Zillow bought Diverse Solutions this week, a great company that offers refreshingly usable IDX products.
What does it mean?
Well, first, there’s nothing clandestine here. No Zillow sleeper cells in MLS-land. No end-run around IDX rules. There’s a Chinese wall between IDX and syndication that Zillow’s not going to breach.
But the thing here that some will view as hostile – in effect if not in intent – is that Zillow is now poised to chop another limb off the broker value proposition.
Let me explain:
Right now, Zillow provides marketing and advertising services to agents. They put them in front of consumers and help them grow their business.
Now, they offer a search solution – the linchpin of an agent’s online presence.
These are things many brokers view as their role. Their value proposition to agents.
OK, whatever – that’s just competition… unless your business is built upon the listings brokers own.
Then that’s a problem.
Because if the value you take from brokers is greater than the value you make for brokers, you have some explaining to do.
At a minimum, the optics are bad.
Bottom line: Zillow bought Diverse because it’s a great product they can sell all day long to agents and small brokers.
But they’ve also jabbed a sleeping dog right under the ribs.