ORLANDO — The expo hall of the National Association of Realtors’ annual conference this week had a surprising sponsor: Zillow Group.
NAR has 1.2 million members, and Zillow Group counts some 89,000 agents as advertisers, many of whom are likely to be members of NAR.
Zillow Group’s appearance may signal at least a slight thawing of relations between the two.
NAR had previously banned the real estate technology and media giant from its 2016 events, citing a two-year legal battle with Zillow.
After a drawn-out affair featuring Zillow and two Zillow executives on one side and NAR and realtor.com operator/News Corp. subsidiary Move Inc. on the other, the parties reached a $130 million settlement on the trade secrets lawsuit in June.
Upon the cessation of legal hostilities, NAR decided to lift the ban against Zillow Group.
“[W]e offered Zillow exhibit space in our expo hall immediately after the settlement was announced as a sign of good faith,” NAR spokeswoman Sara Wiskerchen told Inman via email.
NAR’s annual conference, held in Orlando’s enormous Orange County Convention Center, attracted more than 19,000 attendees this year.
“We are happy to attend any industry event where we can connect with our industry partners,” Zillow Group spokeswoman Amanda Woolley told Inman via email.
NAR was entitled to 10 percent of the settlement proceeds after deduction of Move’s litigation-related costs and fees, with the remainder being paid to Move, according to a News Corp. public filing.
When asked how much of the funds NAR had received and what it planned to do with them, Wiskerchen said, “The litigation has not concluded as the parties have continued to litigate the sealing of certain business documents.
“Once it finally concludes, the total legal expenses will be calculated, and that amount will be deducted from the $130 million Zillow paid Move. NAR will receive 10 percent of that lesser amount.”
Editor’s note: This story has been updated with information from NAR about the settlement funds.