Real Estate Agent with Douglas Elliman Real Estate 30HA0800896


For all of you out there who have read my MANY articles about the stated goal of Zillow when they opened their doors in 2006, you can say you knew what would happen---you can even say you were warned!

The goal? To "put all brokerages out of business"! Now, their message is: "Pay up, or Go Out of business"HOSTILE TAKEOVER

In 2018, Zillow bought out Streeteasy in Manhattan and a local database here called HREO which included the Realnet database for our local internal real estate system.

Very quietly the deal was struck and by the time we found out about the purchase, Zillow was in full control of all the information needed to run ALL real estate brokerage businesses here in the Hamptons and in Manhattan. 

Now, if you STILL think it is a figment of my imagination that Zillows mission and stated goal was  to "put all brokerages out of business", just read the article attached here:


We have been left with a portal on the public website (Out East) with no Town data, no sales information that we might be able to use as we look for our own leads and listings!

Here is the email I sent to all the agents and managers here in the Hamptons after I read the article:

"Out East" is a public website--we are "Joining" it or registering in it as if we are just another part of a public search. I believe this is intentional. I know what Zillow is up to as do most of you if you have any awareness of the current state of real estate.

In my humble opinion, they have no intention of making a real estate agent friendly system that we can use to get important data in our research as we rent or sell properties. The reason I believe this is that Zillow has always wanted a "workaround" to real estate brokerage--they want us to disappear, not thrive! Its the sole reason they bought out every shred of our listings databases--they want to control how much we know so that they can force us to pay for anything else that is more critical to doing real estate business.


• Zillow bought out Google Maps "Birds Eye View" so that we no longer had access to vital aerial information that we can share with the public, our clients and customers. Now, if you noticed Out East has no satellite views that can be used by an agent to help a buyer see a neighborhood--so that is out the window.

• Also, there are no links to internal Town data, trades, weekly sales data by Village, town or city as we had on Real Net. These are just a few of critical research materials we all need to get our own leads for listings and buyers!! DATA will no longer be ours to use--unless we pay them for it!

• Every effort is being made to disempower us in our own profession--that way we will be forever grateful to get that data from Zillow AND WILLINGLY PAY THEM FOR THE PLEASURE OF GETTING BASIC STATISTICS THAT WERE AT OUR FINGERTIPS ON REALNET!

I have watched, blogged about and reported on the antics of this company since they were formed in 2006. I have bored you all to death with my articles about Zillow. Nothing is surprising to me when I see what they are doing--they do NOT want us to survive this change... Want to know about this company? Simply Google "Zillow anti-trust lawsuits" and you will see what they have done to the public and to real estate agents--and they have succeeded because they have a HUGE lobby in Washington and the courts are on their side--as are those agents who still see fit to pay them!

Good luck to all of you!--and to those who willingly "Pay-to-Play": It is all on you for being complicit in their efforts to destroy brokerage...

Thanks for listening! Paula

Real estate is the slowest it has been snce 2009! Zillow does not know the real estate market and its vagaries--It is a certainty that Zillow does not know what is happening with real estae at the moment--they don't know the ups and downs of real estate and I think they may even be struggling financially since the slowdown has affected the revenue from agents who "Pay to Play"!

So, much like a wounded animal, they are proceeding to the kill! 

The new listings platforms are unusable as stated in the Real Deal article and so it is with real fear and frustration that this real estate community has joined forces and begun the work to regain our footing--maybe even work together to get around what Zillow is doing with our information!

Brokerages may not all close up at once, but you can bet there are small, Mom and Pop firms that will close immediately because of this "takeover". In Manahattan there have been closures and one merging of two well established firms to try to overcome the effects of the sale of Streeteasy to Z.

This complicated situation has left all of us breathless--we have had the wind taken out of our sails (and sales)!.

But I feel vindicated in having written and blasted all my annoying emails as I filled in my fellow agents and brokers over the years.

The surprising thing to me? I feel somehow guilty that I was NOT able to convince  my fellow agents and brokers of the coming doom; that I was unable to give them enough information to turn their heads...to be able to see the danger in using their website.

And most of all, I feel terrible that I was unable to convince them that PAYING the BEAST is the absolute nail in the coffin for brokerage!

Many of the agents in my company are still paying Z a lot of money, as the sinking ship slips below the surface!



Comments (13)

Sham Reddy CRS
Howard Hanna RE Services, Dayton, OH - Dayton, OH

We need to stop this madness!

Very quietly the deal was struck and by the time we found out about the purchase, Zillow was in full control of all the information needed to run ALL real estate brokerage businesses here in the Hamptons and in Manhattan. 

Apr 06, 2019 12:00 PM
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Broker
Elizabeth Anne Weintraub, Broker - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Real estate changes all the time. Nothing stays the same. It's terrible that Zillow is affecting your business but surely there is something you can do. There is always something you can do. It might mean doing business a different way.

Apr 06, 2019 12:46 PM
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...A Local Expert in all The Hamptons

Obviously you have not been keeping up with this topic, Elizabeth....I know there is something I can do---There is something I HAVE to do along with over 3000 other agents! This idea of "Change is good" is something someone would say to cover the real challenge: The idiots who continue to pay the beast don't even know they are killing off their own business---They won't know until they pull their heads out of their A__H___S...I am just  done with trying to make it ok that the likes of Zillow can take over an industry by "invading" with their technology know how and wipe out 10-15 and 25 year careers. If you think that it's ok then it really is too late!

Apr 06, 2019 01:09 PM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

While change to the real estate profession has been ongoing since the beginning of time, I don't believe all change has been evolutionary.  I agree with you, Paula.  I don't thing recent change has been beneficial to the industry or for the clients we serve!

Apr 06, 2019 01:53 PM
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...A Local Expert in all The Hamptons

..And while change in real estate, to my knowledge, has never been "The End" before now we all need to be aware of what this kind of change is: This was a ruse that was perpetrated upon people whom I have been warning for 10 years. I did everything but yell it from the rooftops! Now, that it is taking place, this takeover, I have agents calling me and emailing me, owners of brokerages here all saying the same thing, in astonishment: "You called it Paula!--You told us this could happen!" And I get to wonder why they didn't listen!

It is very disturbing to me, especially since there does not appear to be a way to counter them...

Apr 06, 2019 02:08 PM
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

i agree with you too, Paula. Although, does it help? I'm not sure...I really keep hoping the public is going to get wise to the deal, but it doesn't seem likely. Many of my clients send me Zillow or Redfin listings when they are first starting their search - before I can set them up with a customized search. 

Apr 06, 2019 02:21 PM
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...A Local Expert in all The Hamptons

Hi Debb: Yes, and I hear there is a problem with the average homeowner out there, going on Z in an addictive way--they can't stop checking the "value" (which is never accurate, I might add!) of their home--This article that I read reports an issue with not being able to stop going on Z every day--sometimes 2-3 times a day checking the value of their investment--much the same kind of behavior that develops with social media, not wanting to stop checking social media, emails, text messages, etc! We have a very big problem with ALL tech companies, IMHO...they are all seeming to want to destroy the world as we know it!... Sad!

Apr 06, 2019 06:45 PM
Gwen Fowler-864-710-4518 SC * Mountain* Lake*Home
Gwen Fowler Real Estate, Inc - Walhalla, SC
Gwen Fowler Real Estate, Inc.

I think real estate is one business that is going to have to go back local.  Z can't fight the knowledge that is locally based and the agents that pay them do not have local knowledge.

Apr 08, 2019 10:32 AM
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...A Local Expert in all The Hamptons

Well, They now own us so, I don't think it will go back to local...unfortunately! This brokerage community is spinning right now...they shut down our internal database because they can! They own that and we are left without a workable system. This past weekend they turned on the old internal system and all the agents thought they had given us back our ability to update and send listings to customers--but no, this AM they shut it off again! I think we are on the brink of war here in the Hamptons...

Apr 08, 2019 11:08 AM
laurie m.

Paula, pay to play- really? After HREO, it's about time your area was slapped in the face. Wait til Zillow and Nextdoor start buying directly from sellers- you'll no doubt keep your high end homes that they won't touch, but the lower end homes (of which there are many) will get snapped up without any realtors. Better sign up to be a listing agent with them! 1% is better than nada (just kidding- no idea what they pay their brokers).

Apr 12, 2019 11:36 AM
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...A Local Expert in all The Hamptons

I don't know who you are since you don't really identify yourself, but I suspect you work for Zillow! You should feel ashamed of yourself for trying to look like you know what you are talking about--You my dear, have no idea about this area. Just like Zillow (who misrepresents themselves and agents who pay them to play their game), you have no clue!

Apr 12, 2019 11:46 AM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Was HREO an MLS system? Or similar to one? I'm wondering who sold it...

Apr 19, 2019 03:07 AM
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...A Local Expert in all The Hamptons

Hi Kat: Basically it was and it was owned by a man who served this area for years. He also charged what the brokerages thought were exorbitant fees so there was a lot of complaining especially on the part of the small brokerages who could not afford the higher costs to be on it. Zillow bout it out from under us...no one knew until it was a done deal.

Apr 19, 2019 04:22 AM