Updated: Feb 17, 2021
This past week Zillow, the massive real estate tech company, announced it had reached an agreement to purchase Showingtime for $500M. Wow! You can read more about it in their press release here. But, what exactly does that mean for you, or us? We had been creating content for our readers to easily absorb "How To Speak Zillow" already before this acquisition was announced, so sometimes the content opens the door and walks right in itself.
The internet is awesome, but at the same time it seems to be filled with people who make a buck speculating how every small change is a signal of the end of days, and this merger between these two companies is no different. Real Estate Agents are fearing this is replacing them, it's not. So to break this deal down, let's first start here; what is Showingtime? Most likely as an end user, you've never heard of it.
Showingtime is a platform to help real estate agents schedule showings on properties for their clients. With today's busy buyers and busy agents, the days of driving downtown to get a key from a real estate office, and seeing one home in a day are done. This platform allows us to schedule any number of showings in sequential order of our route, in time blocks. That is super helpful. When Nikki and I list a home, (like we are later today in Red Bank...in case anyone is looking for a killer 2 bed 1 bath colonial under $350k there 😉) we put the info into Showingtime and as showings are requested by real estate agents, both the owner and I will get a text where we can confirm, deny or propose a new time for the showing. Easy peasy.
So why would Zillow want Showingtime? Our MLS recently adopted using Showingtime as an integrated component to the MLS, and it's been a huge success. As much effort as Zillow puts on evolving their product, they are in a unique position to purchase investments that may or may not integrate into their platform. So, with more and more MLS systems integrating Showingtime directly, the value increases. Zillow just owns the growth from here out. Smart.
Here is how I personally think Zillow may use Showingtime on their site. Right now what Zillow does is sell leads to "Premier Agents", meaning when you click to get more info on a property, your info isn't going to an owner or the listing agent, it's going to a buyers agent. I think how this will work is a Zillow user will request a time to see a property through Showingtime, and that timeslot will be sent round robin style to an agent within their Premier Agent platform in that zip code. So instead of connecting an agent and a consumer through a phone call, they will meet at a property at a timeslot that works for the buyer.
I know we have a lot of fellow real estate agents on our email list, and we love having you along! If you are concerned about Zillow replacing you, don't be. The jobs that are replaced by automations are the ones that can be done by computer or machine, which we both know, ours isn't.
That's our take on it. Until next week,
Chris & Nikki