I have been an advocate for Zillow and Trulia for years. I did not like that I had to pay them for the advertisement that they did for me and my listings. They allowed me to buy the leads that they generated for my sellers so I was ok with it. As long as I could talk to the potential buyers, I was doing my duty to both the sellers and buyers to work as hard as possible to help them come together.....Until NOW!!
Statistics show that if the listing agent can talk to a potential buyer, that agent has a 200%-300% better chance of selling the listing to that buyer. It makes sense since the listing agent knows more and cares about getting every bit of information to the potential buyer. They also have an incentive to work out problems between the buyer and seller. The ability convince the seller to move down if the asking price is too high and convince the buyer to move up if they are offering too low. It was what founded America, the farmer shaking hands with the miller and doing a fair deal over a handshake. It is the way the 99% of dual agents do business when they are working with both the buyer and the seller in a transaction(let's not get caught up in a dual agency fight in this blog) When a corporation gets in the way of an agent's fiduciary duty to a client, that is normally the first sign that the peasants need to revolt and the time is now!
This peasant is revolting. Zillow has implemented changes over the last year that have helped them with their bottom line at the cost of buyers, sellers and agents. If a buyer is not using the Zillow app and they search for a listing on their phones browser, Zillow puts a big blue Call Agent button and Text Agent button at the top of the information. As a buyer, you would assume that they are sending that call or text to the listing agent as it should be. The problem is that you would be WRONG. Zillow also no longer allow's you to be exclusive on more than 10 listings and Zillow makes you choose either your newest or your most expensive. You can not mix and match. Why would Zillow do this? So that they can expand their premiere agent program and make millions of dollars more selling unsuspecting buyers to non listing agents. Zillow decided that they were not making enough money when they allowed the listing agents to get all of their own listing traffic. Now Zillow can sell it to three agents.
This is how Zillow is expanding their Premier agent program as the detriment of hundreds of thousands of Buyers, Sellers and Realtors.
If you are an agent, make sure that you tell other agents, your broker and anyone else that you can that this practice has to stop. If you call Zillow reps and ask, first they will tell you that they do not do this. Then if you walk them thru it with them on their cell phone they will say: Wow, I did not know that can I have you hold while I ask someone. Then they will tell you that everybody in the world uses the Zillow app and do not worry about those people that search address on google and i-phone are few and far between.
Boy, I could sell a lot of Ocean Front property in Arizona if I had people who would believe that.