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  • Writer's pictureAustin Barton

Zillow exposed: The story behind real estate's titan status & their next move towards your client


Let’s delve into a significant player in the industry: Zillow. They wield substantial control over the market, though you might call them the nemesis or the pariah. Whatever you choose, they’re a force to reckon with. Zillow’s evolution is intriguing, and I keep an eye on them along with a few others for insights into industry trends.


Zillow’s transformation over the past couple of years is noteworthy. Historically, they functioned as a third-party syndicator for property listings. However, this narrative has shifted, prompting the question: friend or foe? For now, they position themselves as allies, a stance I’m inclined to accept. Their overarching strategy, as per their CEO, involves creating an end-to-end experience for retail consumers.


Their journey began by obtaining licenses to operate as brokers in multiple states. While they lack physical offices in some markets, like Tampa Bay, they have licensing and are equipped to receive referrals. This step opened the door for referral fees, a significant shift from the early days when Zillow operated as a premier agent without charging such fees.



Next, Zillow ventured into the mortgage sector, actively building technology and platforms for Zillow home loans. This places them at the forefront of mortgage lending tech. Their advantageous position enables them to capture leads and funnel them into their mortgage lending business.

Another move involves the acquisition of ShowingTime, a familiar tool in the industry. Their intention is to enable real-time property showings for end-users through agents’ involvement. This means potential buyers can request showings directly on Zillow’s platform, driven by the agents’ availability in ShowingTime. It’s important to note that Zillow maintains control over these showing windows to ensure optimal scheduling.


This snapshot provides insight into Zillow’s strategy. It remains to be seen how they’ll execute their end-to-end vision for user engagement. As we follow their progress, stay tuned for updates. If you’re interested in deeper knowledge about Zillow’s activities, feel free to reach out. I’m actively engaged with them as a Flex partner, and my team collaborates with their Flex program. If you have any questions about this topic or anything else that’s related, call or email me. Your questions are welcome anytime.

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