The founder of Keller Williams, Gary Keller, announced at the 2021 Keller Williams Family Reunion that his company is taking Zillow head-on after Zillow announced the acquisition of ShowingTime.
To accomplish this, the brokerage giant has a number of ideas that include controlling lead generation for its own agents with local advocacy in order to change how Zillow displays listings on its platform.
Keller Williams President Josh Team explained that this acquisition between Zillow and ShowingTime could be a means of Zillow taking more of an agent’s commission, something that the brokerage is confronting first.
The second part of the strategy is to contact local MLS’s and REALTOR associations to advocate ending the ShowingTime partnership and change MLS display rules. Because Zillow has switched over its backend to an IDX feed, the company must submit to all local MLS regulations.
“Whatever rules the MLS places, all brokers, including Zillow will have to follow it.
“If your MLS will change that rule then your picture, your name, your face will be all over that.”
Gary Keller is also advocating for a change in how listings are displayed, the biggest change being the second picture on a listing being an image of the agent affiliated with the listing. This is akin to how Compass displays its contact information.
Keller Williams has shown that it is not backing down from any change that could affect its agent associates. Zillow has yet to comment.
Another big-shot company isn't backing down in the wake of Zillow's big changes. CoStar Group has developed a tool to compete with Zillow after the ShowingTime acquisition, with the help of Homesnap.