Brokerage

Inside look at how Zillow pitched one broker for listings

Incentives included more prominent logo, promotional video, links to ancillary services

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Zillow has been scrambling to secure direct feeds from brokerages and multiple listing services ever since news broke that it will lose a chunk of its listings when its contract with listing syndication platform ListHub ends in April.

Zillow is out to level the listings playing field currently dominated by its competitor, realtor.com, which can claim to have a more complete and accurate listing database thanks to its exclusive relationship with the National Association of Realtors.

Listings are one area where realtor.com’s new owner, News Corp., and Zillow will go head to head in the quest for portal dominance.

Inman got its hands on a slide deck Zillow used in a pitch to a large brokerage that reveals some of the incentives the portal may be offering to companies that agree to provide direct listing feeds under a more aggressive version of the “Zillow Pro for Brokers” program, which currently has more than 5,000 partners.

Under the current version of the program, listing agents are always displayed next to details about homes they represent on the portal, and a linkback to the listing broker’s website is provided.

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A hypothetical “Zillow Pro for Brokers Plus” listing, modified by Inman to show some of the perks (highlighted in red) that Zillow pitched to a brokerage to convince the company to provide it with a direct listings feed. Bob Parks Realty was not the brokerage pitched.

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But Zillow recently announced a slew of new perks for brokers who participate in the “Zillow Pro for Brokers Plus” program that it will roll out over the course of 2015. They include prominent branding for firms on listing detail pages, the ability for brokers to add a company video to listings, and the opportunity to have a dedicated landing page on Zillow to showcase their agents, agent reviews, listings, a company video and agent recruiting tools.

The slides in Zillow’s pitch showcase how some of those perks will show up on brokers’ listings on the portal. (Bob Parks Realty, the brokerage featured in the hypothetical example above, is a Zillow Pro for Brokers member. But Zillow’s pitch was made to another brokerage that asked not to be identified in this story.)

Participating brokerages will get their logos high up on the page as viewed on a desktop computer, near the listing description just below the photo well. In addition, brokers will have the ability to put a 30-second video of their company in the “listing provided by” section at the bottom of the page, the deck shows.

The deck also reveals another perk Zillow Pro for Brokers Plus members may have access to that Zillow has yet to announce.

The slides show that the broker being pitched was offered the ability to provide links to ancillary services like mortgage or title insurance high up on the page. Zillow would not say whether it planned to offer this capability to other brokers.