The latest move has just been revealed in the game of chess that comprises real estate mergers and acquisitions: Zillow Group sold IDX (internet data exchange) platform Diverse Solutions to Market Leader.
Zillow Group has sold IDX (internet data exchange) platform Diverse Solutions to real estate software provider Market Leader, citing a change in product strategy.
“There are many aspects of Diverse Solutions that have been integrated into Zillow Group, but ultimately, we decided that Diverse Solutions no longer aligns with our broader product strategy,” said Zillow spokeswoman Amanda Woolley in an email.
It’s a bit of a sales triangle: Last year, Zillow Group sold Market Leader for $23 million to Constellation Software Inc., a Toronto-based software and services firm. Zillow had inherited Market Leader by acquiring Trulia, which purchased Market Leader in 2013 for $355 million.
Tom George, vice president at Constellation Software’s Perseus Operating Group, confirmed Market Leader’s acquisition of Diverse Solutions but declined to disclose how much Market Leader paid for the company.
Diverse Solutions provides IDX software that can power the listing search tools for agent and broker websites. It also offers a lead-generation service and customer relationship management system.
Announced via email
An email sent to Diverse Solutions clients today announced the deal.
“With this change in ownership, there will be no change to your products, billing, or support,” wrote Scott Smith, president and general manager at Market Leader, in an email to Diverse Solutions customers. “We are committed to ensuring a seamless transition for all customers. ‘Business as usual’ is the guiding principle.
He added that “your Diverse Solutions agreement has been transferred to Market Leader’s parent company, Constellation Web Solutions Inc. and Constellation now assumes the obligations under your service agreement.”
Investing, growth and customer impact
Tony Hamilton, a customer service representative for Diverse Solutions, said Market Leader will “be investing in growing Diverse Solutions.”
“As far as impact to the customers there really shouldn’t be any,” he said. “They’re not really looking to change anything right now.”
Some agents report that the reliability of Diverse Solutions’ website products and its level of customer service has declined in recent months.
“It’s so obvious they’re just trying to let Diverse [Solutions] sizzle out,” alleged Soraya Cacici, a real estate broker-owner, before the acquisition was announced.
She said she stopped paying for a Diverse Solutions product because it wasn’t functioning properly. A blog post on Geek Estate Blog, “The Sad Decline of Diverse Solutions IDX,” documented problems that author Mike McGee said he had with the software.
Asked if a pending acquisition might have impacted Diverse Solutions’ service in recent months, Hamilton said he didn’t believe there had been any recent “lack of support or any change” on Diverse Solutions’ part.
Zillow’s Woolley said that, in recent months, “there’s been no change to Diverse Solutions’ high level of customer service.”
Smith, the Market Leader president, said it wouldn’t be fair for him to comment on any possible change in service or quality relating to Diverse Solutions over the last few months because Market Leader only recently acquired Diverse Solutions.
“But I can tell you our focus is to make sure we have strong support for customers, invest in the products and technology and we effectively are looking to grow the business,” he said.
At least two multiple listing services (MLSs) cut off Diverse Solutions’ access to their IDX feeds after Zillow bought the company, citing concerns that Zillow might misuse data from the feeds.
But Zillow never planned to, nor ultimately did, tap Diverse Solutions’ IDX feeds for listings to publish on zillow.com, Woolley said. Zillow indicated that it had acquired the company to improve its product offerings to agents.
Zillow has since secured direct listing feeds from hundreds of MLSs. And it still offers a website product to agents: Zillow Premier Agent websites.
Asked for details on why Diverse Solutions no longer aligns with Zillow’s product strategy, Woolley didn’t provide any but said that “many aspects of Diverse Solutions have been integrated into Zillow Group.”
“We are putting the resources toward other parts of the business,” she added. “This has nothing to do with the great work the team has done for Zillow Group throughout the past four years.”
Editor’s note: This story has been updated with additional comments from Zillow Group.