Is Zillow the ultimate frenemy of the real estate industry? It seemed like a win-win when agent listings got massive exposure in the marketplace and had the chance to market on their site. Then came Zestimates and things got weird (or should we say, inaccurate) and now fighting the Zestimate a seller received was a regular listing presentation occurrence. But has Zillow sunk to a new low now with their Instant Offer program? The industry is abuzz about how Instant Offer may (or may not) be an agents undoing. Will it be yours? We unpack everything you need to know about Instant Offer and how you can take real action to fight back!
We start first by talking about how Zillow came to be and what they’ve provided to the industry. Zillow came out as a media company that generated revenue by selling advertising on their website. In April 2009, Zillow announced a partnership to lend its real estate search engine to the websites of more than 180 United States newspapers as part of the Zillow Newspaper Consortium. They then shared ad revenues from the co-branded sites with the newspapers in order to extend reach into local markets. For awhile, they indeed were a form of a media company.
But, does what Zillow do now really make them a media company?
Zillow did agents a favor at first by creating a website that consumers loved, over Realtor.com, and brought massive traffic to thousands of MLS fed listings. We can’t be mad at them for that, right? If Realtor.com wasn’t going to step with a site that was going to wow prospective buyers and sellers, somebody had to – and Zillow did.
After that, Zillow become something of an ‘easy button’ for agents who began buying leads and at first that seemed like a good thing too – until the lead buying space got oversaturated.
Listen to todays full episode as we talk about why our mindset needs to shift about who Zillow really is (can you say competitor?), why they would start Instant Offer now and what Instant Offer really is and where we’ve seen this before!
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