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NAR CODE OF ETHICS

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Promote and Protect Our Industry

By Scottsdale REALTORS® 2019 President David Schmid

Perhaps you’ve heard me say, “The REALTOR® marketing channel is fair, level, transparent and effective — for both the seller and buyer.”

Our primary job is to promote and protect our industry and its reputation.

Travel agents are “gone” because the price of an airline ticket was not, and still is not, totally transparent. As you are aware, each of us can book a trip from Phoenix, to Boston and our prices will be different.

Just like airlines, online stores including Amazon promote the same item at different prices, for different customers based on their profiles. In fact, Orbitz admits that if you use a Mac rather than a PC, you can afford to pay a premium and are less price sensitive.

According to Inman, Zillow is testing priority placement of homes it owns at the top of search results on its mobile apps and website, ahead of other for-sale homes, in the Phoenix and Las Vegas real estate markets.
HousingWire (Feb. 5, 2019)

It’s no surprise that Zillow is promoting their own listings over others. Zillow is not a market. It is simply advertising. “We sell ads not houses,” Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff said in a 2015 earnings call.

Three years later, the company launched “Zillow Instant Offers”, but web-based sales are not fair, level, transparent or effective.

“Zillow did give us a bit of an overestimated view of what we thought it was worth,” David Romer recently told Marketplace radio. In October 2018, the Zestimate for his three-bedroom bungalow was $550K — two months later, it sold for $480K.

You need to know and share the distinction between the REALTOR® marketing channel, MLS (data) and Zillow (advertising).

Here’s more food for thought…

“A machine cannot explain to a buyer what it will feel like to live in a neighborhood. Real estate will always be a people business.”
Spencer Rascoff, CEO of Zillow Group

“In a world of increasing automation, people who can genuinely connect with other people are going to be more important, not less. Your soft skills, emotional skills, emotional intelligence are greater than artificial intelligence alone.”
Jeff Turner, REALTOR® entrepreneur

“We still live in a world where a person who can walk into your home…will have a much better idea about how your sale price will differ from the Zestimate.”
Skylar Olsen, director of economic research and outreach at Zillow

And remember this…

“It’s up to the broker whether to syndicate the listing to sites like Zillow or partner with transaction management systems that syndicate the data. Alternatively, the broker may allow their agents to determine whether the listing will appear on various syndication websites.”
Scott Drucker, Esq., Arizona REALTORS® general counsel

As a Scottsdale Area Association of REALTORS® member, you make a difference. Now, let’s get out there and protect and promote our industry!


Related articles:
Zillow Wants to Flip Your House – Bloomberg Businessweek (Feb. 14, 2019)

What to Know Before You Check Your Zestimate (Again) – Marketplace (Feb. 11, 2019)

Zillow prioritizing its own for-sale listings ahead of others – HousingWire (Feb. 5, 2019)

Rendezvous: Mapping the Future of Real Estate – Arizona REALTORS® (Dec. 10, 2018)

Zillow to begin buying and selling houses – HousingWire (Apr. 12, 2018)

The Future of Real Estate is Tech Enabled – Huffington Post (Jan. 5, 2018)

Power Up Conference Looks Into the Future – Arizona REALTORS® (Dec. 18, 2017)

Machine Learning is Redefining Real Estate Search – Huffington Post (Aug. 10, 2016)

Zillow CEO: “We sell ads not houses” – HousingWire (May 13, 2015)

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