Zillow Should Treat iBuying as a Marketing Expense

iBuying is a Marketing Expense

In theory, Zillow’s Homes Segment could make money flipping residential real estate. Zillow leadership claims each deal will one day make a small profit according to a preferred metric that omits an actual cost (interest) and all of the overhead. However the target per-deal profit appears uncertain due to structural profit limitations on flipping homes, and is dwarfed by the overhead of building, operating, and marketing the iBuying platform. Zillow Offers, the public brand of

Zillow’s iBuyer Activities

Zillow Q2 2019 Homes Economics Exhibit

Zillow has an iBuying operation. Zillow is also a public company. Therefore they regularly disclose their financial results to the investing public. Their Shareholder Letter and Supplemental Financial Tables contain interesting details about their flipping activities. (Note: There are other iBuyers who are private companies, and the expense analysis likely applies to them too.) Overall iBuying Revenue For the 2nd quarter of 2019, Zillow’s Homes Segment (iBuying) reported revenue of $248.9 million and a loss

Who Are You?

2013-10-19 Alpaca - 350

Just an FYI to those who give fake information to the real estate websites – when you actually request more information there is no way for the agent (me) to get it to you. I understand not wanting to give out your deets, but you have to realize that there are consequences. The other day I got an inquiry via the Hartford Courant HomeFinder site about one of our listings. Brandon was interested in learning

Zeflections on Zillow

City Hall Sculpture

Earlier this week we put up a story about Zillow’s view on the value of our home. It wasn’t the first time we’ve mentioned Zillow, and I’m sure it won’t be the last. Historically we’ve only brought up the site when we we’re frustrated or amused. This mention had an interesting result – Zillow found our article and weighed in directly, and helpfully (see the comments at the bottom). It caused some debate and reflection

Why Does Zillow Hate My House?

Zillow is a fairly popular website among buyers. They have an algorithm they use to provide a Zestimate for any house, whether it’s actively for sale or not. The Zestimate is Zillow’s estimate of what they think the house is worth. This Zestimate is derived from recent comparable sales and a little fairy dust, I think. I spend a lot of time debunking Zillow Zestimates. I will admit, it kind of pisses me off. I