I would also strongly recommend that you have your lawyer review them. If you consider your personal data or listing data as an asset, you should be careful when you extend rights to that asset to Zillow Group or any other entity – especially an entity that generates revenue by leveraging your asset.
Here are a few highlights that we are concerned about. You might be too.
Zillow does not claim any responsibility for any consequences that may be caused by the usage of their websites or software application. That blanket statement covers all of their brands and products.
Once you provide data to Zillow, you are prohibited to reuse the data yourself other than limited use. This is outlined under prohibited use, item 5.
Any fee paid for services is not refundable.
Any information uploaded by you has the same effect of providing an irrevocable, free, perpetual license to use, reproduce, modify, or create other stuff using your data. And, as in the past – by submitting your data you guarantee that you have all of the rights to do so and that you are not offending any other persons’ rights. For example, when using a professional photographer to take photos of a home you are marketing, you need to make sure that the photographer has authorized you to give the irrevocable and perpetual license to use that data.
This is a big one – you are entering into an agreement that allows them to make a referral to a real estate professional and to be paid a valuable consideration for facilitating the connection. This is also true of referrals to loan providers, origination services, title, etc. Zillow claims the right to get paid for all of these referrals but is not in any way responsible for any harm that this may cause you or your company. They can even run a credit check through Checkr or Experian and share that information to others.
You do have the right to delete your account and all personal data – but not listing data.
You agree to indemnify Zillow Companies and agree not to receive any direct or indirect damages as a result of your use of their services or the services of any third party.
They make no warranties about their service.
so this is scary- and I do have a question- now that Zillow is Brokerage themselves, and uses the MLS and must now abideby the terms, and is also under the various Departments of Consumer Protection in all states- can they actually pull this stunt? 1. Department of Consumer Protection in CT- does not allow bait and switch – so only valid properties listed for sale in CT should be allowed on the site- as far as I, a lowely Iicensed Real Estate Agent knows. Now that Zillow is a Broker, in our state – don’t they have to abide by the same ethical rules. For example in Connecticut we are an All REALTOR state which means if you are using the MLS all of your agents must be REALTORS- which means to abide by the Code of Ethics- which has quite a few rules regarding Keyword and MetaTags- I believe – are the source codes in their online pages in line with these? This is interesting and an exciting time to be a REALTOR.
Zillow is well represented by excellent legal council and from the perspective of protecting Zillow Group – they might be setting a great example for all brokers. There is a lot of interesting strategy that balances consumer privacy and data licensing. Apple is making a pretty strong push against this type of thing and getting a ton of challenges in court from advertising sites like Facebook and Google. We will see how this plays out. The important take away is that change happened and you need to think about it.
Thank you, Victor. Exceptional points you make as real estate agents pay Zillow to destroy their businesses. I think is it overlooked how MLSs across the country are under fire for anti-trust while Zillow builds a monopolistic hold on the very marketplace that will take away choices for consumers. Realtors and MLSs are the protection for consumer’s choice. We need to be sounding the alarm for that.
Our MLS had negotiated previously with Zillow to remove the perpetual licensing of our data. I will have to check with them to see if this is still in place or disappeared with the update. Thanks for the heads up!
It is a good thing to check Jim – remember – Zillow is converting to a brokerage – so the listing syndication feeds are being replaced with IDX feeds – they have more limited licensing terms.