Zillow ready to show off ShowingTime+ in 2023
Mike Lane, co-founder of ShowingTime, says the unified ShowingTime+ brand is arriving at just the right time for agents.
- The company is adding new features in an effort to move closer to offering an agent "super app."
- Launching next year, Listing Media Services and Listing Showcase are meant to improve the presentation and marketing of homes for sale.
- While agents can still purchase services separately, more incentives are coming for agents who opt to bundle the products.
Zillow's newest brand is expected to make a big splash in 2023 as the company adds features to help agents with the process of buying and selling homes.
ShowingTime+, introduced in September, houses an array of agent products and services, including ShowingTime, a software platform for scheduling home tours and managing offers; Bridge Interactive, a provider of brokerage and MLS back-office software; dotloop, a transaction management platform; and Zillow's Rich Media Experience team, which oversees 3D tours and interactive floor plans.
Expanding services, moving toward a 'super app'
The unified brand is planning to introduce several new features in 2023, including Listing Media Services and Listing Showcase, both of which are designed to make listings more marketable.
Listing Media Services simplifies the process of booking a photographer and receiving high-resolution property images, while Listing Showcase will help agents differentiate their listings with branding and "a unique listing display."
Zillow Group announced on Dec. 8 that it has closed on its deal to acquire VRX Media, known for its aerial drone photography, virtual staging, 3D tours and high-definition photography. The addition of VRX's products to ShowingTime+ will enable Zillow to successfully launch its new listing features in 2023.
"Listing media is a crucial part of selling a home, and we are focused on creating an immersive customer experience that makes listings stand out," said Jun Choo, senior vice president of ShowingTime+. "With VRX Media, ShowingTime+ will give agents elevated listing products unlike anything available today and will transform the way they prepare and market their for-sale listings."
ShowingTime+ is also taking steps to make it easier for agents to use all the products together, although they will continue to be available separately. Along with price breaks for bundling products, the company is working on a single sign-on and eliminating the need for duplicate entries, reflecting the desire to provide a "super app" for agents that supports them at every step of the transaction.
ShowingTime founder pleased with brand's direction
For Mike Lane, this is what he'd hoped to see when ShowingTime became a part of Zillow. Lane co-founded ShowingTime 22 years ago and continued to lead the company after it was acquired by Zillow Group in 2021 for $500 million.
"When you sell to a bigger company, you look at it as a natural extension of what we were doing," Lane said, adding that the services within ShowingTime+, and the new features to come, fit well together and help agents more easily manage the home transaction process.
He also noted that while there are always adjustments when joining a larger company, he's happy with how the integration is happening and the plans for the coming year.
When he first joined Zillow Group, Lane continued to focus only on ShowingTime. He's now the vice president of enterprise, overseeing the sales of ShowingTime+. He's pleased with the decision to unify agent tools under one brand, and he's particularly excited about the big investment Zillow has made in 3D photography and floor plan technology, which fall under the ShowingTime+ umbrella as part of the Rich Media Experience team.
"There's a great opportunity for growth through photography," said Lane.
So far ShowingTime+ is being warmly received, Lane said, and he was heartened by the feedback they heard when introducing the newest products at the NAR NXT conference in November. He also believes the rebranding from ShowingTime to ShowingTime+ has gone well, creating interest without changing too much.
"It got the curiosity we wanted," Lane said.
While some agents are accustomed to using only the ShowingTime feature, Lane said he's interested in seeing how agents react to the bundled offerings and the idea of using more of the services together. He noted there is already quite a bit of overlap between ShowingTime and the other features like dotloop, which has 500,000 users.
The rolling out of ShowingTime+ comes at a time when the real estate market has slowed — to Lane, this just means these products are even more valuable to agents.
After all, many of these services weren't needed when multiple bids were submitted within hours after a listing went live, a common occurrence in many markets in 2021.
"What do agents need in a down market? What do we do for agents trying to win a listing? What agents asked for is what we're building," Lane said, noting that these mid-funnel tools are meant to make the transaction process easier for agents, freeing them up to work with clients.
This story was updated on Dec. 8 to include information about Zillow Group's acquisition of VRX Media.