It has been a pretty interesting week; some of the fallout from the announcement from Zillow about them entering the mortgage arena has been pretty significant. I have heard from some of my clients that they have been approached by agents to assume the fees from other lenders who have, or are cancelling contracts to buy the leads from a new competitor.
I think it’s pretty ironic the progression of that process. It’s almost like people didn’t see it coming. First, agents turn over their listing information to Zillow so those listing have more exposure. It’s odd to me because NAR had that business once and sold it because it wasn’t worth investing money in. So, along comes Zillow invests in a better customer friendly site and then begins to sell the leads back to the very agents who gave the information away for FREE!
Then a whole new business of coaching agents to subscribe to buying these leads and get weaker agents to work for them as buyers agents for a reduced fee; at the same time, find multiple lenders to pay for the cost of those leads. Interesting thought process and often a process used in violation of a number of different laws, but that is a completely different story. So now everything is moving along until Zillow starts looking at listing property and competing directly with the same people providing the information and paying them for the leads! While a few agents begin to see the writing on the wall, many are spending money to go to trainings that promote this very process!
So last week the game changed again. Zillow engaging in the mortgage business is of no surprise, but I admit I was a bit surprised at how quickly many originators on a number of social media platforms engaged in a “mutiny” if you will, against paying money to a company that is becoming a direct competitor! Don’t get me wrong, I was happy to see it, but I really didn’t think the reaction was going to be as strong as it was.
All of this goes back to my point over the years that this is a people business. If you take the people out of the process, you lose the profession! Realtors are beginning to identify the “Algorithm Enemy” much the same way mortgage people are beginning to see it. If you remove the personal and professional connection, you lose the MONEY associated with that of a professional.
Now I know that I am old school. I know I am one of the few people who believe that mortgage people should train, act, and dress like professionals. I get it, I am old! But the point remains, if you are going to work like a call center person, you can’t expect to be paid as a professional!
I would be very interested in hearing from all of you on this topic. You can respond on the Facebook post, the LinkedIn post, or just email me: mike@IMTcoaching.com