John Lusink
John Lusink

Right At Home Realty in Toronto has signed an agreement to send a direct listing feed to Zillow.com. The Seattle-based website says it will soon offer for sale listings from Right At Home. Earlier this year, Century 21 also agreed to provide listings to Zillow.

Right At Home is the largest independent brokerage in Canada, with more than 4,000 salespeople.



“Zillow is proud to partner with Right At Home Realty and offer this widely respected Canadian brand free advertising for their listings on one of the most visited real estate sites in the world,” says Errol Samuelson, Zillow Group chief industry development officer, in a statement. “Zillow has proven to be a highly effective marketing tool for real estate professionals in the U.S., and we’re excited to expand our relationships into Canada, increasing exposure to Canadian homes for sale, while offering buyers a more robust home search experience for North America.”

Right At Home president John Lusink says the relationship with Zillow “will be of great benefit to our customers and our entire organization. We have a long history of being leaders in our field.”

Zillow says it “has relationships in the U.S. with thousands of brokerages and real estate agents and hundreds of MLSs and is expanding these efforts into Canada, offering partners a simple and free way to drive global exposure to Canadian homes for sale.” The company says it receives more than 100 million visits from non-U.S. audiences a year, with the largest shares from Canada, U.K., India, Germany, Mexico and China.

Every Canadian listing on Zillow will include a description of the property, multiple photos, contact information for the listing agent and a link to the brokerage or franchise website, the company says. Zillow’s Canadian partners will be able to post for sale listings directly to the site in a bulk feed.

39 COMMENTS

  1. With all the great info and perspectives here, gotta wonder if C21 and RAH corporate took more than 5 minutes to discuss partnering with Zillow before proceeding?

    More importantly, did they even think about consulting their clients (realtors) before proceeding? Even if they thought about it clearly they didn’t actually do any real consultation.

    So then – what is the motivate for C21 and RAH to offer up all this free data? How do they benefit? What’s more important to them in the big picture than their clients long term livelihood?

    No fiduciary duty from corporate, that’s for sure.

    • realtor.ca offers consumers “free” listings to review – so does every website such as search.ca, Point2, mongohouse….. this is just another avenue to display listings. No big deal .. wake up smell the coffee – dinosaur.

      • Obviously you haven’t read any of the points made below that clearly outline how Zillow is entirely different, a conversation is a two way street not just you shouting an (uninformed) opinion from a microphone. If you’d like to actually participate in the conversation that’s certainly appreciated. Labeling Realtor.ca and Zillow as equal is case and point. Stop squawking like a pterodactyl.

  2. I totally agree not to sell our dats our hard working effort to a third party USA based company for free. Why Canadians are so naive pretty soon our industry will be controlled and runed by U S companies.

    • Would you believe that some people overseas think that Canada is part of USA? Had that happen again just last week in a conversation with UK, who certainly should know better.

      But again believe it or not, there are some locations stateside who also believe that. It’s interesting because some here have .ca domains. And of course it is thought that means California, never thinking it means Canada.

      Many people are not familiar with the 49th parallel or anything north of it. Note that when the American TV Channels here show their weather maps, they mostly don’t show anything north of the border. Yet our news coverage and weather always shows stateside.

      Carolyne L 🍁

  3. Number of Century 21 listings currently on Zillow website: 0
    Number of Right At Home listings currently on Zillow website: 0

    In the 80s products that were announced well before delivery were called “vaporware”. Plus ça change.

  4. Is everyone aware that CREA sold the DDF feed to Kijiji (owned by US E-Bay)? If our own National association which we all fund can monetize our listings – for profit (CREA non-profit) why are we all surprised a brokerage agreed to distribute their own listings to a third party for profit business.

  5. Dig deeper fellas. Is it possible that the decision makers had a vested interest or would have a vested interest as part of the deal?

  6. This is another online advertising source. No different than the Chinese site Juwai.com where so many Realtors and Brokerages post their listings to market to the Asian buyer. This offers more choice for the consumer and opportunities for Realtors to market beyond traditional, local markets. If you think that the data is not out there, think again. It has been for a long time. We need to embrace open data and learn to put a value on the services we offer as real estate professionals and charge for how we interpret, market and service our clients.

    • I don’t think the issue is open markets or trying to keep data from other web companies that can help market our listings. I am all for marketing listings globally on the web. I think the issue is the one that is not discussed by Zillow or the companies that are partnering with Zillow in Canada, which is that Zillow is not doing this out of the kindness of their heart. There has to be a profit motivation for them. I have been told, and have read about this with respect to their current practices in the US markets, that Zillow will take the leads that are generated by us hard working realtors, and then sell them back to us hard working realtors. In other words, leads that we would be generating from our own marketing get hi-jacked so to speak midway through the cycle, and end up back to us for a fee. If I am incorrect on this observation, then let me know. Otherwise, join them if you want to. However, why else would they want into the Canadian market? They are a company that is like no other company that is mandated to make a profit. Nothing wrong with that, but maybe, like so many others have pointed out, that they should pay for the data if they are going to profit from it? If you can’t stop them, then why not make sure that they are paying fairly to obtain the listing data. Also, comparing this to Juwai seems like comparing apples and oranges to me.

      • Dale, all great points. The thing is, Zillow is probably paying for that data. Except the Realtors aren’t getting anything from it. Listings that Realtors generate belong to Brokerages, not the Realtors. Get it?

        • I sat in on their presentation to our borders. They dont pay anything for the listing data, they get it for free. They then charge Realtors to become premium Realtors in your market. The cost to become a premium Realtor depends on how popular your market is, basically becomes an auction and the price keeps going up. They are taking our data for free and selling leads to Realtors that might not even trade in your market. Do some digging into their actions in the US and you will be shocked.

    • The big difference with Zillow is that once they have your data they sell leads to the highest bidder. For example, you post your listings on their site, when a consumer clicks on a link for more information they get connected with a premier agent, basically the agent willing to pay the most for leads in your area. This agent might not even trade in your market, they could be a shadow brokerage working out of their mom’s basement. That agent then sells the lead back to an agent in your market, most likely neither of them have ever been to your listing and dont have a clue how to sell your listing to a prospective buyer. Now this hot lead has cooled off significantly and will never be in your hands. The alternative is that the data isn’t on Zillow and this lead finds you through your website or Realtor.ca and you can answer questions professionally because you know the property, which would you prefer.

  7. I am trying to understand why certain members of our industry are falling all over themselves to give away this valuable data for free to a company so they can make millions of dollars selling leads back to us? Stats show over 90% of buyers are already looking online, so adding another website is not going to increase that number. It will just steal market share from other sites. Do we want Zillow and other sites to take market share away from sites like realtor.ca? Or….since a model like Zillow cannot exist without the data, what about a radical idea….like they have to pay for content? If they want to use our listings, what about making them pay for them. The sales argument they will provide “more” exposure does not ring true with me, since they will not be expanding the overall online market, they are going to just cause shifts in it….all at my expense as a Realtor.

    • The “service” provided by Realtor is to expose a clients property to achieve a successful sale ideally at the highest price possible. Maximum exposure to as many eyes as possible is our responsibility. Realtor.ca is one channel provided by our not-for-profit industry trade group that we all pay for – yes that is good. Is Zillow competitive ? It is another channel of advertising for a property. I would not over-react this is all good.

      • Ron,

        I assume you work for Zillow because your “exposure” argument is the common one used by Zillow promoters and was already countered by John Peterson in his previous post. His point is valid: statistics from the U.S. show that Zillow and Trulia have NOT increased Internet traffic of buyers looking for properties. People are going to look online regardless – having another website like Zillow list properties for sale across Canada is not going to bring an increase in online buyer traffic or result in additional exposure for a particular property.

        Originally, there was one website in Canada to view MLS properties; all buyers had to view them there. Then came reciprocity and the sharing of listings across websites started in the early 00’s. Arguably, the dramatic rise in online BUYER traffic from 2003-2015 has peaked over the past 2-3 years and although there is still a slow increase in overall Internet usage, the majority of the North American population that is going to use the Internet, already does.

        What do the above numbers mean for real estate? The majority of buyers already use the Internet to search for homes – we have plateaued. By adding another national real estate company like Zillow to the fold, you are not luring more buyers online or increasing exposure for your property, you are simply giving a buyer a different URL or web address to view the property on and, unfortunately, paying the company for the buyer’s contact information.

        • I do not work for Zillow – I own a brokerage and just happen to choose to service my clients with what they ask rather than tell them what they can have and how they can have it.
          Consumers have a choice how to search and agents have a choice on how to promote their business. Zillow does not SELL leads – consumers select. How is Zillow different than the old Saturday RE section -no body was yelling then about over exposure.

          • Uhhh Zillow does not sell leads? Maybe on another planet, or maybe with a very warped and entirely wrong interpretation of the word “sell”. Otherwise, yes, Zillow sells leads, Realtors give them all the data for free and then pay to buy it back. That’s EXACTLY what they do.

      • Zillow is not another channel. It duplicates the existing channel that already works quite well.
        It confuses the consumer and disrupts the existing system that both the consumer and the registrants are accustomed to. Zillow does not produce its own product. Period.

  8. What is Zillow’s ultimate goal and end game in the Canadian (and USA) markets? How will they eventually make a profit from the market share they are building?

    USA consumers were not able to originally, but now can sell their home directly to Zillow with their “Instant Offer” program. What’s next?

    Zillow has trampled USA local MLS, brokerage and agent websites. We will be sending Canadian money to an American company that is not creating anything new, just taking advantage.

    Zillow gets the end product of Realtors hard work for free to monetize as they please (i.e. taking advantage). We offer up free data that allows them to become the number one Canadian site, as they have in the USA. In turn this will let Zillow offer to services direct to consumers that diminish and devalue the role of Realtors. Openly inviting this by giving them free listing content is the first step.

    Innovation is not paying for something you already own and provide. DDF/IDX are owned by CREA and local real estate boards. Improving and expanding Realtor.ca and having that remain as the number one Canadian real estate search destination helps Canadian Realtors, Zillow does not.

    Supporting Zillow is like the taxi industry supporting Uber. USA Realtors pay approximately $1B per year to Zillow to “buy back leads”, or however you want to label that $1B sucked out of wallets.

  9. As far as I can see this offers no benefit to the consumer. Everything for sale is on Realtor.ca. why would I use a site that may or not may not have all the available listings?

  10. You can be pretty sure Right at Home is not aware of their violation with REBBA 2002 through this arrangement since C21 clearly was not.

    It amazes me the amount of information, recommendations and instructions provided about remaining compliant with regulators that is ignored by those seeking to gain a teeny tiny edge for a few seconds of business life.

    Unfortunately with this decision it would be only a Seller kept in the dark about how their listing on Zillow exposes them to risk they currently are protected under with Canadian laws, that would allow their home to included in the Zillow feed.

    Just another example of why Canadians really only need 5000 Selling Brokers and not 120,000 sales reps.

    • Nelson
      Just curious, not criticizing: I know from nothing about Zillow. In your REM comment, the paragraph you wrote:
      “Unfortunately with this decision it would be only a Seller kept in the dark about how their listing on Zillow exposes them to risk they currently are protected under with Canadian laws, that would allow their home to included in the Zillow feed.”

      [in particular: “exposes them to risk they currently are protected under with Canadian laws,”]

      Can you confirm if, or that, Canadian laws apply “in any other country?”

      If a judge in a Canadian court issues an order, for example, to cease and desist in regard to a topic, or issues any sort of order, is such order, or judgement, required to be obeyed in any other country? Or will it result in a response: “Your Canadian laws don’t apply in our country. So we don’t have to honour or obey them.”

      Respectfully
      Carolyne L 🍁

      • Carolyne,

        Pretty simple Zillow, Trulia, StreetEasy, HotPads, NakedAparments, RealEstate, OutEast, DotLoop, Mortech, Stripe, Checkr, Plaid, Experian, TransUnion and lots more. Imagine explaining all this to a Seller Client to any degree that ensures they know what they are agreeing to allow.

        And then there is trying to Explain the fees generated from their listings and getting Sellers to agree to that monetization is impossible.

        Then of course the business problem of agreeing that Zillow owns
        24 Patents which many of the sales reps at Right at Home are actually using
        75 Trademarks which many of the sales reps are actually violating today

        Imagine believing a publicly traded Billion Dollar American Data Sales company (Zillow) is not going to do whatever it can to monetize your Clients personal data is simply nuts.

        Sorta like those “tech” brokerages, you know the ones with no listings and who don’t sell any homes, believing sales data on their websites will make them rich….only to find out for a couple hundred bucks every TREB member can and WILL give that information away rendering those dreams dead on arrival.

        Ignorance is bliss?

    • Please provide your definition of discount brand ? Isn’t that flat fee or companies that offer to sell your home for less ? I Thought Right at Home was an agent focused 100% commission model – is that what you mean by discount ? I think agents at Right at Home get a great deal.

    • Right At Home is not a discount brand. It is a full service Brokerage. Get your facts right.

      The Real Estate business has been changing rapidly over the last several years, We are all having to adapt to this on a regular basis. We are already giving our MLS listings for free through 3rd parties who then profit from it.

      Zillow is no different. This will not be the last of it This is an old way of thinking, its like in the past we always bought and searched through one web browser or search engine. Then new ones came about.

      People like options they do not care how they get/find their house, they do not care if it our listings are on another website and we paid for it. Get over yourself, this is reality. Whether we like it on not.

      • Here is RAH at work…

        The web browsers and search engines you are referring to were someone’s product. Zillow, on the other hand, does not have a product. Zillow is capitalizing on the listings that we work to generate.

        They are selling leads generated through displaying our listings back to us! You would have got that lead for free through Realtor.ca

        Why are you up for feeding the beast that will eventually take your job?

        Oh wait!.. RAH…

  11. Now waiting for trolls to tell us how happy they are their listings will be handed out to a third party to advertise “for free”.

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