This week, online real estate platform Zillow announced a change in its business model. The company will be buying and selling homes directly to and from homeowners beginning this spring in two test markets, Phoenix and Las Vegas.
According to Zillow, a local agent will represent Zillow in the purchase and sale of each home, which will enable agents to earn commission on the purchase and sale. Zillow will also be expanding its Instant Offers program to Phoenix, HousingWire reports. Previously, the program was available in test markets Las Vegas and Orlando. As part of the expansion, Zillow plans to partner with three brokerages in Phoenix and Las Vegas: West USA, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, and Coldwell Banker Premier Realty.
Back in 2015, Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff said that the company views itself as a media company, not a real estate company. “We sell ads, not houses,” Rascoff said at the time. “We’re all about providing consumers with access to information and then connecting them with local professionals. We do a great job of giving those local professional high-quality lead, they’ll convert those leads at a high rate and then want more media impressions from us. So we’re not actually in the transaction, we’re in the media business.”