Why Agents Let The Great Syndicates Pull Our Pants Down From Behind...

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Compass, formerly RE/MAX WHP 0524642

In the real estate industry there's a general consensus that any online company who encroaches on "our" real estate data is perceived to be a nasty, backstabbing threat: Zillow, Trulia, Redfin and even our very own Realtor dot com. None of them are truly demonstrating the loyalty that I personally would enjoy,  but who cares. And to assume it's "our data" is how WE got here and how Zillow got THERE. 

The blame is all ours. But why?


The answer is simple, we agents are just too damn busy. 80% of the agents across the country are selling just a few homes a year and simply aren't invested enough in our industry to give a damn. The other 20% are mining for transactions. Each year I complete 30-40 real estate transactions; about average for a "busy agent." Between life, kids & work do you really think I have time to do more than donate to my local Pac?  I can try. I can blog, vent and communicate, but it doesn't even begin to help - not enough.

What about our real estate leadership? Our State and National Presidents, regional VP's and other officers who are elected to help change and shape our industry do not do enough, not because they won't or are not willing to, but because they're unable to. Some of these positions are propped up titles with too little time to get the job done.  I don't believe any officer or person who has been empowered to make change can get enough done in 12 months. I am a strong advocate of term limitations in politics, but in r.e. our leadership should have longer terms to get more done. And as it has been explained to me, most of the top leadership positions are completely powerless to make sweeping changes. 

So if your top agents (who sell most of the homes) are too busy to help change our industry and our officers are handcuffed to make critical changes then just who are we relying on to "STOP ZILLOW?" Maybe the 80% who sell 6 homes a year? 


Posted by


Greg Nino
, Houston area Realtor®.
Helping residential buyers, sellers and tenants 7 days a week.
Available @ 832-298-8555 

RE/MAX Compass (Formerly RE/MAX WHP)





The information contained in this blog is believed to be reliable and while every effort is made to assure that the information is as accurate as possible, the author of this blog, and its comments disclaim any implied warranty or representation about it's accuracy, completeness or appropriateness for any particular purpose. All information is copywritten and the property of Greg Nino.  






Re-Blogged 1 time:

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  1. Ginger Harper 07/14/2017 08:57 AM
Real Estate Industry

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Hannah Williams
Re/Max Eastern inc. - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818

Good stuff Greg Nino  I would assume you do not buy leads . I know lots of top agents who are BUYING leads and they are in the 80 %  They are really busy but they still are out there giving their money to these companies .  Agents if you are too busy to care that is on you . Because one day you will wonder why you didn't


Jul 14, 2017 03:56 PM #10
Dale Taylor
Re/Max 10 New Lenox Illinois - Frankfort, IL
Realtor = Chicago Illinois Homes Townhomes Condos

I remember standing before the MLS board asking them to really think about the price our industry would pay when we allow our listing data go internet base. I remember the day we opened the door to the creations of data selling companies, when in reality the realtor associations as a whole missed out on a golden opportunity to create revenue other than dues or education workshops sustaining. The realtor associations have really dimenished their value and laid the slow, but progressive path to their ultimate demise?

Jul 14, 2017 08:25 PM #11
Stavrula "Sam" Crafa, RNC,GRI, CDPE, PSA
Future Home Realty - Seminole, FL
Providing the integrity and service you deserve.

Spot on! But I would also add that we need to do our job the best that we can so that we continue to show the value we bring to the table. If we do that, then we don't really need to worry about Zillow, or anyone else. 

Jul 14, 2017 09:17 PM #12
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Business operates on the solid principals of profit & loss. People operate on a simple principal of results don't lie. The combo spells success. Find Success then!

Jul 15, 2017 05:41 AM #13
John Wiley
Right Move Real Estate Group- EXP Realty - Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL, ECO Broker, GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

Thanks for the thought provoking post.

Change is never easy and in real estate, most of the work of leadership comes from volunteers. It is difficult to get them to invest enough time and energy to make meaningful changes.

Maybe we need to be more selective in who we place in leadership roles.

Jul 15, 2017 07:34 AM #14
Thomas McCombs
Century 21 HomeStar - Akron, OH

One of the issues I keep tripping over is the "market exposure" question.

How can we limit our cooperation with the "Zillows" of the world and continue to claim that we are providing maximum exposure for our listings?

I have tried to explain to sellers that Zillow is of no value to them exposure wise, but have found it to be a tough sell.

It might be helpful if I could come up with convincing arguments. Rainers, what has worked for you?

Jul 15, 2017 08:20 AM #15
Richard Bazinet /MBA, CRS, ABR
WestUSA Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
Phoenix Scottsdale. Sellers, Buyers & Relocations

There, you said it Greg. And I agree! WE are responsible, WE are to act on issues about our industry. Lately, in the last year or so, I've been a proponent of some changes in the industry and been very vocal about it. I even ask to be invited to speak at industry events, seems it's an ordeal to put some subject matters on the agenda. It's tough getting messages across, it's tough getting traction. Change is not easy, especially for the 'older' people in the business. But I'm keeping at it. 

Lets all keep at it.

Jul 15, 2017 08:57 AM #16
Susan McCall, Independent Listing and Buyer Agent
Compass Realty Solutions - Portland, OR
Bringing buyers and sellers together!

I had a client last year that contacted me about why her home for sale wasn't in Zillow.  I hadn't checked the syndication box when I posted the listing.  So I corrected and hand posted.  She was happy and I had no idea that this  was important to my seller.

Jul 15, 2017 09:11 AM #18
Cynthia Larsen
Cotati, CA
Independent Broker In Sonoma County, CA

I've thought about not syndicating listings to the bottom feeders, but try explaining to a seller why they can't see their listing on ZTR.

Jul 15, 2017 09:28 AM #19
Sham Reddy
H E R Realty, Dayton, OH - Dayton, OH

Great observation!!!

we agents are just too damn busy. 80% of the agents across the country are selling just a few homes a year and simply aren't invested enough in our industry to give a damn. The other 20% are mining for transactions. Each year I complete 30-40 real estate transactions; about average for a "busy agent.

Jul 15, 2017 10:10 AM #20
Keith McMullin
Port Aransas Realty - Port Aransas, TX
Port Aransas Real Estate

In the end, clients want local knowledge to help with their buying decision.  All those sites help with listing visibility, but provide limited to no local knowledge. 

Jul 15, 2017 10:41 AM #21
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives


Does this mean you will or will not be at the TAR Conference in Dallas this year? I still remember the one in San Antonio and how our AR Group got together for a meet-up. Please let me know if you're going and let's plan to meet-up! Greg Nino - I would love to talk to you about this subject in person and pick your brain. By the way, you have an incredible brain!

Jul 15, 2017 12:29 PM #22
Tim Maitski
Atlanta Communities Real Estate Brokerage - Atlanta, GA
Truth, Excellence and a Good Deal

Zillow is basically Realtor.com with a Zestimate.  I'm not sure anymore who owns Realtor.com.  I've given up trying to keep track of it all.  I'm too busy.  It all just seems like a big racket.  One would assume that it is the National Association of Realtors.  At least that's what they try to have people think.  They promote that it is the most accurate because it's directly hooked up with all of the MLS's and they promote Realtors.  If it's not owned by the NAR, then that is the problem.

I just looked at one of my listings on Realtor.com.  It had my name on top of the main picture but no contact information.  I filled in the "request info" box  and I got contacted by some agent I don't know.


The NAR just needs to build a damn website like Realtor.com and just have the listing agent contact information associated with each listing.  This is what buyers actually are looking for.  They just want to talk to the listing agent and get specific information.  They don't want to talk with an agent who knows nothing about the property.

Then it would be an easy advertising campaign to crush Zillow with just two main points.

1.  Show how Zestimates are useless.  Show how they can change by $100,000 every other day.  Just use real examples to show the truth.

2. Show that you get the real listing agent when you call, not some agent who never saw the home before and is just looking to capture a new lead and will then pester and spam you forever.

Shut Zillow down by giving the public a better mousetrap.  

Jul 16, 2017 08:04 AM #23
Tim Maitski
Atlanta Communities Real Estate Brokerage - Atlanta, GA
Truth, Excellence and a Good Deal

I took a few minutes to try to figure out the details about Realtor.com.  They don't make it easy to find the details for various options.  Now I remember why I never went too far into the weeds.  To find out any useful information, one needs to call a sales weasel at Realtor.com.  I did that once some years ago and vaguely recall telling the rep that it seemed like a ripoff to me.

To get control of your listings and have your contact information on your listings, I think you need to do the "Advantage-Pro" program.  How much does that cost?  You need to call to make an appointment so they can sell it to you and maybe some zip codes for buyers.

It makes me sick that the NAR sold out.  What's the point of battling Zillow if the alternative is Realtor.com?  It's just a different name but it's the same BS.  

So back to your point of why agents don't get involved to do something about getting control of our listings from the syndicators?   It's a lost cause because our leaders sold us out.  I won't waste another minute thinking about it until I forget it all again and refresh my memory in another ten years.

End of rant.

Jul 16, 2017 08:34 AM #24
Dave Halpern
Keller Williams Realty Louisville East (502) 664-7827 - Louisville, KY
Louisville Short Sale Expert

The traditional Realtor model is being challenged every day. As a result, the perception of the need for a professional Realtor is being diminished. However, the actual need for a professional Realtor is not. On the contrary, Realtor representation is needed more than ever.

Jul 16, 2017 09:22 AM #25
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg IL Real Estate

Something to think about but I'd like to add that our local board officers are 'groomed' for many years before they get their position. By then, they have given up on any singular thoughts on changing anything. They have been swept up by the herd.

There is also just too many people with their fingers in the pie. Think of how many reps we have nationally? Hell, my office can't agree on what carpet cleaning service to have let alone important stuff. 

Jul 16, 2017 12:35 PM #26
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

What you need is a strong leader. One who is independently wealthy and can spend all of his or her time rallying and organizing the troops and showing everyone how to make the needed changes.

Jul 16, 2017 01:16 PM #27
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Very good points all.  I agree with Tim above.  So frustrating trying to change anything. 

Jul 17, 2017 03:10 PM #28
Dörte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Dear Greg,

Good points. Tough to get involved too much, when you are busy earning your lunch money. Maybe we need to create some paid positions for those willing to step up.

Jul 21, 2017 11:32 AM #29
Tammie White, Broker
Franklin Homes Realty LLC - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN Homes for Sale

Our MLS stopped syndicating listings to Zillow. They turned the choice over to the brokerage offices. The big guys, KW, ReMAX, Coldwell Banker all syndicate and probably most of the little guys like myself do as well. I don't syndicate, I don't buy Zillow leads and I'm not a premier agent. Zillow gets none of my money. That's the only way to really get rid of these guys. They are making millions, possibly billions of dollars off of real estate agents. So the only ones to truly blame for this mess is ourselves

Jul 21, 2017 09:52 PM #30
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