Zillow announced today (full press release below) that Bob Bemis, former CEO of the Arizona Regional MLS, has joined Zillow as the Vice President of Partner relations. This is a major event in our industry on multiple levels. Having known Bob personally and professionally for many years I congratulate Zillow for an outstanding hire, well done! As a consultant in the industry watching the march of Zillow this hire tends to fuel some of my concerns about where this is actually leading. In almost every strategic planning session I lead we talk about threats to the industry as well as opportunities and certainly the long term goals of Zillow and other 3rd party vendors is always part of that conversation. What is their end game? What is the timing? Will they really try to become the MLS? These
are all really natural questions and hiring Bob can be seen in at least a couple of different ways. One, they really want to work with the MLSs and who better to help, than a man who has led one of the largest MLSs, who is deeply involved in NAR policy etc. to help build these bridges. Or, could hiring Bob be the first in a number of moves that could lead to a more aggressive strategy with MLSs? Time will tell, but when one of our own changes sides it tells me this is a train that is gaining speed, not losing it. Personally I am OK with that. Change is good and the truth is, it usually occurs when there is a need and a vacuum. If companies liked Zillow see the need and are smart and fast enough to answer the call, good for them! MLSs and everyone else in the industry need to do the same.
So this is an opportunity or a threat, you decide! It’s either time to work with 3rd party vendors in ways that make sense for both sides or realize these companies are providing services that people really like and want. I’m sure Bob will have more to tell us about this in the very near future. Congratulations Bob! We look forward to hearing from you in the very near future.
Robert Bemis Joins Zillow as Vice President of Partner Relations
Veteran real estate industry executive to help develop and strengthen industry partnerships
SEATTLE, Feb. 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Zillow, Inc. (NASDAQ: Z), the leading real estate information marketplace, today announced real estate industry veteran Robert (Bob) D. Bemis is joining Zillow® as the company’s vice president of partner relations. Bemis brings nearly 25 years of experience in the real estate industry and will be responsible for creating new partner relationships with real estate brokers, agents and multiple listings services (MLSs). Most recently, Bemis was chief executive officer of Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service, Inc. (ARMLS), one of the largest and most influential MLSs in the nation.
The addition of Bemis to the Zillow team, combined with the acquisition of Diverse Solutions™ in November 2011, advances Zillow’s goal of helping real estate agents grow and market their business.
“We are honored to have one of the most esteemed and well respected executives in the real estate industry join our team. Bob’s deep industry knowledge will help Zillow engage with brokerages and MLSs in a mutually beneficial way,” said Spencer Rascoff, Zillow CEO. “Bob’s role will benefit the entire industry by bringing better communication and cooperation as well as help improve Zillow’s product development initiatives.”
“I am looking forward to the challenge of building bridges to Zillow’s current and potential partners in the industry, including MLSs, Associations of REALTORS®, brokers, agents, appraisers, title companies, mortgage lenders and other service providers. I intend to foster a spirit of cooperation that has sometimes been missing in the dialog between licensed practitioners, their support organizations and the rest of the industry,” said Bemis. “This is a very exciting opportunity to make a major contribution to the continuing success of an industry that I have been a part of for nearly 25 years.”
Bemis joined ARMLS as CEO in October 2007, and immediately began an aggressive program of expanding the product options and raising the quality of customer service and support offered to ARMLS’s nearly 30,000 real estate agent practitioners. He is a regular participant on national panels and forums dealing with real estate issues and serves on the National Association of REALTORS® MLS Issues and Policy Committee. Bemis also serves as a director on the board of the Council of Multiple Listing Services and is the interim president of the MLS Domains Association, an organization seeking to acquire the Dot.MLS top level domain for exclusive use by MLS systems. He was named one of the 100 Most Influential Real Estate Leaders by Inman News® in 2011.
Prior to ARMLS, Bemis was vice president of customer care for Metropolitan Regional Information Systems, the nation’s largest MLS system. He also was director of marketing and product management for Interealty Inc., a leading provider of information technologies and MLS systems to the real estate industry, which was acquired by CoreLogic®. Past real estate industry positions include director of information services for the Chicago Association of REALTORS® Multiple Listing Service and a real estate sales agent with Coldwell Banker® in Glenview, Ill.
A Midwest native, Bemis has a Bachelor of Arts in Speech and Communications from The Ohio State University. Before his real estate career, he spent 20 years in the television broadcasting industry, managing broadcast station operations in Columbus and Cincinnati, and studio and mobile production companies in Indianapolis and Chicago. Among his major accomplishments, he counts a regional Emmy® award for excellence in television directing from the Midwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television and Arts and Sciences.
Bemis and his wife will relocate to the Pacific Northwest and be based at Zillow’s headquarters in Seattle.
About Zillow, Inc.
Zillow (NASDAQ: Z) is the leading real estate information marketplace, providing vital information about homes, real estate listings and mortgagesthrough its website and mobile applications, enabling homeowners, buyers, sellers and renters to connect with real estate and mortgage professionals best suited to meet their needs. More than 30 million unique users visited Zillow’s websites and mobile applications in January 2012. Zillow, Inc. operates Zillow.com®, Zillow Mortgage Marketplace, Zillow Mobile, Postlets® and Diverse Solutions™. The company is headquartered in Seattle.
The Zillow logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=10012
Zillow.com, Zillow and Postlets are registered trademarks of Zillow, Inc. Diverse Solutions is a trademark of Zillow, Inc.
REALTORS is a registered trademark of the National Association of REALTORS.
Inman News is a registered trademark of Inman Group, Inc.
CoreLogic is a registered trademark of First American CoreLogic, Inc.
Emmy is a registered trademark of The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.
Coldwell Banker is a registered trademark of Coldwell Banker Real Estate, LLC.
SOURCE Zillow, Inc.
ARMLS is losing a very good Chief Executive and Zillow is gaining an excellent Vice President. I for one will miss Bob’s service on the NAR MLS Policy Committee and other MLS Association functions he performed. I know he will still be around for the work in the industry relative to Zillow and that is good.