In the excellent book about Jeff Bezos and Amazon called “The Everything Store,” the author tells numerous stories about partnerships Amazon established with various manufacturers and sellers.

    And in almost every instance, Amazon would start small, learn the business, enter the business itself, and eventually all but wipe out its former partner.


    I thought of Amazon this week when I read that Zillow bought a mortgage company b/c Zillow pretends to “partner” with real estate agents and lenders alike with their lead gen business (from which it gets 70% of its revenues).

    In this recent National Real Estate Post, the hosts remind agents and loan officers alike to “stop financing their own demise.”

    This is b/c Zillow is now firmly ensconced in both the real estate and mortgage channels and competing with the very people who are financing Zillow’s expansion into the channels.

    Should loan officers be worried? Yes, if they own Zillow stock :).

    But no, if they are knowledgeable, responsive, and able to offer a stellar experience.


    Zillow’s stock actually dropped 20% when they announced that they bought a mortgage company, according to this Money/CNN article.

    The reason is that mortgage business is extremely difficult, especially now with the entire industry contracting.

    In addition, mortgages themselves are just plain hard.

    Our Closing Specialists are literally some of the smartest people I know with academic achievements that put them in the top 1/2 of 1%, and they often have to spend hours doing creative work-arounds to find ways to close loans.

    Will Zillow’s call-center loan officers ever be able to do what our Closing Specialists do every week? Not a chance.

    And finally, as I have pointed out numerous times in previous blogs, consumers want low rates, a fantastic overall experience, and advisors who clearly convey competence.

    Can giant call centers ever offer all that? Not a snowball’s chance in hell.

    Come on in Zillow; the water’s warm :)

    Jay Voorhees
    Founder/Broker | JVM Lending
    (925) 855-4491 | DRE# 01524255, NMLS# 335646

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