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[Matrix Vortex] Second Thoughts On The Zillow-Realtor Smackdown

On occasion, there is a surge of commentary on a particular topic presented as a post on Matrix that seems to warrant some additional followup. I often learned a lot from these comments as they seem to push the discussion a little deeper.

The word Vortex [1] or something regarded as drawing into its powerful current everything that surrounds it came to mind as a way to describe this sort of feedback about a particular topic. Hence, Matrix Vortex.

Topic: Zillow.com and Realtor.com
Post: Zillow Gets Pillowed In Old School Smackdown [Matrix] [2]

One of the most incendiary topics of late has been anything that has included the word “Zillow” in it when the topic concerns brokers.

Last week the post Zillow Gets Pillowed In Old School Smackdown [2] stirred up a Vortex of discussion, ranging from pro-Realtor.com to pro-Zillow.com. A lot of passion was provided in the commentary.

A few days after his appearance on the CAR panel, Allan Dalton, the president and CEO of Realtor.com, was promoted to president of the Move, Inc. Real Estate Division [RISMedia] [3]. Honestly, I was surprised by his photo in the RISMedia story. I had pictured him as being a lot older than his old school commentary suggested and perhaps he represents the current mindset within NAR. He seems to be one of the rising stars of NAR and wouldn’t be surprised if he eventually becomes its president. His aggressive, take no prisoners style may be what NAR is favoring these days as they are being attacked on all sides, including the Department of Justice lawsuit.

At the same time, the Lloyd Frink, president of Zillow, posted a politically correct recap of his experience at the California Association of Realtors [4] conference (which was personally disappointing to me for its blandness, specifically, the heated panel discussion with Allan Dalton). What I found particularly interesting was the fact that he didn’t mention the attack by Dalton at all. Frink also backpeddled from his past experience with Expedia suggesting that the Realtor is essential to the process, unlike travel agents, which is what Expedia rendered nearly obsolete. It seems like only now Zillow is realizing how important Realtors are to their long term strategy or they underestimated the backlash.

The irony here is that Realtor.com [5] is a cluttered, crowded web experience and Zillow.com [6] doesn’t include listings. Why so much friction? Can’t they ever get along or is it too late?