Zillow Group recently started charging home builders for their previously free listings the site was hosting, causing some to worry about what changes the company could make in the future.
Homebuilders, or their agents, with 150 closings per year or more are required to join Zillow’s Promoted Communities program, Inman reported. Under the program, the builder must pay a monthly fee to have listings from MLS and elsewhere appear on Zillow’s sites, which include Zillow.com and Trulia. The prices vary by location.
“I think it’s an unsurprising move from Zillow,” global real estate tech expert Mike DelPrete told Inman. “Especially with other revenue lines slowing in growth (Premier Agent, mortgages, display advertising), Zillow will need to find new revenue streams.”
Zillow publicly announced the launch of the Promoted Communities program in October 2016, but the additional fee wasn’t part of the statement. Texas-based agent Ben Caballero, who syndicates 600 listings per month from 64 builders, said he didn’t realize that Zillow had made the change and that his clients’ listings weren’t appearing on the company’s websites as a result.
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