brokerage

Zillow Protects Broker Data

by Victor Lund on June 28, 2017

Zillow Logo

WAV Group supports brokers and MLSs in constructing data licensing agreements with users of data records that belong to the broker. When a company like Zillow ingests broker data, like all recipients, they must adhere to the data license agreement which typically requires that you cannot allow the data to be used by a third party. The blog McMansionHell.com is learning the hard way that using data from Zillow without proper authority is a copyright violation that Zillow will pursue. Not only will Zillow pursue the violation, but they may be contractually bound to pursue the violation. The media around the case is a bit confused, so let me try to break it down in layman terms. There are two methods for licensing data to Zillow Group. I say Zillow Group because they do a great job of creating one license agreement for all of their websites. In the absence of a license agreement, the default agreement is the Terms of Use on their respective websites. Zillow manages a number of license agreements depending on how they are acquiring the data. The agreements that they have with Franchise Organizations like Realogy, Keller Williams, RE/MAX, etc have a certain flavor. Agreements with brokerages are a little different. Agreements directly with the Multiple Listing Service are also different. The primary covenants of these agreements is that Zillow Group will use the data for its intended purpose and not allow anyone else to use the data. If the broker sends the data to Zillow, its generally for advertising purposes. They would not expect Zillow to collect the data for the purpose of advertising a home for sale, then have Zillow turn around and ship it elsewhere for some other purpose. In this case, Zillow did not provide a data feed to McMansionHell.com. McMansionHell.com is subject to the Terms of Use that are published on Zillow as a user. McMansionHell.com scraped the data off of Zillow. The process is pretty easy to do on any computer. Simply right click on the image and save it to you computer. Here is where it gets interesting. Sometimes you can use an image from Zillow legally, and at other times you cannot. The digital millennium copyright act allows for some content sharing online. However, the Zillow Terms of Use are very specific. You can only use Zillow Group websites for their stated intent – looking for a […]

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Big Data Can Drive Bigger Broker Margins

by Victor Lund on June 9, 2017

customer reports

WAV Group spends a lot of time consulting with brokers on how to re-margin their business. We published a paper in 2013 called Harvesting Business From Broker Data.  That paper characterized the methods that we developed with a number of brokers to harvest business from across the enterprise of title, mortgage, residential, relocation, insurance, commercial, and property management businesses. It has worked very well for many brokers to recapture repeat transactions and new business though cross sell. In many ways, the rethinking that went into the thesis around harvesting business across the enterprise was the first intellectual break from the linear approach of Advertising for Lead Generation to Lead Maturation to Lead Conversion. Brokers were spending too much time trying to onboard new customers and far to little time staying connected with customers they have already won. Strangely, there has been a shift in advertising dollars away from the broker and more toward the team and agent. This shift is largely reflective of commission economics. But also driven in big part by Zillow remodeling their brokerage platform. If top producing agents and teams are capping out and getting 80% to 100% commission, there is no contribution to broker budgets for advertising. How does the broker get commission margin back? Referrals! WAV Group is now in a position to support brokers to re-margin their business with big data programs that we have been maturing. The programs key off of the relocation and referral commission programs that brokers retain about 35% commission on. Brokers who increase their referral business stand to reap greater margin rewards. Brokers are in a position to purchase big data solutions that use predictive analytics to generate leads for consumers upstream of Internet leads from websites or portals. CoreLogic, SmartZip, Opcity, and a host of other companies are framing up these solutions for brokers today. WAV Group works with brokerage firms to make these programs pay out. Here is the rub. The broker must become competent at developing these opportunities and purchasing solutions efficiently. The challenge for brokers is taking this strategy, understanding how it fits into your business plan, allocating resources, implementation, and managing effectiveness. You cannot just buy the service and expect the checks to start rolling in. This strategy needs to be developed as a center of excellence in your company. Brokers Can Win! WAV Group has done some experimenting with market buy-outs. In some […]

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