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Zillow Is Making Nearly Half Its Money Now From Flipping Homes

Zillow Is Making Nearly Half Its Money Now From Flipping Homes

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  • More proof that most of these tech companies have very little innovation going on–so they just keep on inserting themselves as the middlemen in more and more non-tech areas. The main difference is that “tech” is the buzz word, the place to get VC funding, and to somehow make your derivative rentier business

    More proof that most of these tech companies have very little innovation going on–so they just keep on inserting themselves as the middlemen in more and more non-tech areas. The main difference is that “tech” is the buzz word, the place to get VC funding, and to somehow make your derivative rentier business model seem cool and hip and world-changing.

    Years ago, I did a short, several-day long gig helping OpenDoor process some paperwork. Their big differentiation was that people could check out the various homes they had for sale on their own, using IoT smart locks to get in; they’d have IoT cameras to make sure no one had a raging party or started squatting in them. IoT requires Internet connectivity, and even unoccupied houses have utilities to keep up – so they had hundreds and hundreds of houses across Phoenix (their initial market) – and each house had electricity, water/sewer, garbage, internet, and in some cases, landscaping bills - all being sent to their SF offices, and pretty much all coming from the same providers.

    Being the super awesome highly advanced tech start up that they were, they had basically ignored these bills for months, and the people who “figured out how to take care of this” created quite possibly the most convoluted and needlessly slow way of basically handling accounts payable, and acted as if they had solved some incredibly challenging problem that no-one in any business anywhere had managed to solve. A non-insignificant number of these homes were so past-due that I had to call providers to get the services restarted, usually with significant penalty fees. It was ridiculous and a huge amount of money they just flushed away because no one in an office of 50+ people considered that the hundreds and hundreds of bills coming in weekly were worth dealing with – until their “ingenious” solution for showing homes stopped working.