If you think Zillow is primarily a real estate search site, and that home buyers and sellers are Zillow’s customers, you are wrong.
Zillow is a lead generation site. Home buyers and sellers who use Zillow are the “leads.” They are not the customer, they are the product that is being sold to real estate agents.
But don’t take my word for it. Here’s Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff describing Zillow’s purpose and philosophy in his own words:
Email from Agent today: "I have tried many different lead generation products and none compare to the success I have had with Zillow."
— Spencer Rascoff (@spencerrascoff) April 30, 2012
Email from an agent in Corona CA this morning: "I have NEVER worked with a better lead generating company! Thank You Zillow."
— Spencer Rascoff (@spencerrascoff) March 21, 2012
One @zillow Premier Agent in my Seattle neighborhood: 510 leads last 6 months. Holy Cow. I hope he has a transaction coordinator.
— Spencer Rascoff (@spencerrascoff) February 20, 2013
This is why Zillow doesn’t really care about all the expired and missing listings or bad “Zestimates.” The only thing that matters is driving more leads to agents.
— Spencer Rascoff (@spencerrascoff) February 25, 2013
All leads — whether on contingent, active, or expired — can be worked. #ZillowSummit
— Spencer Rascoff (@spencerrascoff) July 29, 2013
"Questions about the Zestimate are an opportunity to get the appointment." #ZillowSummit
— Spencer Rascoff (@spencerrascoff) March 20, 2014
What about "bad zestimate" issues? Premier Agent: "Anytime my phone rings I'm happy." #ZillowSummit
— Spencer Rascoff (@spencerrascoff) September 24, 2014
If you think Zillow is or will be “disruptive” to the real estate industry, you are, once again, wrong.
— Spencer Rascoff (@spencerrascoff) December 4, 2012