One of the most common questions I get is, do I trust the quality of data from Zillow, Redfin, and Realtor.com. The short answer is "NO". Their data is very general, and real estate is not a general industry. It is very nuanced based on too many factors to list. It takes a local expert to truly assess a particular property.
The CEO of CO-STAR thinks Zillow, Redfin, and Realtor - ZIL-TOR-FIN - are entities that have prioritized profits to the detriment of buyers and real estate agents. He claims they are souring the reputation of the real estate profession. He is offering an alternative.
Were these entities - ZILTORFIN - supposed to exist without making a profit? Is there any new organization that comes along to save the world and NOT prioritize making a profit? I have yet to see one. Usually, they enter the sphere offering a solution. They do so mostly because there is a problem that needs fixing. They are very vocal about defining the problem and their solution. Those who are part of the problem never look in the mirror closely enough to see it till it's too late, and then a third party steps in and actually offers a viable, easy-to-use solution.
Often the solution starts out being really cheap or free. Remember how cheap those early UBER rides were? Those $1 subscriptions usually morph into much higher monthly subscription fees after the adoption/addiction phase... That is standard business practice from the highest echelons of commerce all the way to the streets, where drug dealers hand out free drugs to fuel addiction. But nothing in commerce is free forever. Nothing. Sooner or later, profit is essential in maintaining and building the infrastructure needed to operate any enterprise. Once addicted - or adopted - the fees and costs start to rise. And rise. And rise. At that point, sometimes abuses seep in. Most 'solutions' in commerce simply shift the profits from one entity to another.
A confused and distracted consumer ALWAYS will seek a place where things are easier and 'all in one place'. Their harried, time-constrained world demands this. As professionals, we continuously fail to focus on what is in the consumer's best interest as our priority. Bad players in any industry always seek pure self-gain and reward. More recently, I have seen some in our profession offering new confusion to the consumer. Be certain someone will step in to profit from this. They always do.
Thank you, Leonard Steinburg from Compass, for this wonderful answer to what's happening with ZILTORFIN!