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Zillow's next step may disrupt real estate brokerages


A new column in VentureBeat argues that Zillow, which currently is the starting point for 3 out of 4 buyers looking for a home, is effectively creating an end run around brokerages by providing much of the information they used to charge agents and buyers for online and for free. That's created a process where real estate agents are beginning to pay more buying leads from Zillow than from traditional brokerages like Re/max.

"So-called 'super agents,' who spend over $60,000 a year buying leads from Zillow and driving the company's growth, are already spending more with Zillow than with Re/Max in desk fees, prompting accusations that Zillow is effectively collecting a 'brokerage fee' without legally being a broker," Mir Haque, a real estate tech entrepreneur, writes.

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