As a boutique Boston luxury condo real estate office owner, I have fears, as any small business owner would in this age of Google automation and discount business platforms. Here’s my story.
f you’re searching for Boston condo information the first person you should ask is a Boston real estate agent, and the last place you should check is Zillow.
As of today, Zillow is the most widely used real estate website in the United States. It’s an awesome experience for users because the website has great functionality. It’s fast, it’s clean, and its very easy to use. It also appears that they have future plans to operate with boots on the ground and to have Boston condo sellers list their property directly to them. If you think that’s interesting it gets better…..
Did you know Zillow and Trulia are owned by the same company?
However, News Corp has other plans for the Real Estate Marketing Giant…Let’s just say Zillow, you don’t want to mess with Rupert Murdoch.
Let’s start with a little of the background drama. Last week one of my agents told me that his clients were obtaining listings from MLS before he was. I was thinking how can that be? He told me his clients were getting their listings directly from Realtor.com. So I did a little research; why would MLS provide listings to Realtor.com before its own paid MLS members? This is what I found out:
News Corp owns Realtor.com and recently they purchased a company called ListHub. Who is ListHub? It’s the syndicating service that takes real estate listings from the local MLS and pushes them out to real estate websites all over the world. What is MLS? It’s a multiple listing service, in which data is imported by local Boston real estate agents to market their Boston condos for sale. The data that Real Estate Agents provide to the MLS goes to their portal, and this where it gets it gets interesting….. then ListHub takes that local data and syndicates it.
Why did News Corp want to control Listhub (MLS syndication data)?
With a vested interest in Realtor.com, and with competition from Zillow and Trulia, News Corp chose to purchase the company that Zillow and Trulia rely on for accurate data. Which is ListHub, After purchasing ListHub, News Corp could cut off both Zillow and Trulia from receiving the data. While it isn’t exactly fair to Zillow and Trulia, this was definitely the play from the beginning and it is a great business move on News Corp’s part. Not that I’m a big fan of Rupert Murdoch, but you have to admit it was a ballsy move.
Zillow filed a restraining order vs. ListingHub when they heard that Murdoch was going to be terminating the Zillow & Trulia contract. Desperation like this, shows you how much Zillow relies on the data from ListingHub. In their own defense, it’s understandable why they filed a lawsuit.. It put Zillow and Trulia in a difficult spot if they stopped receiving the data from ListHub so….
How did Zillow and Trulia Respond?
Besides the lawsuit. They decided to start stealing data from local Realtors and their websites, this is where I get err….hurt. Not exactly something I would call fair play to the local Real Estate Agents. So it’s pretty safe to say that none of the marketing giants are playing fair whether it’s Realtor.com, Zillow, or Trulia. That’s the Boston real estate business for you in corporate America.
Zillows Next Move
Zillow Corp went out and bought Dotloop which is assists Agents in sending and receiving documents and signatures online. It gets better…..
The Zillow Corp strategy is in a shift right now as it plans to do what Redfin did and start operating as a boots on the ground brokerage. Bye, Bye, my little real estate office on Charles Street.
Real Estate Agents in Boston are already spending thousands of dollars per month with Zillow, so why wouldn’t Zillow recruit my agents for a percentage of each deal? They give Agents leads and the Agents give Zillow a percentage of their commission.
So what am I going to do?
I have no “F….ing idea”
File Under: Mom can I rent out my old bedroom.
Source: From my other real estate blog, Bostonreb.com