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Zillow resolves “applied filter” issue with data feeds, questions remain

Zillow reached out to brokers in recent weeks, stating that their feeds were missing, but ListHub confirmed they had electronically been sent to Zillow. Since then, Zillow has fixed an “applied filter” issue which leads some to more questions.


In recent weeks, Zillow made headlines for calling select brokers to let them know their listings aren’t showing up on Zillow, but ListHub says they have confirmation that Zillow already had the full feed. This led to brokers calling their Associations, a handful of which made public statements on the topic, condemning the real estate portal for deception.

It remains unknown exactly how many brokers across the nation experienced this, but we have learned that Zillow has identified a filter that was being applied to these feeds, which has now been resolved. ListHub will be updating their members via email today regarding the resolution.

Haters gonna hate

Let’s say that you bleed Zillow blue – you would likely assert that it sounds like a small technical glitch, and there’s no proof that more than a handful of brokers were called by low level sales staffers. The problem was brought to Zillow’s attention, and they fixed it, end of story. You might feel that the attention given to the original issue was too much, and that Zillow haters just want to hate, no matter what Z does well.

“This is actually pretty simple. Complete, timely listings data on Zillow is important to our industry partners and consumers so yes, we contact brokers whose listings we think may be either out of date or absent, regardless of the source of the data,” one Zillow representative responded to the original story posted to Facebook.

What is an applied filter, and why was it ever applied?

But let’s say that you remain skeptical of Zillow – you would likely assert that they should have done an internal investigation before hopping on the phone to strong arm brokers into giving them their lifeblood in the form of direct data feeds. You might believe that “applied filter” sounds like a term used by a slick politician sweeping an atomic bomb under the rug, and that it doesn’t actually explain anything; you might ask what in the hell was being filtered out in the first place, and if there are other filters still in place.

“It seems to me that they are in a marketing bind trying to generate revenue to please Wall Street and/or to impress them with sign ups, and that is a pretty plausible motive for using these types of tactics to push brokers into providing direct feeds,” opines Eric Blackwell, Blogger and Online Marketing Consultant for REALTORS.

Regarding the applied filters, Blackwell calls for transparency as to why the filters were (or are) applied, and says the motives behind applied filters should be up for discussion.

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Zillow’s approach is curious

Typically, when a publicly traded company files for IPO or approaches a merger, they observe what is known as the “quiet period” wherein they may not make any moves or announcements that would alter the price of their stock until the process is completed through federal regulators.

With Zillow’s recent announcement that they are acquiring Trulia, it is curious that any representatives of the company would respond publicly on the topic, but that is not the case with this traditionally brazen brand.

What sounds like a simple answer raised questions. What exactly is an applied filter? As of publication, Zillow has not responded to our request for comment.

Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.


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