MLS & Associations

Zillow Group’s game of ‘chicken’

What will happen if the featured listings placement disappears?

For months now, the rumor mill has been flying with talk of Zillow and Trulia (now Zillow Group) ending the featured listings placement for brokers and franchisors by the end of 2015. Large brokers and franchisors who pay $5 to $10 to feature a listing, with all competing agents stripped from the detail pages, are hurting Zillow's revenue opportunity. Agents within these brokerages and franchises see no need to upgrade to Zillow Pro accounts because they already receive most of the benefits. In addition, these listings are not eligible for ZIP code placement advertising that other agents are willing to pay for in their respective markets, once again hurting Zillow's ability to increase revenue. In the past week, I have spoken to three other major real estate company executives — all of whom stated that they are hearing the same thing. They are also all contemplating whether to pull their listings by year's end if Zillow continues down this projected track. But from what I c...