Category : Zillow


Zillow Data Contracts with MLSs – Now is the Time to Balance the Value Proposition

Does Zillow cut a different deal with each MLS for its listing data? This is what Zillow has been saying online and in Facebook groups as the April 8 deadline approached. Zillow has refused to discuss the terms of the contracts they have been executing (not even the critical Opt In or Opt Out). My thought was that the terms of all of the contracts should all be pretty much the same.

In the 3 national products that I had the opportunity to bring to the market, (, ePRO, and Point2 Syndication), our contracts were always consistent. Dealing with hundreds of different contracts with MLSs and Associations was always considered by those who knew about such things, to be the wrong way to go.

  • Do some MLSs get better terms than others?
  • Are some MLSs making mistakes and giving away too much in signing with Zillow at this point?
  • Is Zillow hoping that the urgency they create and the naiveté of REALTORs will be enough to persuade them to sign Zillow contracts under Zillow’s terms?

Don’t settle for anything less than the best deal. “Most Favored Nation Status,” and begin to learn more about the value of the data collected by agents and brokers as the era of big data continues.

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Zillow's MLS agreements are the portal's problem — not yours

Would you ask a client to sign a contract that he or she does not understand?

Would you buy an investment without first conducting some degree of your due diligence?

Would you sit on a board of directors of an MLS (multiple listing service) or association and vote on major issues that you do not fully understand?

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Major Real Estate Portals MLS (Multiple Listing Service) Zillow

No Deal – Sandicor / Zillow Syndication Update

Official Notice from the San Diego Regional MLS (18,000 Subscribers and Participants)

Dear Brokers,

As you may know, the relationship between Zillow and ListHub ends on Tuesday April 7th.  If your listings are going to Zillow by some means other than ListHub, this does not affect you.  However, if you have been using ListHub, your listings will no longer be going to Zillow on the 7th.  Sandicor has been in the process of implementing a replacement syndication system and negotiating an agreement with Zillow that would offer substantial benefits and protections for you and your listings along with protections for Sandicor, in the event you elected to send your listings to Zillow.  While our syndication system is being put into production, our negotiations with Zillow have not resulted with an acceptable agreement between us.

Please know that the terms of the agreement were developed by a fifteen member Broker Group, representing a wide variety of brokers, from a 2 person office to our largest brokerages.  All were unanimous in the terms developed, which included protections for the listing data, brokers / agents and Sandicor.  The terms are very similar to other licensing agreements we have with IDX vendors and other vendors.  Unfortunately Zillow was not agreeable to those terms and appeared to be unwilling to consider much beyond their terms.  We revised the agreement such that we felt we addressed some of Zillow’s issues, at which point we were told they didn’t have the legal resources available to discuss it any further.  We then tried to negotiate an interim agreement, which also was not successful.  While Zillow does not have the resources to negotiate with us at this time, we have not given up and will endeavor to work on an agreement that is acceptable to all parties.

We will continue to keep you updated as we work further on an agreement.

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April 7 – Zillow Cutoff From Listhub Date Approaching

Prior to signing a data contract, with any third party including the Zillow Group, keep your future in mind, and seek counsel.

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Zillow and the end of the Listhub Data

A few weeks ago, I was saying some of the same things said in this article. Push back ensued from Zillow, but it looks like others are beginning to understand the complexities of maintaining a national inventory of properties (for sale).

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Zillow and the April 7 Deadline – Don't fall for the hype

The way you hear some people online talk about Zillow, you’d think that there is nowhere else on the Internet to find properties for sale. Consumers will not panic on April 7 if your listings are not on Zillow, neither will your sellers (and you can always load them yourself). Because there is absolutely no need to panic. I won’t mention any names but we all know two other real estate portals that attract a lot of traffic. If Zillow were to go dark tomorrow, consumers would not skip a beat, the number of listings totaled at the end of the year would be the same, and the number of sales would be the same…and other portals might gain some traffic. The consumer hue and cry that Zillownians are preaching and predicting if agents, brokers and MLSs do not move expeditiously and sign direct feed contracts with Zillow, will not materialize. It is hype and fear being used to try and influence decision makers today.

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Open Letter to All MLS Executives about Zillow's Full Court Press

“Danger Will Robinson!” (from “Lost in Space” for those who don’t remember 🙂

Decision Makers: Caution, do not be rushed into signing contracts, just because Zillow is in a hurry. There is no substitute for your own due diligence.

What it looks like from where I sit…which includes recently participating in a forum at my MLS, reviewing what our actions will be with Zillow’s request for data…And, as as the newly appointed chair of the MLS committee at my association (yep, back to a little volunteering, this is critical),

Zillow’s bluster of the number of contracts signed is just that, bluster…and obfuscation. Contracts signed do not mean listings for Zillow, if the contract is opt in, which most are. Zillow press releases and Inman News articles fail to mention this fact (and they understand the significance)….so all a lot of hype and imo, deception, is coming from Zillow as April 7 approaches.

What Zillow has created in the marketplace is an “artificial urgency.” There should be no “panic” by brokers, agents, and MLSs as the April 7 deadline approaches. This really is Zillow’s problem, not yours.

Participants and Subscribers of an MLS can have their listings displayed on Zillow should they desire, through direct load, with no direct feed contract in place with the MLS. This is the solution to temper the artificial, manufactured urgency, and it is a simple one. This makes more sense than rushing to sign a contract at this point in the current Zillow manufactured “crisis.”

A truer picture of the potential negative impact of not having a contract in place with Zillow may be available in your own data, by answering a few questions.

How many listings now in the MLS (Current for sale inventory)
How many agents currently have active listings?
How many of the agents with active listings do not work for a franchise or a brokerage firm that provides listings to Zillow?

The number of Subscribers and Participants impacted, if as small as I suspect in many markets, do not warrant taking a risk on an improperly vetted data license agreement. This is complex stuff, and if you error, do you have the resources to battle Zillow over contract interpretation?

The consequence of not having a signed contract with Zillow by April 7 probably puts your MLS in an even better negotiating position moving forward, as Zillow will be desperate for MLS data.

Don’t be fooled.

I also recommend a conversation with Brian Larson/Mitch Skinner before you sign anything.

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