Warning: this post is not within the realm of purely local real estate blogging â€¦
Second, when I saw this news I felt like I’d been punched in the gut. One of the reasons I have so loved Diverse Solutions on my site is that they gave me what I believed to be the best tool out there to search for homes in my market. In part, I’ve been competing with Zillow (not really, they’re huge. I’m tiny) But really, I have been. Now they’re together? Zillow, who makes money (as all of the third parties do) selling agents on upsells for $X per month?
1. Is this the next step in the evolution of Zillow becoming/replacing/supplanting the MLS? Maybe. Maybe not.
2. What will Zillow do with my users’ data – the search history, contact information, etc?
3. It would have been nice to have been given a heads-up.
4. Listings, and listing data are a commodity . Everyone has them. I’ve benefited by google indexing the MLS listings found on my site, but I’ve never depended on it. I generate unique, relevant, and occasionally good content. Anyone can get listing data.
5. If Zillow can use this as a back door to get more MLS data on their site, bully for them. There are some real risks in the MLS world right now.
6. See #4. Those depending on real estate search for their SEO are now SOL. It’s the evolution/consolidation of the tech space, and that’s ok. Real estate is about real estate representation – used with technology appropriately. Technology without competent representation and interpretation is merely cool tech.
Update 4 November 2011: Brian at 1000 Watt has one of the best, un-hyperventilating analyses I’ve seen yet. I still think my sleeper cell and defense contractor analogies hold water though. Time will tell.
7. This reminds me of defense contractors who acquire other firms in part because the smaller firms already have the security clearances. Getting employees security clearances one by one is expensive and time consuming; buying a successful, smaller firm that already has the infrastructure and expertise in place is a much smarter move.
In this game of chess, Zillow’s just made a master stroke.
As I have told my clients for years – If you don’t own it, it’s going to change . I don’t own Diverse Solutions. I’m merely a paying customer. I don’t own Zillow. Not even a share. I have no say in what they do.
I don’t know how I feel now that I’m contributing to Zillow’s success.
From a purely selfish standpoint:
1. Will the product improve? How soon?
2. Will the cost increase?
3. Can I remove backlinks to Zillow if I choose? Will they link to me?
I like and appreciate what Zillow has done since their inception. I just don’t know whether I want to be in bed with them.
*I miss David G & Drew.