Since its early days, Zillow Group has maintained a position that the consumer interest is best served by allowing listings from many sources, including For Sale By Owner, to be posted to their site. This may be, in part, why Zillow sites had up to 187 Million unique users visit their sites last year. Recently, WAV Group has noticed a new type of broker support that is in line with this policy.
WAV Group has noticed before that some traditional real estate brokers have been providing data feeds to Zillow Group from their in-house database that includes pre-MLS listings (for example, BHHS Fox & Roach started sending Zillow a “coming soon” feed in April). The advantages of providing Zillow Group with a direct feed from the brokerage include brokerage branding and the capability of providing Zillow Group with a link back to the listing broker’s website for that property. Realogy brokers syndicating though the Realogy Franchise Group get a link back to the listing on the franchise website – like ColdwellBanker.com. This is true of just about every broker direct feed to Zillow.
Brokers who have pre-MLS listings in their feed would also see those listing appear on Zillow and get a bit of a head start in driving leads on their listings before they hit the MLS. Zillow Group ended the ability for agents to add their listings manually some time ago.
It is important to note that pre-MLS listings would naturally be syndicated to broker IDX sites as soon as they were published to the MLS – typically 24 hours to 72 hours after the listing agreement with the broker is signed.
There is a brokerage active in California, Texas and New York who does not participate in the MLS, called REX. Their website is rexchange.com and they have about 140 listings nationwide. They market a discount service to sellers that avoids the MLS and the offer of compensation to other brokers – so they are arguably more in line with the host of “for sale by owner” companies rather than a traditional brokerage. REX suggests that they can do all of the online marketing for the consumer directly to websites like Zillow Group without the MLS.
According to Zillow Group, this practice is not a violation of Zillow’s policy. This practice by REX is consistent with the fact that consumers expect to see all listings on the market. Zillow Group says that they would strongly prefer to see REX put the listings in the MLS. But, Zillow Group is not in a position to dictate what their business model should be.
Here is their website https://www.rexchange.com/marketing-rex
Here is one of their listings https://www.rexchange.com/listing/24812-horseshoe-ln
Here is their listing on Trulia https://www.trulia.com/p/ca/santa-clarita/24812-horseshoe-ln-santa-clarita-ca-91321–2078410370
Same listing on Zillow – https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/24812-Horseshoe-Ln-Santa-Clarita-CA-91321/20208876_zpid/
Note: The links showing listing examples may break or be broken after a few days. Properties do not stay on the market very long.