I have been calling for greater transparency in the real estate industry for years now, with little success. So, you can imagine how happy I was to see this article (paid) on Inman News a few weeks ago: Some brokers learning to live without Zillow and Trulia.
Apparently, Crye-Leike Realtors, one of the largest firms in the country, is pulling their listings from Zillow and Trulia in Nashville, TN. According to the article, the company claimed that “After testing life without the two popular portals in a handful of markets, the firm says that its business was unharmed.” Hooray for their business. But what about the home sellers they represent? Were they harmed? Most definitely.
You get top dollar when selling a home by getting every interested buyer to see that it is for sale. And since most home shoppers now look for homes to buy on Zillow and Trulia, the single best thing a home seller can do to market their home is to advertise it there. Purposely keeping a home for sale off those two sites without question reduces the number of buyers who see it. Not even a hypocritical Realtor can argue that more buyers will see a home for sale by keeping it off Zillow and Trulia.
So, why would Crye-Leike keep their listings off the two powerhouse real estate sites? Because advertising a home for sale there benefits agents who do not work for Crye-Leike. It would follow then that keeping it off those sites benefits Crye-Leike agents at the expense of their competition. So, this little stunt is all about putting Crye-Leike agents first. Go Crye-Leike. You’re number one.
The agents who work for Crye-Leike are “Realtors”. I know that because I see that word in their corporate name. And Realtors have a code of ethics that basically says they must put the interests of their clients before everyone else’s, even their own. Pulling listings from Zillow and Trulia would seem to me to be a clear violation of their code of ethics. Eh, no biggie.
I bet whenever a Crye-Leike agent sits down to do a listing presentation they explain to the naïve home seller that they should choose a Crye-Leike agent to list their home because Crye-Leike agents are Realtors and Realtors have a code of ethics. Oh the hypocrisy.