Many people are familiar with online real estate search engine, Zillow.com. Many more people will soon become even more familiar with the website, if an article written by esteemed realtor Jim Klinge is correct. One of Zillow’s largest competitors, Trulia, has just been bought by Zillow for north of $3.5 billion. With this consolidation, Klinge lays out his forecast for the residential realty industry.
The first thing apparent under Klinge’s prediction is the erosion of business through Realtor.com. Next, (although this has already begun) comes the alignment of corporate real estate companies with Zillow. Third, MLS companies fail to fight back. Their brand power is eroding much like Realtor.com’s, and they simply will not have the resources. Last comes the big finale – Zillow starts featuring and spotlighting realtors in exchange for cash. The highest paying realtors will secure their spots in the mecca of real estate advertising and thereby widen the advantage gap over realtors unable to sustain the hefty costs. In this pay-to-play environment, only the wealthiest and most active realtors will gain access to this feature, and in the process, will lay the final touches on the eradication of the residential real estate industry as we know it.