Zillow plans to continue operating the show management and analytics company as an open platform for all real estate agents, not just those who work with Zillow.
Zillow announced on Wednesday that it had entered into an agreement to acquire real estate and market research firm ShowingTime for $ 500 million. The company said it will continue to operate ShowingTime as an open platform for the entire real estate industry.
“In many ways, this acquisition is thematically similar to other work we’ve done,” said Errol Samuelson, Zillow’s chief industry development officer, to Inman. “This idea that when there is a large industry opportunity or challenge, we can use technology to address it, not just for our partners, our Premier Agent customers, but for the industry in general.”
Samuelson compared the acquisition to the company’s acquisition of the transaction management platform dotloop a few years ago, or to Zillow’s recent investment in an attempt to democratize 3D tours and make them cheap and accessible.
“It’s similar here with ShowingTime,” said Samuelson. “One of the things we are realizing here is that having a qualified buyer who wants to see a property to actually see that property is a real challenge.”
“There’s a surprisingly high failure rate in the industry just to get a buyer to look at a home,” added Samuelson. “If that happens, if that fails, it’s just bad for everyone.”
The acquisition also continues Zillow’s multi-year endeavor to bridge the gap between the initial contact between an agent and the buyer on the Zillow platform.
In the past few years, the company has launched a Premier Agent app, added a lead nurturing call center, and even developed the Best of Zillow program to ensure buyers who want to see a home come with a highly rated and consistent Companies are linked to productive agent.
The acquisition of ShowingTime takes that relationship one step further and closer to the transaction by making it easier for the Premier Agent and the client to schedule their first meeting.
Samuelson said there is a common misconception that Zillow’s premier agent business is all about lead generation. In reality, all of the steps taken over the past few years have shown that the company is actually in the transaction generation business. The takeover of ShowingTime is an extension of this.
“Our job is to help buyers and their agents get in touch with sellers and their agents and actually get into the house they dream of,” said Samuelson.
One of the main reasons Zillow chose to purchase ShowingTime instead of building something in-house was the company’s existing relationships and customer base. ShowingTime has nearly a million agents – many of whom are also Premier Agent customers – using the platform, Samuelson said.
In addition, it already has close relationships with around 300 multiple listing services across the country.
For ShowingTime, the acquisition provides the 22-year-old Chicago-based technology company with a supporter who shares the company’s vision that “everyone should use the platform,” Mike Lane, President of ShowingTime, told Inman.
“There is such a good opportunity between our companies that I have a hard time creating a better situation,” said Lane. “They’re really great for shows.”
In addition to helping real estate agents manage and schedule demonstrations, the company is also one of the largest data and analytics reporters in the real estate industry, according to Lane.
“And we just launched a brand new offering management product that works closely with Dotloop offering,” added Lane.
For existing customers, expect nothing to change. The company’s existing customers will continue to be protected by the existing data protection guidelines.
“I think the key here is our intent to run this as an open platform with the same rules for everyone, regardless of what broker, franchisor you work with and what brand you are affiliated with,” said Samuelson. “The aim is to have an open and fair platform for all users. That won’t change. “
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