PHOTO: © Provided by Millionacres Zillow Plans to Create Real Estate Brokerages
Ever since Zillow Group (NASDAQ: Z) (NASDAQ: ZG) became the top-ranked real estate search website in the United States, real estate agents have sounded the alarm that Zillow would eventually become a brokerage. In the past, Zillow vehemently denied this. In fact, in 2014, Greg Schwartz, Zillow’s then-chief revenue officer, stated Zillow was “a media company that helps people find homes.”
However, changes in how Zillow makes revenue now seem to have necessitated another shift, and in 2021 Zillow will debut Zillow Homes, a licensed real estate brokerage that will be located in Atlanta, Phoenix, and Tucson. Zillow already holds brokerage licenses in some states, mostly to facilitate its access to data or ability to collect referrals through the Flex program, where agents pay fees for closed transactions from Zillow leads.
After Zillow launched iBuying service Zillow Offers, it seemed more likely Zillow would evolve its business model. While many potential home sellers take Zillow up on its all-cash offer for their homes, others recognize they may get a higher return on their investment if they sell their home with a real estate agent on the open market. Currently, Zillow shares those leads with members of its Premier Agent network.
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