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  • Promising Future For Zillow [View article]
    Zillow sells leads to agents. Period.
    Aug 13, 2015. 11:13 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Zillow: The Perfect Opportunity For Aggressive Growth [View article]
    It's clear to me you have no idea what dotloop is. It's simply a way for people sign documents electronically and for Zillow to scrape (and ostensibly sell) data. In no way does Zillow do anything unique but to sell agents leads from potential buyers.
    Aug 5, 2015. 04:04 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Zillow: The Perfect Opportunity For Aggressive Growth [View article]
    Let me begin at the end. I am long Z puts. I expect this stock to continue to collapse based on a poor experience with the company and fundamental problems with the business.

    Let me tell you why. I own a small real estate brokerage and my personal business is 2/3 brokerage and 1/3 house flipping. I have been in the business since 1995. I was a real estate appraiser from 1995 until I sold my company in 2008 (quite well timed and quite a windfall). I have extensive experience in real estate and it has been my life all of my career and I am in the process of forming a REIT to fund my flipping venture. All of the things I am about to write are facts from my experience, not conjecture.

    Overall, Z is very good at SEO. They are very good at making agents believe they are the secret sauce to success. They are apparently good at convincing MLS's that agents believe the same. However, Coach G in the comments above has the best grip on their real income potential and therefore their ultimate value in the market.

    1. Zestimates are nothing more than bait to get you to engage. They are often VERY wrong. I currently have a lake front listing that is $329,000 and the Zestimate is $150,000. The commenter who said he worked for a bank and they used Zestimates is certainly not being truthful. No federally backed bank would hear of such foolishness. As an appraiser, I am 100% qualified to make this statement. As commenters have stated the accuracy of the Zestimates I wonder the following...How do you know? Have you gone back and looked at the sales price of a property after it sold and compared it to its Zestimate or do you just feel like it's right?

    2. Zillow doesn't get to pick and the broker doesn't get to pick who "gets the lead". When you look at a listing, there are three agents with photos on the page with a profile pic and a contact me link. That is how the lead is generated and it goes directly to the agent. Now, let me ask you a the general public going to pick the hot 25 year old with the glamour shots pic or the crusty old agent who has hundreds of transactions under his belt? Both men and women want to deal hot women. Who is better able to pay Zillow? When the more experienced older agent doesn't get the ROI they are expecting, they will and do (and should) bail on the program.

    3. Agents don't pay by the lead. They pay a monthly amount for a share of a zip code. Zillow doesn't sell leads. They sell "impressions" which they define by how many page views they have in a zip code. Now I ask you...if they claim to be selling 3 shares in a zip code with 10,000 impressions, who is going to police that and prevent them from telling agent "A" in February they are selling 3 shares in that zip code and then selling all three shares only to offer to agent "G" in September 1/3 of 10,000 impressions when they have actually already sold many more than 3 shares? My point is they can tell agents whatever they want and at this point, I don't trust that they don't dilute my zip codes.

    4. A recent new effort on their part is to sell agents all of the inquiries on "preforeclosures". Well a preforeclosure, by their definition, is any property with any action brought against it. It could be a small mechanic's lien, tax lien, or a legitimate foreclosure. Zillow's advice is to take that lead and switch the potential client to another property. This is another example of poor data quality resulting in a mislead member of the public coming to a participating agent who has to explain why they can't take a crack at what they came to the party for. Can you say "bait and switch"? Usually the preforeclosures are not on the market and the owner of the property has no idea that any of this is going on with Zillow. Let me give you an exact address...923 Osceola on Sullivans Island SC is a trainwreck of wrongness. It is actively listed on the MLS for $3.8M and it's probably worth close to that. Z has it as a preforeclosure for $1.5M and a Zestimate of $1.71. Z says that the last sale was in 2012 for $1.25M...but that was for the LOT ONLY! How long before the public starts to look at to get accurate info?

    5. In no event will Zillow or any other website ever replace agents. It's safe to say that 95% of SA readers are 95% more business savvy than 95% of the genpop. Just because you can do it does 't mean that most people can. No website will ever meet a home inspector, verify the correctness of a settlement statement, advise a client about which surveyor to use, know which neighborhoods are similar and have listings in substitute of the one they are looking in, etc. To think that Z will take away from agent's market share is folly. Agents jobs are and fiduciary representation. No website can fully market and no website can in any way represent.

    6. Anecdotal comments that a lot of people look at the website and do so more than any other are just that, anecdotal. They are a long way from being "the brand" of real estate search. As for my trading and investing decisions, I prefer facts to anecdotes. According to, both Z and Trulia's web traffic is down both lately and Y/Y in the hottest real estate market in 8 years.

    7. I also participate with Trulia. Since Z bought Trulia, the leads have all but stopped. What to do about this? NOTHING because again, they don't sell leads. They sell impressions. I expect that over the next two years, Trulia will be 100% written down.

    I can't wait to discontinue my contract with Zillow. I am not alone. They have no significant revenue from any other source than agents similar to me. As far as their valuation and attainable market, again, see Coach G's comments previous. I believe they have maxed out as long as they offer only the products they currently offer.
    Aug 1, 2015. 06:19 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Top 10 Reasons Why Zillow Breaks $40 [View article]
    Additionally, there's no governance on how many shares they can sell in a market and they are never ending diluting once they sell a market. I participate with Zillow but I hate it. I can't wait to get my contract over.
    Jul 27, 2015. 09:59 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Zillow CFO Cohen resigning; shares -3.8% [View news story]
    June 2 at 7:36 PM "Coach-G" posted the simplest and best analyses of Z ever here on SA
    Look it up.
    Jul 10, 2015. 05:24 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Zillow CFO Cohen resigning; shares -3.8% [View news story]
    I run a small brokerage in SC and I LOATHE Zillow. Their platform stinks, the way particular leads are routed to individual agents is very irritating, and being a Zillow premier agent has been an overall bad experience for me. I bought into their "preforeclosure" program which is a giant bait and switch scheme facilitated by Z. Z is known industry wide for having very low quality data with zero accoutability for inaccuracy either by the agents for falsely inputting misleading info or for Zillow for allowing it. I am also on Trulia and I prefer Realtor except they don't let agents put up non-mls properties. I have a large position of Z puts.
    Jul 10, 2015. 05:21 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Buy Zillow Ahead Of Massive Growth [View article]
    Just because YOU don't need help with a real estate transaction doesn't mean others don't. There are a lot if uneducated people who buy real estate. ER Doctors are mostly interchangeable as well but that doesnt mean that an advertising website is going to replace them and UBER is going to replace the ambulance. Good, well educated agents keep buyers and sellers out of trouble and Z is just a lead gen platform for them. As a successful broker I can tell you that 1) most agents can't or won't afford Z's services 2) Z sucks compared to 3) on no planet does Z valuation make sense on present or projected numbers 4) Z over sells their services in areas where successful thereby diluting their own markets.
    Jun 18, 2015. 06:17 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Buy Zillow Ahead Of Massive Growth [View article]
    That's the single most intelligent analyses of this stock I have heard yet.
    Jun 3, 2015. 10:32 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Zillow: Don't Sell In May [View article]
    Z is an "also ran" that's only real MOJO is beating at seo. will always be favored by agents because of their relationship with NAR. Z has no identifiable or proprietary competitive advantage.
    Apr 13, 2015. 02:59 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Zillow, Trulia up over 6% [View news story]
    How's your Z investment holding up?
    Mar 31, 2015. 06:31 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Zillow, Trulia up over 6% [View news story]
    I see seriously troubled waters for Z as it loses its data source relationship with Listhub. I am hoping earnings posts a big beat so I can use the bounce to put on some long dated puts. Without Listhub their already beleaguered data quality will plunge and the public will flock to sending agents elsewhere to buy their leads. P.S. As a career real estate appraiser I can say unequivocally that the pipedream of an automated valuation will always be minimally viable and worth what it costs Surely SA readers are smart enough to realize that zestimates are thinly veiled attempts at capturing your data to sell to RE brokers as leads.
    Feb 13, 2015. 01:54 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 2 Auto-Parts Retailers Gain Moats From Growing Cost Advantages, Industry Consolidation [View article]
    If you indeed own such a fine automobile, you will no doubt have spent a Saturday up to your elbows in grease. As such, you will appreciate that you are not going to quit and order something from the net when you are in the middle of a repair. You are going to drive your wife's pacer down to the local aap and pick up a new left handed bolt stretcher, pronto. After what I consider to be a stellar earnings report, I loaded up on a boatload of 130 July calls.
    May 15, 2014. 05:39 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Bank Of America Under $15: Bargain Or Bust? [View article]
    This company is one of the slickest in the country and the accounting required for a bank of this size is monumentally difficult. They voluntarily brought it forward and while $4B is huge to most of us, it is a minor misstatement in relation to the complexity and scale of the ecosystem where it occurred. I loaded up on 2016 $15 leaps.
    May 7, 2014. 04:26 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • J.C. Penney: Realistic Possibilities In The Face Of Serious Liquidity Issues [View article]
    To the author and the SA editors... This is real investment piece written by a knowledgeable and objective studier of business. It is a real add to credibility of SA and to the investment community at large, much to the contrary of the pointless arrow slinging that is often seen here (HLF discussions come to mind). Thanks for writing it and thanks for publishing it. Even though I will not be investing in any form in JCP because the only risk profile I see as viable is the CDS and I am a MICROSCOPIC sized retail investor, I am richer already for having read it. Best wishes.
    Feb 5, 2014. 09:25 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Looking Beyond Tesla As An Auto Company [View article]
    Even if it says KIA?
    Jan 21, 2014. 06:49 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment