Nick Bailey, the chief customer officer at RE / MAX, has a message for agents concerned about the move: “Don’t panic.”
Nick Bailey, the chief customer officer at RE / MAX, has a message for real estate agents and realtors rotating in the wake of Zillow’s announcement to acquire ShowingTime, a real estate tour planning and data company, for $ 500 million.
“Don’t panic,” Bailey said Monday morning during a virtual town hall meeting on the company’s Facebook page.
“This is a technology company that is buying a technology company to gain access to real estate,” said Bailey. “I’m sure they will innovate, iterate and develop it.”
Bailey previously worked for a company, Market Leader, which was acquired by Zillow in 2014. He then served as Zillow’s vice president of broker relations for three years, offering both perspectives.
Bailey stated that Zillow’s North Star is the consumer. That often brings the brokerage room at odds with Zillow, especially when it comes to things like Zestimate and lead generation.
However, in a huge industry, there is room for all kinds of businesses and models, Bailey said.
“I think there is room for all types of companies, competitors and platforms in this industry,” said Bailey. “There is room for iBuyers. There will be certain sellers who want to use this type of platform out of desire, ease, timing, etc. “
Bailey also specifically addressed some questions and “myths” he heard from RE / MAX agents after Zillow acquired ShowingTime.
The first myth he heard is that Zillow will ban current agents from the platform. Zillow himself has committed to keeping ShowingTime as an open platform for the real estate industry.
“I think they are buying a technology company to provide valuable service to consumers and agents, and they want as many parties as possible to use the product,” said Bailey.
The other concern he’s heard from a number of agents is that they are using a platform owned by a competitor. Zillow announced late last year that it would become a licensed real estate agent to have its own Zillow Offers transactions managed by its own agent staff. This drew the ire of many in the industry.
Bailey’s answer to Zillow getting further into real estate is, “So what?”
“Anyone can get into our business,” said Bailey. “Getting a real estate license is easy.”
“The barriers to entry are low,” added Bailey. “The barriers to entry for a real estate license are low, but the barriers to success for a great real estate agent are high.”
In fact, 87 percent of newly licensed real estate agents fail, according to Bailey, who said independent contractors and employee agents have worked together in the industry for years, and independent contractor agents outbid employee agents.
Zillow’s entry into the brokerage business also plays a direct role in another fear that is common in some areas of the industry: Zillow is looking for brokers. Those who raise these concerns often refer to Zillow co-founder and CEO Rich Barton’s former company Expedia and its impact on the travel industry.
But buying a plane ticket is very different from buying a house, Bailey said.
He also said that real estate agents collectively spend $ 13 billion a year on marketing. Zillow’s agent advertising business, Premier Agent, had sales of more than $ 400 million in the fourth quarter of 2020.
“They have a vested interest in real estate agents thriving because they spend money on their business,” Bailey said.
Email to Patrick Kearns