Zillow Flex: Scam as a Service

“To clear up a couple of pieces of misinformation about how we deliver leads across Flex and MBP, Zillow does not select which connections go to a partner in market-based pricing or Flex — these are assigned at random, and come from the same group of customers,”

“Second, our investment in Flex doesn’t diminish the quality of connections we deliver to our market-based pricing partners. While some tests or pilots may come to Flex first, we are committed to innovation that benefits all our partners.”

“Third, while more agent demand in a market does impact the cost of connections to our MBP partners, we carefully evaluate market conditions before adding Flex partners to a market and adjust budget caps regularly to foster a marketplace where great agents, like you, can profit from their investment with us.”

In reality, Zillow Flex is a broker-to-broker collusion scheme that utilizes its web site and a parent mortgage company as means to collect consumer’s information and pass it along to a colluding broker who is willing to pay for it with a cut of their commission.

All Partner Agents agree to pay Zillow Flex “shell” brokerage a pre-arranged referral fee, on all closed transactions, through their employing broker. According to Zillow, “Payment of a success fee is required only when agents close a transaction with a connection they’ve received from the program. The established success fees are specific to each market in order to account for local pricing trends.”

A referral agreement between Zillow Flex and a Partner Agent for a random transaction that may or may not happen sometime in the future is executed in advance. Zillow does not disclose their blanket referral fees, but they are likely priced 25%-35% of the entire commission generated from each transaction. Zillow aims to apply this reverse completion mechanism across millions of homes sold in the United States as a way to collect billions USD in broker commission kickbacks from a colluding network of independent real estate brokers.

This, in effect, is why Realtor commissions remain stubbornly high in the United States. Realtors, such as Meg Jones Mullin with Coldwell Banker Realty, are agreeing to pay 35% of their commissions to Zillow “shell” brokerage (in a blatant violation of 15 U.S.C. § 1; 12 U.S.C. § 2607; 12 C.F.R. § 1024.14; 15 U.S.C. § 45 where prosecution of a Sherman Act violation is subject to a five-year statute of limitations. The five-year period begins to run when the conspiracy is complete. 18 U.S. Code § 3282) instead of offering this money as savings to her clients.

#Collusion is an agreement between entities or individuals working together to influence a market or pricing for their own advantage.

#antitrust #kickbacks #ZillowFlex #pricefixing #consumerallocation #consumerbrokering #ShermanAct #FTCAct #RESPA #realestate U.S. Department of Justice Federal Trade Commission Consumer Financial Protection Bureau #realtors

Author: Litesand

Antitrust, real estate, e-commerce, fintech, proptech, bigtech

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