As you may know, WAV Group works in literally every part of the residential real estate industry. So it makes sense that at least one of us listens to the Zillow Earnings call every quarter (Click here to read our article on Zillow’s Q4 2021 Earnings). The theme for the call was fairly simple, Zillow’s Super App. Zillow proceeded to talk about all of the investments, development, and ‘awesomeness’ that their Super App is going to be. It sounds like it will not be much more than a few enhancements that give home shoppers some nice features – 3-D tours (like Matterport), financing options (grow Zillow Mortgage), and adding services like ShowingTime. I have always been amazed that they have not done a DotLoop integration.
As you know, these earnings calls are scripted and lawyered to the point of saying very little. The good stuff comes from the Q&A.
Six callers were allowed to ask questions at the end of the call; five of the callers asked questions related to Zillow’s Flex program. If you didn’t know, Zillow has become a broker and plans to be compensated similarly to Redfin’s referral program. Rather than pay for advertising, agents share a third of their commission. Given the litigation about buyer agent fees, I wonder if the courts will begin to look at the failure to disclose these commissions paid out to referral brokers. Surely the buyer did not get a chance to negotiate these fees and probably did not even know about them.
To listen to the recording of the earnings call, click here.
If you would like to learn more about Zillow’s Flex program, click here.
Let’s Talk About It
During their call, Zillow shared that a quarter of homebuyers in 2021 were connected to their agent through Zillow. As Flex is rolled out, this is going to have a significant impact to agent commissions.
Brokers and MLSs need to work hard to keep up in order to continue to have relevance to agents and the consumers we all serve. It takes some creativity, strategy development, and clear execution. We can help. Call us.