In a perhaps surprising move, real estate blogger Jay Thompson joined Zillow as their director of industry outreach and social media.
By “surprising” I mean surprising for Thompson, not for Zillow.
Thompson runs the very successful “Phoenix Real Estate Guy” blog, and the equally successful Thompson's Realty in Arizona.
But, Thompson said there is a good reason why he’s leaving his successful business in Arizona to head up to rainy Seattle.
“In a nutshell, because I love a challenge, and I love working with ridiculously smart people. And trust me, this will be a challenge and Zillow is full of ridiculously smart people,” he wrote Thursday on his blog.
His wife will be taking over the business, and Thompson will be renting out an apartment (that he found on Zillow) in Seattle. They’ll go back and forth to spend time together.
Thompson has stood up for Zillow since the beginning, often writing that he sees it as a partner instead of a competitor. In a blog post he penned five years ago called "Why do so many agents fear Zillow," he said, “I've said several times on this blog and commented on others that I have no fear of Zillow. And I don't. In fact, I love it when a client whips out a printout of a Zestimate. It's a golden opportunity to display my expertise. If I can't provide a better estimate of a home's market value than a bunch of code, then I'm in the wrong business.”
But, some of the commenters on Thompson’s post announcing his new job weren’t so positive about the online real estate database.
In the words of one reader:
"A true partner to this industry wouldn't flood the online space with bogus information that serves only to confuse consumers ... and a true partner doesn't spend the bulk of their time reaching for your wallet."