With Technology improving and the growing demands for inventory will Realtors be replaced by technology that makes buying and selling a home easy?
RICHLAND, WASHINGTON, UNITED STATES, April 26, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ — Technology has changed the way a lot of service-based businesses operate. A perfect example would be the profession of being a Travel Agent. The task of booking a Vacation and setting up the best airfare, hotel, and rental car package used to be a time-consuming process that people would pay travel agents to make booking trips easy. However, today booking a trip is as easy as downloading the Expedia app and looking at your options, and checking out. Ironically if you look at Expedia and large Real Estate Tech companies like Zillow you will see a lot of similarities. For Example, Rich Barton worked as the CEO of Zillow Real Estate and is the founder of Expedia. In fact, Zillow has hired and promoted a lot of people who turned the travel industry into an app and put them to work in leadership positions within Zillow. So what is the game plan for the multi-billion dollars Real Estate website Zillow?
According to Brandon Patton with Real Estate Market Leaders located in Richland, Washington Zillow has shifted its focus from being an advertising platform for local Tri-Cities Real Estate Brokers and entered select markets as a Real Estate company.
Brandon Patton said, “When Zillow bought Trulia for 2.5 Billion Dollars it was their first major Purchase that showed they were trying to step up their SEO game by buying their competitors who ranked on the first page of Google for keywords. The race to get websites to appear on the first page of Google Search Results for Keywords such as Richland Homes for Sale, Pasco Homes for Sale, or Kennewick Homes for Sale became the name of the marketing game for modern Real Estate Companies. With the National Association of Realtors through our stats saying that 90% of Homebuyers start their search with an online search engine typing in “City Name and Homes for Sale” it quickly became a lucrative business model to capture buyers information and sell their info to Local Home Mortgage Lenders and Local Tri-Cities Real Estate Brokers. The way Zillow first started its SEO strategy was to sell Mortgage Lenders and Tri-City Real Estate Brokers leads by Zip Code. They would allow Tri-City Real Estate Brokers to pay them to be called a Zillow Premier Agent for a set amount per month and they would set up a contract. In return, Zillow would allow that broker to Download a widget that said Zillow Premier agent and local Real Estate Brokers were encouraged to upload the widget onto their website. Zillow did not tell local brokers that the widget contained backlinks to Zillow giving Zillow an SEO boost. Zillow went around and set up local Premier Agent contracts across the US and managed to get Real Estate Brokers to pay them to give Zillow backlinks in exchange for Email addresses and phone numbers from buyers who were shopping for Homes for Sale from the Zillow website.
The next major purchase for Zillow was when they bought DotLoop, a company that handles contracts and electronic signatures for Real Estate Contracts. It was obvious at this point that Zillow was shifting away from being a company that just wanted to rank number 1 on Google and turning into a company that is showing interest in the forms that Realtors use to help clients buy and sell homes. Dotloop had operated as an online E signing platform that competed against Docu Sign and Zip Forms within the Real Estate contract management area of business. So why would an online Real Real Estate Platform that sells leads want to get involved with the contracts aspect of the business so bad that they paid 108 Million in Cash to step into the Electronic Signatures and Forms process of the business?
The most Recent Purchase for Zillow was a company called Showing Time. Zillow has agreed to buy Showing Time for 500 Million as of Feb 2021. Showing Time has worked as a company that assists with setting up and scheduling home tours. So when a Real Estate Broker list a Tri-Cities Home for Sale they could advertise the showing time phone number on their Real Estate Signs and in the MLS so that all calls to set appointments would route through a call center and a Showing Time employee would contact the Home Owner and set an appointment for the showing. This removes the Real Estate Brokers from the obligations of calling the homeowner and keeping track of appointments and showing and feedback.
Another recent shift in the Zillow Groups’ approach to being an online Marketing Company was its decision to obtain a Real Estate Brokers’ license and join the National Association of Realtors and a member as a Real Estate Company.
Brandon Patton with Tri-Cities Real Estate Market Leaders says that when you look at the Leadership behind Zillow and some of the companies that they own or work within Leadership positions is becomes obvious that they would like to figure out how to make Zillow the next Expedia. However, Buying or Selling a home becomes a lengthy process and the human aspect of the home search is difficult to remove. Even when you get a contract ratified you need to get through the Home Inspection and the Appraisal process and this oftentimes leads back to negotiating. Working with a local Independent Real Estate Broker still way more reliable on a suggested list price than a Zillow Online Estimate. So, while Zillow is making progress on automating online tools they are still missing the fact that the negotiating process and contract process is more technical than an online shopping cart with a checkout feature.”
Brandon Patton has worked as the Designated Broker and Owner of an Independent Tri-Cities Real Estate Company for over 10 years has monitored the shifts in online Real Estate Companies. He has an MBA Degree and has sold over 500 homes in the Tri-Cities Area. He suggests using a local Brokers website such as https://www.realestatemarketleaders.com/