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NAR may not welcome Zillow back for 2016 events

by James F. McClister

real-estate-top-producer-agent-coach-sales-NAR-team

Every year, the National Association of Realtors holds a number of events aimed at elevating its membership by introducing them to the cutting edge of the industry – the latest strategies, the trends and the technologies. But this year, Zillow Group is not welcome at any of them.

First reported by Inman, NAR’s decision to bar the Zillow Group (which does include Trulia) from its 2016 event schedule was made in response to the legal battle currently going on between the two (and Move, Inc.).

“In light of the ongoing litigation, we elected not to permit Zillow to exhibit at or sponsor NAR’s meeting this year,” NAR Spokeswoman Sara Wiskerchen said in a statement.

The announcement from NAR seems to (but does not officially) coincide with MLS CEO Cameron Paine asking to a full room at the association’s midyear conference: Why is realtor.com – operated by Move Inc. and owned by News Corp. – allowed to pitch its products but not Zillow?

NAR vs. Zillow

As Wiskerchen said plainly, NAR’s official stance on the matter is that the association doesn’t want to mingle with an entity it is currently pursuing legal action against. However, Inman’s initial report suggests it may be more of a business move.

The report reads: It’s no secret that NAR has increasingly viewed Zillow Group as a competitor.

At a November meeting with state association executives, NAR CEO Dale Stinton referred to Zillow as NAR’s “No. 1 competitor,” saying the group is “more like a trade association that a business.”

Chicago Agent reached out to NAR for a statement on whether Zillow Group would be welcome back at association events once the courts have issued their ruling (expected in mid August), and its response was open ended.

“No decision has been made about next year,” Wiskerchen wrote in an email.

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