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Duet:  Dale Stinton 

Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years ago

Duet:  Dale Stinton of Realtor.com & Rich Barlow of Zillow.com

8/1/07

 

Bernake does not want to take us over into a recession, so we think there will be an interest rate reduction in the future

 

Rich Barlow: 

 

Q: What are you saying?

 

Zillow Index is down, has been down a bit for a few quarters

 

Clearly a buyer's market.  You don't have to make an offer immediately, you can take your time to do some research, and make an offer

 

Q:  So let's dispell this right away -- are you friends or foes

 

Stinton:  Do I have to choose one of them?

 

Barlow:  We're partners (check), trying to help your constituents

 

Stinton:  Well, I can still talk.  You don't pick between friend and foes.  Anyone who helps Realtors do more business is a friend of mine, anyone who doesn't is a friend of mine.

 

A year ago, I can understand why people considered Zillow a foe of the industry.  Last year, we stood up here and told people what we wanted to do... (need help here)

 

Since then, we've added lots of functionality.  Fifty thousand agents have added profiles.  We sell these easy ads, any Realtor can use their credit car do buy

 

In the next several months, we will ship new feeds so agents can feed us their advertising.

 

Zillow is about consumers, but we are wide open and partnerships are wide open as well build this industry.

 

It's understandable, new things are scarey.  And then comes familarity. 

 

One of the things that makes this industry exciting is new things

 

By the way, friend or foe -- Inman?  Answer:  Friend.  Inman provides a tremendous service to this industry.

 

Over the past ten years, there was a lot of fear.  Same true in other industries, too.  Think about the travel industry, the food industry...

 

One of the things we've learned over the past 10 years is that first mover is not all it was cracked up to be.

 

I say to anyone who is afraid of the future (or was it change) to get over it.

 

Look what Errol Samuelson has done with Realtor.com over the past few months.  We are playing catch-up, but watch what we do in the next few months.

 

Q:  Can Web 1.0 company catch-up with a Web 2.0 company?

 

Example:  Expedia purchased TripAdvisor.com

 

We are in the buzz-eye of one of the most important social networks in America -- the national discussion about housing and homes

 

25,000 to 30,000 user contributions per day!

300,000 people who come to Zillow are Realtors!

 

Realtor

If there were an organization that could advocate your best interest, everyone in the focus groups said resoundly, sure we want you to advocate for our interest.  Not individual Realtors, they are in the transaction business, but the Realtor organization.

 

Q:  Rich, what web sites do you read.

Dale, did I hear you say that NAR wants to get into the consumer business?

 

Yes, we are in the process of getting involved in the consumer business.  Every single department in NAR.  We are talking about engaging every homeowner in the country in a conversation about the way the real estate interest is developing.  And if anyone ever proposes cutting the tax-deductibility of interest payments, we'll be ready to be there to advocate for homeowners.

 

Is this a media campaign, a site?

 

I consider it an experience. 

 

We're putting a stack into the ground to tell our story as an organization.

 

Q:  Was this triggered by the 60 minutes program?

 

Stinton:  They filmed six hours of video and it was left on the floor.  CBS just didn't think it was news worthy, or entertainment worthy.

 

Q:  How did Zillow get all that attention?

 

You have a great product.  When you have something that is great and unique, and people want to talk about it at cocktail parties.

 

Q:  What's going on with the DOJ?

 

Stinton:  I cannot talk about it.  But I can make another announcement.  One of the things the Board of Directors approved is a dues increase.  One of the 13 things they approved -- including the consumer initiative -- is called NewCo.  It's a $20 million dollar fund to invest in new initiatives.  NewCo is live and in business.  Talk to Mark Lesswing if you have an idea.  We're risk-takers, and we're ready to get involved.

 

4,600 advertisers are using easy ad on Zillow, purchased by Realtors, stagers, inspectors, etc.  Our click through rates are three times the rate of a traditional banner ad.

 

Will NAR ever create a national MLS?  Creating every parcel of property in the nation.  Will allow members ability to access every parcel, and looking at giving consumers access.

 

Inman:  Sounds like Zillow. 

 

Barlow:  I said we were friends.

 

Q from audience:  How can NAR help agents in the near future?

 

Barlow:  We are trying to be a better partner, making it easier to advertise properties for FREE.  When times are slow, agents and brokers have more time to farm.  What we are trying to build is an incredible farming forum for real estate professionals to show off their skills and expertise.

 

When times are slow, people will have more time to show what they know, and that means the expertise will stand out.

 

Stinton:  We're contending with market psychology.  People like a nice stable market.  Here's what I have on our team:  1.4 million members, who touch 12 million consumers every year.  We have a new authorization to reach out to consumers and represent them in a new way.  ($20 million dollars over five years?)

 

I don't know how we turn the market around.  Even the president of the United States cannot change interest rates.  We don't want to be accused of puffing the marketplace.

 

And the $20 million for NewCos?  Inman quip:  you can invest in Zillows' next round.

 

Q:  What went wrong when the rule of law went out the window in the last few years?

 

Stinton:  If ever there was a reason for keep banks out of real estate, it's what's happened with subprime mortgages. 

 

We pride ourselves on the 70 million homeowners in the nation.  We're not happy about the foreclosure problem. 

 

Q:  Rich, what is your definition of Web 2.0?

 

It's a way to participate in our society.  Web 2.0 ethic:  Share it, put it out there for others to use, and it will come back to you.

 

Q:  How does that change real estate?

 

Barlow:  The adult social networking is starting!  And it is starting in real estate.  The home has the potential to be catalyst for an adult social network.

 

When I close my eyes and look at this, I see an old fashioned marketplace.  Commerce if fundamental to community. 

 

Q:  What's the next big thing?

 

Barlow:  The iPhone:  This could be the shot heard round the world, it is so sexy, you just cannot put them down.  Mobile computing is one of the most interesting things that will happen over the next ten years.  You can send Zestimates over your cellphone, and you'll be able to do more things in the future.

 

Stinton:  I worry about privacy, and I worry about the financial systems in the world -- the computerized financial systems in the world.  And the inevitable terrorist assault that might arise.  If I were sitting in a cave, wondering about what to attack, I would be looking at financial systems.

 

Inman:  I think this new world of social networking will protect us.

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