It may be time to push the chair back from the table and stand up to the behemoth before us.  We as real estate professionals should not be threatened or scared of the paradigm shift that is currently taking place in the industry. We must embrace change and be nimble. There is an opportunity for the Brokers in this country to come together as one. An opportunity to create a portal that will enable the real estate industry to grow and thrive indefinitely.

Let’s back up a few years and look at Zillow’s business model. Zillow proposed to add value to the consumer by offering a Zestimate.  The Zestimate made the consumer flock to .  The consumer felt that they now had a tool offered by a disinterested third party that made the Appraiser and Realtors less valuable and gave a sense of transparency.   The veil over the real estate industry was being lifted and the consumer was ecstatic….regardless of the accuracy.  Zillow’s value went through the roof as the site became more popular.

As the perceived Agents value declined….Zillow proposed to lift them back up by offering consumer leads. Those Agents who wanted to receive Leads on their own listings were forced to Pay Zillow to receive them.  Sounds like a hostage situation to me.

Today, the consumer no longer has allegiance to or any of the other realtor driven websites that span the country. We as agents have lost control of the information that we work so hard to collect.

Our value is being stymied by a Monster called Zillow Group and we as agents continue to feed the monster. Yes, a sense of cannibalism is taking place and will continue until we cut off the supply of data.

What’s next? 

The Top Brokers from Each State need to band together and form one National MLS controlled by the Brokers themselves. This portal would become a national database controlled by the Brokers.

A consumer portal would need to be created with a very robust level of information and reporting.  Agents would need to be trained to interpret this data in order to better serve the consumer. (For the life of me I do not understand why no one has incorporated a certain level of reporting that my group has painstakingly incorporated with the data obtained from the MLS.)

The contracts with Local MLS’s would need to lapse as the flow of data is diverted to the new portal.  Consumers and Agents would benefit as consistency and transparency or real estate across the country is finally made available. Agents are not extorted by disinterested third parties and made to pay for leads on their properties.

Referral networks are squashed…….Wow….to be continued.  For now we must continue to play the game and feed the beast.


Posted by Tim Bray on


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