The REAL Reason Zillow Bought ShowingTime & Why It Matters


For show notes and audio recording click here.

On today’s episode of Confessions of a Top Producing Real Estate Agent you’ve probably heard by now that Zillow bought ShowingTime it kind of reverberated all over the internet and you’ve probably also heard or read how the real estate industry responded to this acquisition. I was pretty much Everywhere. There was a lot of shock and outrage from agents to CEOs and really the real estate industry as a whole really was focused on why Zillow did this? Why did they want to buy ShowingTime and kind of what that meant, what the trickle down affect would be at some point for, for real estate agents.

And we are going to explore a few theories as to why Zillow bought ShowingTime, but I was pretty shocked that everyone in the real estate industry, it was talking about why Zillow bought ShowingTime when the more important thing for us to be looking at it as real estate agents and as an industry is not necessarily Why. I think that Why ship sailed was a while ago, but really what we need to be looking at. And the changes that we need to see as real estate agents is how was Zillow able to buy, showing time in the first place. And so we are going to take a deep dive into that question on today’s episode and how that highlights some very serious questions that every real estate agent needs to be looking at to not only safeguard their own career, but perhaps safeguard the industry as a whole.

So rather than being upset and scared, what can we actually do about it as an industry in what can each one of us real estate agents do to make sure that these big acquisitions and things that are, that we’re all worried about, don’t continue to happen. We’re going to get into this whole Zillow buying ShowingTime thing and why it’s so important to understand the underlying reasons how and why it here in a second.

But before I do, I want to give you a shout out. You guys, our listeners are freaking amazing. I get your emails. I see your reviews. You guys are not just passively listening to this information. You’re actually taking action and getting results, which is exactly why I’m doing this. So thank you. Thank you. Thank you for, for actually doing the hard work and getting results and putting this stuff into your business. I’m going to give a shout out to a particular listener, Shana, seven Hicks who left a review on iTunes. Shana, if you are listening, send me an email and we’re gonna send you out a Agent guide Grad School prize pack, which with some really cool Agent Grad School swag, because not only did you leave a review, which once a month, I pick one review and I share it.

And then I do, I send a prize pack. So you’re going to get that for leaving a review. But the reason I picked your review is because you actually took action and you got results. She says, this podcast has literally changed the way I’m going to do business. In 2021. I found it in November, 2020 as I was coming off of maternity leave. She says, I followed the website series to a tee, and I’ve already gotten clients from it. You guys that’s amazing. Congratulations. And then she goes on to say that the Agent Grad School inner circle is simply amazing. Yes, it is. It is the place where I share all my free stuff, so much free stuff. And it’s the place where if you’re not ready to become a student yet, or if we’re on a wait list, which happens often because I keep our classes really small so that I can give our students the attention they need to get the results that they need.
Then the inner circle is a free way to connect every single week and be like Shayna joined the inner circle for free implemented and get results. So you can join the Agent Grad School in our circle at and also be like Shayna, leave a review. If this podcast has given you anything helpful, and even if it’s just thinking differently or feeling better about something that is a result also. So please be like Shane, Not leave a review, joined the inner circle and Shana, email me and get your prize pack. So thank you for leaving a review and thank you for listening. And I’m so glad it’s helping you actually get clients.

So Zillow about ShowingTime. This is not new news. And hopefully also, by now, you’ve read, if you haven’t read, I think you should just read the internet reactions. The in the real estate industry, we really went wild with this acquisition. I was, and I was surprised by it. The there was a shock and outrage throughout the internet from everybody from agents, individual agents, to as high as like big time CEOs, really the industry as a whole had a major reaction and cap, trying to wonder why Zillow made this inner, this acquisition.

And I was surprised that the focus was on Why let’s explore those theories though, for just a second. The two camps, the big camps that I saw was everyone seemed to be worried about one of two things or something. It seemed like maybe both won that this was a data grab by Zillow agents. Everywhere the comments were really, you know, agents being worried about Zillow having access to, to, to our data, which I didn’t really understand because showing time has a privacy policy that they have said they will uphold. And it’s a pretty strict one. And they said, you know, that was part of the agreement with Zillow, but they aren’t going to be sharing.

I think the data that a lot of agents were worried about, and frankly this whole Zillow having our data ship sailed way back in like, Oh six when Zillow started, when every MLS gave them access to our most important data, which is our listings, which by the way, I think is a great thing. It allowed for more transparency in our, in our industry. And it took real estate agents from kind of being able to hold the information about listings and it gave it to the public. And I think that was a great thing for the real estate industry.

One reason is because the more eyeballs you’ve got on your house, the more, the higher the prices. So I think the fact that people have more access to homes actually is a driving factor for prices being higher, which, you know, for a lot of sellers is a good thing. So that whole data The question, Zillow wanting Are data thing. I think that ship has sailed a long time ago, and I think it’s good that we’re sharing data with the public. I do. I think there is a lot of benefits to that. The other camp seem to be that way. Zillow is going to use showing time to bypass agents entirely and allow buyers to set up their own showings.

If you’ve heard recently, Zillow also became its own brokerage. So, you know, I’m not going to go into a hole. There’s a whole Zillow business model and I’m not, you know, I like think Zillow is a good thing for our industry. I do. However Zillow became a brokerage and then bought ShowingTime. And so a lot of agents thought that this move was a way for Zillow to bypass agents showing properties. I don’t know if this is true or not. Zillow says it’s not, but it seems like they are moving in a different direction than they have in the past. In the past purely Zillow has been funded by ads, you know, giving leads to real estate agents via ads, and that created a lot, a billion dollar company, and they’ve now recently turned into a brokerage.

And so I think their revenue model is going to, to change. And that is an interesting thing to be looking at, but here’s a few problems with, I think, not just these theories, but a lot of the theories that I saw real estate agents reacting to online first and foremost, both of these reactions. And a lot of what I saw online was really belittling real estate agents value down to access, access, to information, access, to showing houses and our value proposition as real estate agents has to be about way more than just giving access.
And I’ve been saying this, if you were my student, we even listened to the It or you’ve been listening to this podcast for a while. You’ve heard me say it over and over again, showing houses is not a value proposition, right? Speed to responding to an online lead is not a value. The opposition opening doors is not a value proposition. Okay. So for all of you agents out there who are worried about access, I get it. I totally get it because, you know, that seems like a major function of a real estate agent, but I do, I would argue that your value proposition as a real estate agent needs to be way bigger, your way more valuable than just opening doors and providing access to information or access to houses.

OK. And I have a lot of episodes about your value proposition, godless of why Zillow bought ShowingTime and there are other theories on the Why, but The as a whole, the real estate industry was focused on Why Zillow buying this company in, what does that mean in the room? It was kind of a kind of coming from this place of like fear and what does it mean for us? And I agree. I think it’s, I think it’s a, it’s a shift, huge shift, but I think the more, the important question to really be looking at it as an industry and the question to answer where we can actually affect change, not only as individual agents, but as an actual, like an industry is not right, why Zillow bought ShowingTime.

I think that ship has sailed a long time ago, but what we should be looking at as individual agents and as an industry, as a whole is how was Zillow in the financial position that they were to be able to buy ShowingTime in the first place that the question that we all need to be looking at, and the answer is because 99% of real estate agents, even at the top, producers don’t know how to create their own leads. And so they have to buy them. And because real estate agents do not know how to have clients coming to them because they don’t know how like simple, online marketing tactics to bring clients their way consumers go to Zillow go to Redfin, go to these big companies because real estate agents do not know how to be seen or heard online and do not know how to, to implement pretty basic marketing tactics, modern marketing tactics to bring clients to them.

And so rather than learn that skill real estate agents have been told from the top down to buy leads, not just from Zillow, but from other generate lead generators. Like Zillow reload, companies, referrals, all that stuff. If you’re buying leads from anywhere, this is what I’m talking about. And so the one and only reason why Zillow, wasn’t a financial position to pay $500 million for this company. The entire reason that Zillow is a multi-billion dollar company is because real estate agents are paying them for ads.

Real estate agents are paying them for Leeds. That is the problem. So I think those revenue model will start to change, but from 2004, six, whatever the hell, you know, whenever they started, the revenue model was agents buying leads from them. And it created a billion multi-billion dollar competitor that now real estate agents are upset about. And this is the thing that we need to be looking at as real estate agents and as an industry, as a whole, we as real estate agents need to know how to get our own leads.

And it breaks my heart that we’ve essentially many agents have been paying for leads all this time, because getting leads and converting those leads to clients who love you and want to tell everyone about You and to get you so many leads and clients that you don’t need to pay for leads is, is pretty simple. Yes, it takes hard work. Yes. It takes learning a new skill. Yes, it takes longer than buying leads from Zillow, but it is the way to not only safeguard your own career, but the industry as a whole. And so now more than ever the person or company who controls the leads, in my opinion, what’s even more important is the follow-up you can’t follow up unless you’re the one with the leads.

So the one who controls the leads wins, and my whole purpose for Agent Grad School existing is I want that to be you. I want you to be in control of your own destiny, your own business, and F and have the knowledge and the skill to actually bring clients to you. That is why Agent Grad School exists. And that is why I have this podcast. And that is what I’m trying to teach every real estate agent in the country that will listen. I want you to learn how to do that for you.

Okay. This is so crucially important that real estate agents understand how to do that, because if they don’t, this stuff will still continue to happen and we will be out of jobs. So there is a step by step way to bring clients to You. It is simple. It does not necessarily easy to implement ’cause. It requires learning a new skill. It requires taking the longer route, but it is the only way that I know how to build a fountain, hugely strong foundation to safeguard your business and, and, and really put the control back into your hands.

So I can show you the marketing techniques that worked so well for me, I’ve never had to pay for leads. That is what I teach here at Agent Grad School. I give them to you pieces of it. I tried to break it down, you know, Shana, for example, listened to this podcast and she’s getting clients from her website based on what I’ve taught you. Here, I go even deeper. When you become a student and Agent grad school, I show you step by step by step. And then I have students that say, well, why can’t I do this instead? And I say, here’s why, and I get you back on the right path, because what’s happening is that everybody, every agent seems to be looking everywhere else and looking everywhere else at what everybody’s doing.

Isn’t going to work because nobody else knows how to get clients either. So the entire reason Agent Grad School exists is because I want to show you how to have clients coming to you instead of them going to Zillow or anywhere else Zillow is not the problem here. Zillow saw a huge opportunity and frankly, changed our industry. In my opinion, for the better, the problem is that more real estate agents need to know how to get their own clients. So they’re not making Zillow the multi-billion company that they’ve already, it’s already, it’s already too late to the loo is what is going to be Zillow and it’s not going to change, but the way, the reason that that all happened and it’s going to continue to happen and less real estate agents know how to feed themselves.

Learn that is essentially what they’re doing is paying for leads is like paying someone for fish and you need to learn how to fish. Okay. As I’ve said in this podcast, so many times you are a business owner as a real estate agent, and if you’re going to be a success successful business owner, that means learning how to get clients. And so I share the marketing system. I created with you on this podcast and in Agent Grad School, it is directly responsible for generating me over a million dollars per You per year.

And it only costs a few hundred dollars a month to implement like out of the gate. It’s about a hundred dollars a month. And then when you want to grow your list or be known in bigger circles, which often has oftentimes needs to happen, then maybe it goes up to a couple of hundred bucks a month. Okay. So what you’re paying in Zillow leads or whatever leads, and I’m not picking on Zillow, I’m just picking on the fact that don’t take the easy road. Learn how to get them for yourself and learn how to do it online. Your clients are online. Yes. They’re going to Zillow. Yes. They’re going Everywhere online.

They should be coming to you online as well. Okay. The marketing tactics that I teach are the reason I was able to open my own brokerage or the whole reason I opened my own brokerage is not because I want it to be a broker it’s because I had so many leads coming to me that honestly, I was so overwhelmed. I couldn’t handle them on my own. And so I opened my own brokerage and the agent in my office became, I gave you no as many leads. All of my overflow, I gave to the agents there and they became top producing agents in our very competitive DC marketplace. To first because I fed them the leads.

But then I taught them how to do it themselves. And the ones who implemented it didn’t have time for my leads anymore because they were having clients come to them so much that now they can’t take my lead because I still have leads coming to me from things that I implemented a decade ago. And I don’t even have agents anymore to send them to, because everyone’s so busy. And so yes, you have to work a little bit harder to do business this way. And yes, it’s going to take a little longer than signing up on some website and being handed a lead. Yeah. It’s going to be harder than that. But learning how to have clients come to you is the basic principles of having a successful.

And it was the only way to build a sustainable long-term business, where you have the control, not Zillow Not any other online lead generator. It’s not just Zillow, they’re just the big one, but I want you to have the control of your business. I want you to be able to have as many clients as you need and want. Not because you pay for them, but because you have control over the lead flow, you are able to produce that for yourself. Not Zillow not your broker, not the reload company, not anybody else, but you. And so if you don’t have clients coming to you and you don’t learn that skill, you will forever have to pay somebody else for them.

And so there has never been a more important time to master the skill of knowing how to have clients coming to you. I think if you look at the news, you’ll, you’ll stumble upon kind of a couple of articles about how Gary Keller had said something along. I’m not quoting him, but something along the lines That that this Zillow buying ShowingTime is kind of a fight. It’s it’s like a fight for leads or whatever that means. And I, I don’t know if I had to call it a fight, but I would call it like he gets it in that it is more important than ever. I think he said something like vote with your dollars and is exactly what you have to do.

You have to learn how to do this. Otherwise it’s just going to keep happening and there’s pros and cons to having it happen. But if you’re worried or upset about what this impact is, which is what I heard and saw that reverberated throughout the industry, then the only way to solve this is to stop paying for leads is to start learning how to do it yourself. And I believe that normally does the future of each real estate agents career depend on this, but the future of the entire real estate industry just depends on it too. But when you know how to market yourself in a way that has clients wanting to work with you, because they understand why they should choose You, there is actual value to choosing you other than opening doors.

Then whenever else is happening out there, that doesn’t matter. Okay. I’ve been in the real estate. I’ve been in real estate agent since 2003. I’ve seen the ups, I’ve seen the downs. There’s so much noise and it can take you out. But when you are solely focused on your business and have so many clients coming to you, then nothing else that’s happening. Matters in 2007 and 10 or whatever, those it’s not like a couple of real estate BAS kind of in those mid two thousands. So many real estate agents were complaining and getting out of the business because they didn’t have any clients. When my business like doubled those years, because I had a value proposition because I was telling people that this is a great opportunity to buy real estate, but the market’s down, this is when you Buy.

And especially for a first time home buyers, which was my niche back then they weren’t giving out money to buy houses. So I talked about that and I got, I got a ton of clients. Okay. So the point is, I’m not telling you this to like show off. I’m telling you that regardless of what the noise is, there is opportunity. If you find it and see it. And the opportunity right now and has been for a long time is to learn how to cultivate your own leads, stop paying for them to stop paying for fish. Learn how to fish. What is the only way you’re going to survive in the long term? So if you want to stop paying for leads once, and for all have clients coming to you, learn how to do that.

Stop giving all your power over to some other entity or some other person, whoever it is, who is feeding you, leads and learn how to do it yourself. And there’s multiple ways that I can help you do that. And I truly want to help you do that. You can learn how to do that by continuing to listen to this podcast, I can teach you how to do it for free. If you join the Agent Grad School inner circle, and when you’re ready to go deeper and really dive in, become an Agent grad school student, I teach you exactly. There is a system, a step-by-step way to have clients coming to you and have them coming to you online.

That is what I teach. And so keep listening to this podcast, but actually implement like Shayna did and get results. She’s getting, she’s getting leads and clients from her website, and she’s not even a student yet. And she has access to the same information that you all do here. Listening. The next step up, joined the inner circle. I have to share a lot more stuff there. and then last but not least when you’re like, I can’t quite put it together. I really want to dive in and I want to make this happen. And you’re ready to actually work, really work. Our students work really hard and they implement and they show up and they get disappointed and they pick themselves up and they try it again and they iterate and they are amazing.

And they help each other. If you are ready for that kind of environment, then join Agent Grad School waitlist right now. We are on a wait list unless you’re in my inner circle. And you got your email this morning. And if you’re listening to this on the day that I posted it, I gave you an opportunity to become a student. And we are on a waitlist right now. That’s another benefit of being part. The inner circle is I give you opportunities. And the only reason I’m opening it is because I think that learning how to grow your business, which really just means learning how to have clients want to work with you and want to choose you is the most important thing that us real estate agents can learn.

Because if you could learn that you can have the business that you want, and yeah, it’s going to take a minute. It’s going to be harder than signing up for online lead service, but it is the way that you’re going to be able to build a business that you have control over and that he and that really can sustain you because then your potential clients have no reason to go anywhere else. And that is what we’re creating. Okay. So thank you for listening. Thank you for implementing, thank you for changing the industry. If you’re, if you’re learning how to do this and those days when it’s really hard, just remember that every single real estate agent has a responsibility to master this skill.

And for those of you who are doing it, thank you. And for those of you who aren’t yet, I hope that this podcast has maybe changed your mind a little bit and maybe you’ll start learning how to do it. And when you’re ready to do that, I’d love to help you.

Hey there!

Agent Grad School is the best online business school for modern real estate agents. We teach a proven system to have a successful real estate career using smart, unconventional strategies and modern marketing methods to attract clients. 

about your instructor

Hi, I'm Jennifer!  
I'm a real estate agent, creator of Agent Grad School and host of the podcast Confessions of A Top Producing Real Estate Agent. I teach real estate agents the exact steps I used to become one of the top 1% of agents in the US using online marketing and modern, out-of-the-box business strategies.  

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Hey there!

Agent Grad School is the best online business school for modern real estate agents. We teach a proven system to have a successful real estate career using smart, unconventional strategies and modern marketing methods to attract clients. 

About your Instructor

Hi, I'm Jennifer!
 I'm a real estate agent, creator of Agent Grad School and podcast host. I teach real estate agents the exact steps I used to become one of the top 1% of agents in the US using online marketing and business strategies you won't hear anywhere else. 

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