Zillow continues to pursue its goal of wresting the title of “most industry-friendly portal” from realtor.com operator Move Inc. by beefing up its industry development team.
After hiring two industry veterans in August, the U.S.’s most popular real estate search portal has added another, former CoreLogic exec Brian de Schepper.
As a director of MLS and industry development, de Schepper will build and manage relationships with multiple listing services across the U.S. — especially large ones, Zillow said in announcing the new hire.
De Schepper joined CoreLogic as vice president of business development in 2011 when CoreLogic acquired the MLS software provider Tarasoft Corp, where he had been an exec for 15 years. Tarasoft’s Matrix MLS platform is now part of a suite of products offered by CoreLogic. De Schepper left CoreLogic in May of this year, according to his LinkedIn profile.
“Bringing Brian to Zillow as a senior member of our team is one more example of our commitment to being a great partner to (the) industry,” said Curt Beardsley, Zillow vice president of industry development, in a statement. “Brian has a stellar and long-standing reputation throughout the real estate industry, and we are looking forward to his guidance and extensive experience as we continue to grow our team.”
“I look forward to the opportunity to collaborate with MLSs to amplify our compelling vision that brings together the strength of MLS with Zillow’s real estate marketplace,” de Schepper said in a statement.
With Zillow’s planned acquisition of Trulia and News Corp’s pending acquisition of Move, real estate consumers and the industry will see two formidable competitors duke it out for their attention.
Zillow has been working hard to improve its relationships with the industry to secure more direct feeds with brokers and MLSs that will help it improve the accuracy of its listing database. The portal has established Zillow Pro for Brokers and the Zillow Partnership Platform to give brokers and MLSs perks like branding in exchange for direct feeds.
Currently, in some markets, Zillow gets listings from multiple sources including brokerages, franchisors, agents and syndicators, a mix that can hamper its database’s timeliness and accuracy.
Move, on the other hand, operates realtor.com under an exclusive agreement with the National Association of Realtors. That connection, and its status as NAR’s official consumer website, help it maintain direct feeds with more than 800 MLSs across the U.S.
Inman News readers voted realtor.com as a friendlier partner to listing agents and brokers than Zillow, Trulia and Homes.com in a poll earlier this year.
Which national listing portal is the most ‘friendly’ to listing agents and brokers?
Zillow has been trying to chip away at that perception, in part by recruiting talent from realtor.com’s industry relations team. In March, it brought on both former realtor.com President Errol Samuelson as chief industry development officer and the executive who was slated to replace Samuelson, Curt Beardsley, as vice president of industry development.
The scope of Samuelson’s work at Zillow has been limited by a preliminary injunction issued in July.
Zillow has also taken steps that make it more attractive to real estate brokers and agents. It recently clarified its practice of providing a free link back to a broker’s website from its listings on Zillow, whether it receives it under a direct feed or not.
Zillow had previously touted linkbacks as a perk for brokers and MLSs who sent their listings in direct feeds. Now Zillow says that it has always included a linkback to all brokers when that information is included in the listing data it receives.
Realtor.com doesn’t provide free linkbacks to broker websites on brokers’ listings. It does, however, prevent competing agents from branding a listing with their names, contact info and photos on unadvertised listings.
Zillow allows such branding from competing agents, but also includes the listing agent for free if he or she claims the listing. Zillow is also toying with ways to make the listing agent more prominent.
On Monday, Zillow announced that Northeast Oklahoma Real Estate Services, an MLS serving 3,500 members in Oklahoma, started providing the portal with a direct feed as a member of the Zillow Partnership Platform.
Zillow has declined to reveal how many MLSs participate in the Zillow Partnership Platform. Silicon Valley-based MLSListings Inc. and Boise, Idaho-based Intermountain MLS have been among the most recent additions.