Friday Flash: Check engine

On the one hand:

Zillow launches a home selling service in response to Opendoor.

On the other hand:

The CEO of NAR, frustrated by the slow progress of a broker initiative being built by an NAR tech subsidiary that has already gone through more than $150 million in member dues, refers to some in the MLS industry as a “cartel.” 

Both of these things happened in the past week.

Who do you think looks better prepared for the future?

Say what you want about the Instant Offers play (and I’ve already said what I wanted to say) but it’s yet another lesson on strategic thinking and brilliant execution from the Zillow team. Even the most hidebound Zillow hater should acknowledge that fact.

Meanwhile, it feels to me like the industry has been driving for years with its “check engine” light on, cruising down the road hoping it means nothing.

Years ago, I used to write a lot more about the lack of professional standards in our industry, the structural sclerosis of “organized real estate”, our inability to make promises we could keep.

Here’s just one example from 2010: The whole world is watching.

I stopped beating this drum and focused my energy where I could make a small difference: our client work. And who likes a scold, anyway?

But, man, this week kinda seems like a wake up call we should heed. Zillow’s gonna do what Zillow’s gonna do. Opendoor is happening. Consumer behavior is changing fast.

The ball’s in “the industry’s” court.

It may be time to pull over, pop the hood, and get our hands dirty.