Zillow just launched Agentfolio™, a tool for agents and home buyers to collaborate on finding a home to buy. This is a cool tool which Zillow acquired late last year, and the only active product on the market that I am aware of to acknowledge social buying (i.e. “Easily manage communications between co-workers, husbands, wives and anyone else who is collaborating on a home search.”).
This is a big deal folks. Tools like this continue to chip away at the value of everything from the prospecting functions of the MLS to the relative usefulness of having listings on agent or MLS websites. It’s time for folks to recognize that it’s not important just to have the listing content – it’s about making it useful. Adding collaboration capability to the lead Zillow and its peers already have in providing ancillary content around the listings? It’s a compelling story. And, while MLS vendors and IDX / VOW vendors have been slow to finish up true and complete agent-client collaboration (including ‘social buying’), and some MLS vendors have been slow to integrate ancillary content around the listings, a publisher leads the way.
What’s interesting is that Zillow feels that agents, who will complain about the smallest increase in MLS dues, will be willing to pay $25 a month for this – or that they’ll sign up Zillow’s Premier Agent advertising program, where they will spend a lot more money but get this tool for ‘free’. They’re probably right.
I could probably go on a rant about all the features that are needed in a true and complete client collaboration solution but many of my clients have already heard me go into depth on all the buyer AND seller related features that would add value to the MLS system and agent websites – so I won’t repeat myself here.
If you believe, as I do, that the agent-agent-consumer relationship is important (something Zillow believes to the tune of a nearly two billion dollar market cap) it’s time to step up your game in this area. Play to win. Skate to where the puck is going to be. Or pack up your skates and go home.
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