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There’s always something to howl about

Hey, @Zillow: Why are you calling the Realtors and lenders you prey upon #racist?

And why on earth do they continue to do business with you?

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  • 9 comments

    9 Comments so far

    1. Thomas Johnson January 19th, 2014 7:51 am

      Oh my, I long for the days of walking neighborhoods and posting pictures of the houses. Zestifarming, we called it.

    2. Greg Swann January 19th, 2014 10:20 am

      Much of this difference is attributable to the different resources and qualifications of minority versus white applicants, and the research was not able to examine the extent to which discrimination was at play in lending decisions.

      This would just be everyday corporate mob-appeasement were it not for these two facts:

      1. Zillow was shaken-down by these race pirates in 2006.

      2. The people they are attacking with mealy-mouthed deliberate ignorance are their cash customers.

      Zillow will get what it deserves for ferrying these scorpions, but this is the best reason I have seen so far for not buying its useless advertising: Don’t feed the mouth that bites you.

    3. Michael Cook January 22nd, 2014 3:38 pm

      I am not sure I got the same things out of the article you did Greg. I didnt see anyone called racist in that article. I didnt see anything about targeting either. Seems like they have some statistics that they want to get to the bottom of.

      The fact is that whites and blacks seem to utilize the mortgage markets differently. This article could have been about poor vs. wealthy. My bet is that wealthy blacks have a similar mortgage profile to wealthy whites.

      I certainly do believe there is discrimination in lending (experienced some for myself), but I dont believe this article was meant to address that. In my opinion, it looks like they are saying we have some statistics that are showing us something, how do we get to the bottom of it.

      I believe the quote you point out reinforces that, no? I have seen attacking articles and this isnt one of them by any means.

    4. Greg Swann January 23rd, 2014 10:47 am

      > This article could have been about poor vs. wealthy. My bet is that wealthy blacks have a similar mortgage profile to wealthy whites.

      Precisely. The only color anyone in real estate can see is green. That’s the actual objection, that Realtors and lenders aren’t racist, just rationally prudent (i.e., greedy). By failing to make these obvious observations, the unstated conclusion is that Realtors and lenders are racists.

      > experienced some for myself

      You brought a complaint, or this is an anecdote? The fine per fair housing violation is $11,000, and they never find just one violation. The fact that Zillow cannot defend its statistical legerdemain with a discussion of violations tells you how few there are – and how desperate Zillow is to make the race-piracy industry’s case despite a confessed lack of evidence.

      > In my opinion, it looks like they are saying we have some statistics that are showing us something, how do we get to the bottom of it.

      In my opinion, they’re paying off a shake-down with disguised contrition instead of cash. This would stink to high heaven even if they hadn’t been shaken down before.

      You will note that Zillow has contested none of what I have said. Their silence resounds.

    5. Michael Cook January 24th, 2014 12:08 pm

      Not sure I follow:

      “You will note that Zillow has contested none of what I have said. Their silence resounds.”

      Why would Zillow care what you say? It feels like you are accusing them with no facts, just conjecture. I dont think they need to defend themselves. Not to be rude, but as it relates to their consumers, I dont think you are a huge influence. No one agent is, heck, no 10 agents are. Zillow needs eyeballs on their website, which generates ad dollars, which come from agents and others. If agents only care about green as you say, then they only care about the eyeballs Zillow generates, not how Zillow treats them. They gain nothing by addressing your complaints. Ironically, by complaining, you are probably sending more eyeballs to them and giving them extra Google juice to boot.

      “You brought a complaint, or this is an anecdote?”

      Anecdote. I dont have the time or energy to complain over this kind of stuff. If I raised my hand every time something discriminatory happen to me, I wouldnt get anything done. I would argue that most people are that way. Time is money and complaining has rarely merit the value of that time.

      Lastly, I dont follow your logic here “By failing to make these obvious observations, the unstated conclusion is that Realtors and lenders are racists.”

      Why is this the obvious conclusion? It wasnt the conclusion I came to. If its obvious, shouldnt moost people jump right there with you? I actually cant even see how you get there, hence my original comment. Presenting stats without a stated conclusion seems prudent for a statistical firm like Zillow. A part of their business is data collection. It feels like you may be chasing ghost here in my opinion.

    6. Brett Tousley March 4th, 2014 7:47 pm

      Dumb this down for me Greg. I read the link and I don’t see where I’ve been called out as a racist. What did I miss?

      Personally, I think Zillow is a near useless, parasitic waste of Internet real estate. Honestly, it offers nearly zero true value to a consumer. But the consumers seem to not understand that. I’d love to see them cut off at the knees for just about any reason. I’m ready to bring out the pitchforks and torches to storm Frankenstein’s castle.

      I just don’t see any there there. Help me out.

    7. Greg Swann March 5th, 2014 9:46 am

      Disparate Impact Theory, which is applied in every circumstance except where people-of-non-white-and-non-Asian and/or people-of-non-testicles and/or people-of-non-heterosexuality excel, argues that any perceived difference in outcome is caused solely by racism/sexism/mean-people-suck. By not addressing the obvious point that people-of-non-white-and-non-Asian tend to do worse in the housing market because lenders and Realtors are prejudiced against any color except green, Zillow implies that its own customer base is at fault for the observed differences, rather than the income and credit profile of the borrowers.

      You’ll note that they have not denied that this is what their press release is implying.

    8. Brett Tousley March 5th, 2014 10:33 am

      Thanks for clarifying your take on the press release. I don’t reach the same conclusion as you do but I’m not one that needs to agree with everything someone writes to still enjoy their blog.

      I still view Zillow’s usefulness in a real estate transaction as on par with a client’s meddling Uncle who “used to be a Realtor back in the ’70′s”. But that’s just my opinion, others seem to like it very much.

      Of course that makes me a terrible hypocrite, I have a zillow profile and still post listings to their site. While I don’t directly give them any of my money, they do get to use my listings and info to part other real estate agents and brokers with their money. :)

    9. Greg Swann March 5th, 2014 10:38 am

      A gentleman. Whoda thunk it? ;)

      I’m thinking that Zillow’s greatest peril is to its investors, but then, none so deserving.