Zillow to Boost Homes for Sale that use Zillow Products (demoting others)

zillow bullying

Zillow is in charge of the American home selling experience.

Major news from Zillow this week. For those who need a quick update, Zillow is the number one home search site in America by a large margin. There are data crunchers out there suggesting that Zillow has over 50% share of all home buyer searches in the country. We run a top 10 most visited home search website report every year. In the 2023 report we conducted, Zillow.com had grown its traffic substantially from 2022 with over 300 million visitors a month. No one else is even close. Second place went to Realtor.com with 124 million visitors in a month, a drop from 2022. So not only is Zillow #1, they are gaining more market share against their short list of actual competitors. It is easy to say that Zillow has an oversized impact on the real estate market and whatever they do to promote or demote a home for sale on their site is major news and has an immediate impact on home sales across the U.S.

Zillow to Recommend Zillow

According to an email blast we received from Zillow on 5/31/23, only the properties that are listed with a Zillow interactive floor plan will receive premium placement on search results on Zillow. According to Zillow’s website, “… appear more prominently and receive more engagement within Zillow searches, emails and recommendations.”

Do what Zillow says, or else.

Having been licensed since 2003, I’ve tested out a lot of real estate tools. I’ve always wanted to use the latest and best available software and options to sell a home. When it comes to 3D tours and floorplans, Matterport is the best available solution by a long shot. I have no financial affiliation with Matterport other than I pay them for their services and equipment to better serve my home selling clients. I pay them a good amount of money and they have yet to give me a dime. I pay for it, because what Matterport offers is next level, especially compared alongside Zillow 3D and floorplans. But will the American public get to virtually walk-through dynamic Matterport 3D tours and get to download and view incredibly reliable and accurate Matterport home floorplans? Not if Zillow has anything to say about it. Zillow is only going to promote its own tools and technologies. I understand that from a business perspective, but I also believe that monopolies are not good for the real estate industry, or the general consumer. Zillow is on the brink of becoming one. Monopolies stifle innovation and creativity by using their market share and dollars to buy-out their competitors (they have already done this, a few years ago they took over and ruined Trulia.com) or sideline their superior competitors (Matterport).

It used to be that if you had a 3D tour, Zillow would give preference to that listing above others. This makes sense because homes for sale with 3D tours get a ton more engagement and are a better service to the home buying public. But it used to be you could use whatever 3D tour provider you wanted (so we picked Matterport, of course) and then your home would get that Zillow boost. No longer.

Pivoting for my client’s sake.

I have no realistic option. If my client’s homes will be demoted on the number one search site in America with around 50% of all home buyers visiting it, then I have to adjust in real time and add a Zillow 3D and floorplan to every listing. Zillow says these changes will take effect mid-June 2023, and so I have until then to make it happen (and will be doing so). Currently our plan is to continue to use Matterport and simply add Zillow 3D as a necessity, which doubles our workload. No one wants to fully 3D scan a home twice and once with a subpar product, only because an industry bully says you have to. But we will do whatever is necessary to give our client’s homes the best chance to sell.

We do everything that moves the needle and helps our client’s homes sell faster and for more.

20+ Years, Closing in on 3,000 Home Sales.

If you’re thinking of selling a home in the next twelve months, I’d love to schedule a time to stop by and tour your home. I can forecast out your home value, help give tips on what improvements will offer the best return on your money and effort. I’ll explain the best and worst time of the year to sell a home, and much more. Give my office a call today at 503-714-1111 or chat with the bot on this site. We’d love to connect with you today!

June 2, 2023

Stephen FitzMaurice

Stephen FitzMaurice, Realtor is a top 5% real estate agent in the U.S. A Principal Broker in Oregon, Managing Broker in Washington, he has been licensed since 2003 for residential real estate sales. Call his team in Oregon at 503-714-1111 or in Washington at 360-345-3833.

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Over 2,000 homes sold.