Remine COO Jonathan Spinetto told Inman that Zillow took exception to statements made following “agent matching” dust-up.
Zillow has cut off Remine’s access to its Zestimate application programming interface (API), which will prevent Remine from including Zillow’s automated valuation model in the printed reports, property detail pages and comparative market analyses it provides real estate clients.
Remine Chief Operating Officer Jonathan Spinetto confirmed the move to Inman on Friday, citing recent statements Remine made as one of the reasons for the move.
“I do not know all the reasons why Zillow did this,” Spinetto told Inman. “However the reason we were provided is that they took exception to some of our recent statements, which they viewed as critical of Zillow.”
“Dear Client, We are writing to let you know that Zillow just informed us that they will be terminating our access to their Zestimate API,” Spinetto wrote in the email to clients. “Of course, we would have liked to have given you much more notice, but we were not afforded that opportunity.”
Remine, a real estate data and analytics firm that delivers data through multiple listing services (MLS), launched a new “agent matching” feature as part of its recent site revamp, but subsequently pulled the feature following concerns raised by clients and in a blog post by W+R Studios cofounder Greg Robertson involving improper use of MLS data.
“So in the end, it sounds like you didn’t have permission from the MLSs involved, you got caught, and you rolled it back,” Andy Woolley, the vice president of industry development at Homes.com, commented on Robertson’s post. “That’s not pushing boundaries through innovation, that’s carelessness. Own it. Moving fast isn’t an excuse for disrespecting MLS rules. Innovate responsibly.”
In a statement after Remine pulled the program, Spinetto said one of the reasons he cofounded the company was because, “The MLS community is losing eyeballs to Zillow and others who are using MLS data to attract an audience and monetize it.”
It’s not clear if that was the comment that Zillow viewed as critical, but it’s the only mention of the Seattle-based real estate tech giant in the statement.
Remine said in the statement it wasn’t trying to encroach on the territory of public-facing portals like Zillow, although the agent matching feature appeared similar to Zillow’s Premier Agent advertising program, where it connects consumers looking for buyers’ agent services with real estate agents.
“Our goal is not to be or create a public portal, advertising-driven site or the like,” Spinetto said, in the statement about pulling the program. “We do not sell consumer leads to agents or brokers, nor do we collect referral fees from agents or brokers. We do not sell consumer data to mortgage companies.”
Zillow provides the Zestimate API as a free tool for companies and chooses which partners gain access to the tool.