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IDX Companies Beware (with a Hint from Zillow Group)

[Update: I totally spaced and forgot Market Leader bought Diverse Solutions. My bad.]

I visited Zillow Group’s investor relations page because I wanted to listen in on yesterday’s earnings call (you can see results of Q3 here).

[text in the next few paragraphs below is irrelevant given Diverse is owned by Market Leader]

As I was scrolling down the page, I noticed a specific company missing from their “Business Brands” section.

Bridge Interactive, dotloop, and Mortech.

The company missing?

None other than Zillow’s IDX company, Diverse Solutions.

There has to be a reason the brand is no longer being given any investor love. Multi billion dollar companies don’t decide to ax a logo on their investor relations website “on a whim” to whittle four companies to three. It was removed because it’s not a priority/focus for Zillow Group anymore (someone is free to correct me in the comments if that’s not the case).

If I were an IDX company, Zillow Group’s omission/removal of Diverse Solutions would cause me to think a bit about the future of IDX.

[text below becomes relevant again]

IDX’s demise isn’t a new topic. I published an argument for NOT using IDX back in 2013. I also wrote about what would happen if IDX becomes irrelevant earlier this year.

The big reason for worry: at Zillow’s recent Premier Agent Forum in Las Vegas, major updates to Premier Agent were announced. “My Agent“. Starting next year, agents can invite buyers to Zillow’s app and if they accept, that agent becomes the consumers advertised buyer’s agent in the app going forward. Leads generated by Zillow will also only see their buyers agent after they are converted. From an agent perspective — this alleviates the concern of losing potential clients to another agent during their search. Prior to this announcement, agents would “convert” a Zillow lead — then move the conversation into their MLS system, RealScout, Cloudstreams, IDX, mailchimp, text, or their inbox. Now, Zillow is aiming to enable that follow up conversation to happen directly on Zillow/Trulia (which the buyer is using either way).

It seems clear IDX products became a heck of a lot less valuable due to Zillow’s My Agent announcement since their primary purpose is to enable buyers to search listings while seeing ONLY one agent (clients searching without being advertised to by other agents). Its secondary purpose is to attract new buyers as a lead generation tool — but acquiring those customers is too costly for the majority (search is a lost battle).

Does that spell checkmate for IDX?

PS: If someone wants to write a guest post with the case FOR IDX going in 2018, send me an email.

About Drew Meyers

Founder of Geek Estate Blog / Geek Estate Labs. Zillow Alum. Travel addict & co-founder of Horizon. Social entrepreneurship & microfinance advocate. Fan of Red Hot Chili Peppers and Kiva.

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