Agents deserve to choose the software tools that best meet their needs.

An open letter to the agent community

To the real estate agent community,

ShowingTime and Zillow Group have taken the unprecedented step of filing a lawsuit against two multiple listing services (MLSs). 

We took this action for a simple reason: to preserve your ability to make your own choices about how to run your business and which software providers you want to use.

Recently, several MLSs formed a consortium called MLS Aligned and launched their own showing tool called Aligned Showings. That’s not the issue — the more tech innovation in real estate, the better, and competition pushes us all forward. 

But two of those MLSs aren’t interested in allowing their agent members to choose which showing software they prefer to use — which would mean being open to competition. Instead, MLSs in the Phoenix and Milwaukee regions plan to disable their integrations with ShowingTime — impacting the businesses of tens of thousands of agents in order to put the MLS-owned tool at an unfair advantage.  

ShowingTime made numerous attempts to convince these two MLSs to keep the seamless ShowingTime integration active as an additional option for their agent members, as other MLSs in the consortium have done. ARMLS announced they would remove the deep integration with ShowingTime on December 27, 2023. 

The MLSs declined all offered alternatives and resolutions, leaving their agent members with no choice, and giving Aligned Showings an effective monopoly in their regions. As a last resort, we filed a legal complaint because we believe the actions by these two MLSs are anticompetitive and disadvantage agents — and consumers — in these markets.

Agents in any MLS should be able to choose the products and services that best meet the needs of their business and their clients — whether that’s ShowingTime, Aligned Showings or another tool. We want to compete on an even playing field where agents have the flexibility to choose their preferred platform, and where platforms must innovate to earn agents’ business.

As rulemaking bodies and local monopolies, MLSs have tremendous power to control how the business of real estate gets done in their regions. When MLSs also offer their own software, they must be careful to avoid conflicts of interest — not abuse their authority to advantage their own products from which they stand to profit. 

You deserve better.

While legal action is never our preference and a step we haven’t historically taken with MLSs, Zillow Group is committed to pursuing pro-competitive, pro-consumer solutions that preserve agent choice. We hope the two MLSs that have taken these actions will share those principles.


Errol Samuelson
Chief Industry Development Officer
Zillow Group
December 27, 2023