The top executive at’s parent company said agents remain essential customers for listing portals, even as companies offer services to buyers and sellers.

Inman events are the best way to connect, learn and grow. Join us Oct. 26-28, for Inman Connect Las Vegas, in-person or virtually. Then, continue to gain insights, strategies and tactics to keep your business growing and make 2022 your best year ever with a full line-up of 2022 events! Save the dates and register now!

The top executive behind pushed back Thursday against public skepticism that online real-estate portals don’t have agents’ best interests at heart.

Move Inc. CEO David Doctorow said working with a listing agent remains the “right answer for most people,” and is the most common outcome of’s Seller’s Marketplace service, even as the site remains committed to informing homeowners of alternatives.

“Our agents are our customers,” Doctorow said. “Our angle for that is to help agents grow their businesses.”

Doctorow’s comments at Inman Connect Las Vegas touched on how his company balances the interests of different portal users — which include various agents, buyers and sellers — alongside those of the company’s business partners.

Sellers in particular face more options than they did in years past, Doctorow said. When a seller visits, the site works to help them navigate the slew of options.

Most of the time, this process results in referring consumers to a listing agent, Doctorow said. 

But for some sellers, an instant cash offer from Opendoor — one of’s partners — might make more sense, he said. And for sellers who are looking to buy another home as well, technological innovation is creating even more options for consumers. 

“Knowing that [these options are] there can help people feel more confident that they’re getting the full picture,” Doctorow said. “That will yield confidence, which is good for everyone.”

Earlier in the day, CoStar CEO Andy Florance took the stage at Inman Connect and accused at least one rival listing portal of “hijacking” listings, requiring agents to pay a monthly fee in order to prevent the platform from selling their listing as a lead to other agents. 

When Brad Inman asked Florance if he was alluding to Zillow when he referred to this hypothetical company as “Ziltern,” Florance did not deny it.

Doctorow said is different from Zillow because it’s not in the iBuying business, and doesn’t face those same incentives as a listing portal that makes direct cash offers on homes. 

But the executive was unapologetic about his company’s mission to serve the interests of non-agent consumers, arguing that the portal has “a fundamental belief” that buyers and sellers should have access to independent advice.

Still, agents remain essential consumers for the business, Doctorow said.

“We are here to succeed together,” he said. “We are not trying to take commissions out of the system. We are not trying to shift commissions to us.”

Email Daniel Houston

Show Comments Hide Comments
Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive marketing emails from Inman.
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
Only 3 days left to register for Inman Connect Las Vegas before prices go up! Don't miss the premier event for real estate pros.Register Now ×
Limited Time Offer: Get 1 year of Inman Select for $199SUBSCRIBE×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription