Whether this program truly helps or hurts the very people supporting Zillow is something any prudent business owner should know. Otherwise, it would be the equivalent of travel agents investing in Expedia.
I believe, as an industry, we should be sharing listing information with the consumer in as many places as possible. In fact, we should be sharing all data with them including sold data. I do not agree with many in this industry that believe the right approach is holding onto the data in order to increase consumer engagement.
For months now, the rumor mill has been flying with talk of Zillow and Trulia (now Zillow Group) ending the featured listings placement for brokers and franchisors by the end of 2015. Large brokers and franchisors who pay $5 to $10 to feature a listing, with all competing agents stripped from the detail pages, are hurting Zillow’s revenue opportunity.