women who have shown leadership in the constant pursuit of innovation. Susan Daimler from Zillow, Chelsea Goyer from Redfin, and Dottie Herman from Douglas Elliman Real Estate. I’d like to see this list kept going and expanded next year, there are many others deserving to be recognized.

“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?

Syndication Shitstorm

FMFU

Yesterday MOVE slapped the newly formed Zillow Group with the news that as of next week they won’t be providing listing to Trulia any longer. This seemed to be in response to Zillow’s earlier rebuke of continuing the ListHub agreement past the contract date.

Now it appears that Zillow is seeking a restraining order to keep listings flowing to Zillow.

Oy Vey!

A few observations:

Welcome to the team!
Tough first week for Paul Levine, newly appointed president of Trulia.

The Velvet Glove
I’m going to start calling Celeste Starchild, “the velvet glove”, because she always seems to be delivering the bad (good?) news, but tries to downplay the consquences.

Shit Sandwich
And going back to Zillow’s earlier refusal to re-sign with ListHub, can you really blame them? ListHub was basically forcing them to use a data feed their very own company won’t use on its own site (realtor.com). Zillow take is that ListHub was was serving them a shit sandwich, telling them to eat, and that they better like it.

Lobby bars
Good thing the Clareity’s MLS Executive Workshop next week is serving great popcorn, because the show has just begun!

Rupert Murdoch to keynote at Inman Connect NYC

Whoa….

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