Friday Flash: the game ain't over

It’s been two and a half weeks since the Zillow/Trulia deal went down. As far as I can tell, we’re all still here.


Some perspective: From 1996 to 2006, a single company absolutely dominated online real estate. They had all the listings, brutal pricing power and a CEO who makes Spencer Rascoff look like Mister Rogers.

This company’s stock peaked at $411 in January of 2000. It was perceived as unstoppable.

Then it wasn’t. And brokers carried on, through a boom and a bust, much as they always had.

Remember all that?

There is no game over here. Whatever comes next probably isn’t what we’re all expecting.

Speaking of change… a couple months ago, two local real estate associations in New Jersey merged. One of the CEOs lost her job as a result, but supported the merger from the get-go, knowing this would happen.

She deserves some sort of award. I’m not joking.

In case you haven’t heard, real estate needs to be like Uber.

Please internalize this. Your future depends on it.

Seriously, amid all of the “Uber for real estate” buzz, Uber itself is up to something that could be pretty interesting: they plan to release an API.

So think about this: a buyer is looking at homes on their favorite real estate app, finds one they like, and clicks a button that says “Go see it now.” 5 minutes later, an Uber shows up to take them there.

Now all we need is for Uber drivers to get real estate licenses so they can get people inside. sells real estate online. Not advertising, selling. Online.

While other companies command our attention, continues to amass money, talent and (based on what I hear), tons of revenue around something that still strikes many of us as preposterous.

Google put $50 million into the earlier this year. This week they announced that they brought the guy who runs product and user experience for LinkedIn on as an advisor. is focused on distressed inventory and commercial property right now. But they’re one to watch.

Agent Ace, another agent matching site, closed a $6 million funding round this week. This software company got brokerage licenses in 43 states in order to grab MLS data to power their business.

There’s been a lot of activity and controversy in this area over the past year. I have been less interested in the controversy than in seeing what would happen when transaction histories and data-based performance metrics got into the hands of consumers.

So far, my sense is that none of the companies going after this are really taking off. When the Zestimate hit, a consumer feeding frenzy ensued. Buyers and sellers don’t seem to be as hungry for agent data.

After all, agents are people.

Scheme turns foreclosed homes into startup incubators.”

This is actually happening.

Something to ponder during Friday Happy Hour.

Enjoy the weekend.