Zillow continues to ink deals with Multiple Listing Services across the U.S. as the Seattle-based company is set to lose a listing feed from Move Inc.-owned ListHub on April 7th.
Zillow today announced that it has signed 14 new agreements with multiple listing services in the past two days, including one with Chicago-based Midwest Real Estate Data.
Zillow is scrambling to collect as much data as possible as the ListHub partnership ends tomorrow, hoping that it will be able to provide visitors to its Web site and mobile apps the freshest information. In the past 11 days, Zillow has added direct feeds from 63 multiple listing services, and noted that its listing information will actually be stronger than before the ListHub arrangement.
There are about 900 multiple listing services across the country, most of which operate as non-profits owned and operated by a consortium of brokerages.
Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff noted a few weeks ago that the end of ListHub deal was actually a liberating experience, since they no longer had to rely on a competitor “whose incentive was to continue to send Zillow inferior listings in order to advertise that their own Web site had higher quality listings.”
Meanwhile, Zillow Chief Industry Development Officer Errol Samuelson is back at the company after the former Move Inc. executive was sidelined by his former employer over allegations that he improperly used information from his time at Move to benefit Zillow.
“For every new partnership we build with an MLS, the experience on Zillow and Trulia gets better for everyone – from brokers and agents to home sellers and buyers,” said Samuelson in a release. “It’s a very exciting time for Zillow Group as we are helping more brokers and agents than ever. We appreciate the support of the MLSs who are joining us to work for the benefit of their members.”
Many brokerage firms are syndicating their listings directly to Zillow and Trulia, knowing that the company has the greatest audience and therefore the biggest exposure for new listings. Others, such as the Northwest Multiple Listing Service in Western Washington, have taken a more cautious approach to Zillow. In remarks last week at an event in Seattle, Rascoff called the approach of the NWMLS “backward,” noting that it was one of the few that did not syndicate directly to Zillow.
However, many of the largest brokerage firms in the Seattle area, including Windermere and John L. Scott, already syndicate their listings directly to Zillow.
Even with the new direct deals, one analyst is concerned about Zillow’s overall growth. Chris Merwin of Barclays cut his rating on the stock, saying that both Zillow and Trulia are slowing in their traffic numbers, which have not been reported since January. He also said that premier agent growth appears to be slowing.
The stock was trading just under $100, down more than one percent today. Zillow, which completed its acquisition of Trulia last month, is valued at about $5.6 billion.