How Brokers Can Remain Valuable to Agents as Zillow Gets its Hooks in Nearly Every Part of the Transaction
On the surface, Zillow’s inaugural Premier Agent Forum in Las Vegas was focused on highlighting the next generation of Zillow products and helping agents get the most out of the Zillow platform. Hosting a conference is a common play for technology providers in other industries–Oracle and Salesforce among the most notable–yet Zillow’s stands out in real estate as one of the biggest branded confabs, more akin to Keller Williams’ Family Reunion and Re/Max’s Re/Charge. The parallels to the brokerage-sponsored agent events are far from coincidence.
While the industry worries about inaccurate listing information on Zillow.com and which brokerage is syndicating or pulling listings from the site on any given day, Zillow is methodically outflanking real estate brokers on a much larger scale. Move by move, the Internet giant is undermining brokerage brands by overdelivering on the value they provide to agents. In contrast to many broker/agent relationships, Zillow is building massive brand loyalty by providing the tools and marketing agents need to be successful. Brokerages will need to respond in-kind or face being the odd man out of the home buying equation.