ZipRealty signs 6th brokerage to referral program

'Powered by Zip' provides conduit for IDX listings on ZipRealty.com

ZipRealty Inc. says it’s now providing leads and customer relationship management tools to Jacksonville, Fla.-based Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty, bringing the number of brokerages participating in the "Powered by Zip" program to six.

The Powered by Zip program has allowed the Emeryville, Calif.-based brokerage to continue to display Internet Data Exchange (IDX) listings on ZipRealty.com in markets where the company no longer provides brokerage services.

Brokerages participating in the program feed IDX listings to the ZipRealty.com website and receive buyer and seller leads the website generates in their market. ZipRealty also makes its customer relationship management (CRM) tools available to partner brokers for them to manage leads. ZipRealty earns referral fees from leads it provides.

Last year, ZipRealty announced it was closing brokerage offices in a dozen markets, including Jacksonville, as a cost-cutting measure.

But visitors to ZipRealty.com can still search IDX listings pools in five of those markets, through ZipRealty’s partnerships with Better Homes and Gardens Metro Brokers in Atlanta; Long Realty in Tucson; Coldwell Banker Howard Perry and Walston in Raleigh, N.C.; and Coldwell Banker Hearthside Realtors in Philadelphia.

ZipRealty.com also displays IDX listings in a sixth market where it was never in the brokerage business — Nashville, Tenn. — through a "Powered by Zip" partnership with Bob Parks Realty.

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IDX listings are pools of listings that brokers have agreed to publicize on each other’s approved websites. The National Association of Realtors briefly allowed franchisors like Century 21 to display IDX listings, but that policy was reversed when some brokers objected. Critics said franchisors were not multiple listing service members and their websites were not approved IDX sites. 

ZipRealty executives say ZipRealty.com qualifies as an approved IDX site even in markets where it is not in the brokerage business, because when the website displays listings supplied by other brokers, the branding of the partner broker is prominently displayed.

"We’re not a franchisor," ZipRealty CEO Lanny Baker told Inman News. "It’s the partner’s relationship with the MLS" that allows the display of IDX listings on ZipRealty.com, he said, even in markets where ZipRealty is not an IDX participant.

ZipRealty continues to provide brokerage services in 24 markets in 18 states and Washington, D.C., but says it’s "actively expanding" the Powered by Zip program.


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