Zillow recently went back and forth about offering unverified leads to agents who pay Zillow for verified leads. Then the company offered a service that directly connects agents to vetted leads over the phone. Then Zillow changed its mind on that. It’s an unknown what Zillow will do next regarding its lead generation services.
Now, Opcity, a lead generation platform specializing in providing agents with “highly vetted, transaction-ready leads,” is revamping its compensation practices with real estate agents. (News Corp., the parent company of realtor.com, acquired Opcity for $210M in August of 2018. Thus, realtor.com was the beneficiary of Opcity’s expertise and real estate agents far and wide paid realtor.com for that lead generation expertise.)
Opcity’s compensation practices now look something like this…no upfront lead generation variable costs based upon the demand for leads from certain zip codes but a referral fee of 35% as a commission from the real estate agent who got the lead from Opcity once the sale is closed. So here’s the agent having to pay a percentage of her/his commission to the broker PLUS 35% of her/his commission to Opcity. Wonder how much of a commission remains for the agent who actually transacted the sale?
Reaction to Opcity’s and realtor.com’s latest compensation package has been swift and unbridled. Suneet Agarwai, an agent in Sacramento whose agent group pays close to $1M/year to realtor.com for leads, is furious about Opcity’s new position. He told Inman News, “We (the real estate agents) are their consumer…and this whole time everyone has been worried about Zillow. We always thought that realtor.com was considered to be an agent partner…and now they pull this crap?”
Agents who generate their own leads, certainly the position of Harris Real Estate Coaching, do not pay out dollars for leads. They pay for their leads with their own sweat and time equity. Agents who generate their own leads know the validity of their leads. They don’t have to guess. They’ve done their own due diligence. They know who is transaction-ready and who is not.
Agents who pay for leads via Zillow or Opcity/realtor.com or any other lead generation service operate at the whims and sea changes of those companies. No warnings. No negotiations. No now what?
The bottom line here…the more agents depend on tech, the more agents are subject to the impulses of whoever controls that tech.
Isn’t it time to control your own impulses with your own efforts?