Friday Flash: Lovers and haters

I have been accused of being a Zillow lover. I have been accused of being a Zillow hater.


The endless debate about this company has become about as interesting, and constructive, as listening to your Fox News-watching uncle and your MSNBC-watching aunt go at it during Thanksgiving dinner.

Pass the wine.

Here are the essential facts: The people who love Zillow will keep buying the ads; the people who hate Zillow will pursue strategies that work best for their businesses; if brands and brokers ever yank their listings from Zillow en masse, the game changes.

If I sound equivocal here it’s because Zillow did something this week that is worth thinking about dispassionately.

The company released a new “Premier Agent” app at its annual summit in Las Vegas. This app – native mobile first, with a desktop complement – is something of a lightweight lead and contact manager.

But I think it is the foundation of something much more – something any entity seeking agent love or money is going to need to have: a compelling, habit-forming position on the real estate professional’s mobile device.

Mark my words: most productive agents will be running their businesses from their mobiles very soon. Whoever can help them do that wins big. Zillow’s in the game, but there are lots of ways to do this. What’s your play?

On a related note, you might want to read this from Wired: “Inside Uber’s Mission to Give its Drivers the Ultimate App”.

Inman News announced that it will soon be offering local content in six cities, with more to follow. A big deal.

In case you haven’t noticed, Inman has been firing on all cylinders lately. Brad is super engaged and new COO Morgan Brown is hustling with a revitalized team. The Connect conferences are bigger than ever.


Mortgage marketing is kind of like an acid trip. Everything’s just really intense, and things can go wrong.

But try paying close attention to Guaranteed Rate’s current blitz. The TV ads, the website, the social play. It is intense, but grounded in some really sound practices. Notice how they’ve created a brand voice, how they substantiate their claims, how they’ve repositioned an old idea into something new (the “Digital Mortgage”).

It’s worth studying even if you’re not selling mortgages.

Realogy’s investment in Estately was made public this week. Smart move. I have always admired Estately’s product, particularly their iPhone app. In fact, the product is so good that I found it hard to knock them with the “Paper broker” label. That may not matter now anyway, considering they’ve chosen the world’s largest operating brokerage, NRT, as a strategic partner.

Between this and ZIP, Realogy now has some quality tech on its hands. It’s time to light it up.

Enjoy the weekend.   

[Disclosure: Realogy is a 1000WATT client.]