Zillow Group listing policy change is shaking up the industry

  • A bevy of MLSs have made direct listing feed deals with Zillow Group since the firm decided to eliminate manual listing entry.
  • But brokers that belong to MLSs that have held out still have ways to market their listings on Zillow Group sites.
  • Many agents want their MLSs to provide direct feeds to Zillow Group, but critics accuse the firm of using strong-arm tactics.

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Christian Harris thought Zillow Group and his multiple listing service (MLS) had put his brokerage in a tough spot last week. Zillow Group planned to prohibit agents from manually posting listings on May 1, a new policy it announced in late February. And because Harris’s MLS was not sending listings to Zillow Group, he thought his brokerage, Seattle-based Sea-Town Real Estate, might lose the ability to market properties on Zillow Group sites -- a scary scenario for many agents and brokers. “Doesn’t appear that I have any options as a small indie brokerage,” he said at the time. But now things are looking up for Harris, who belongs to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS). Zillow Group has granted a month-long extension of manual-listing entry in his area. And he’s learned about a “workaround” he can use to publish listings on Zillow Group sites after that deadline expires. Applause and hesitation Christian Harris Zillow Group’s recent listing...