- the launch of a new more consumer-friendly website enabling easier user access to real estate information, increased links to social media and mobile for anyone interested in residential real estate;
- the introduction of new mobile applications that allow consumers to take comprehensive information and personalized services from ZipRealty with them in every stage of their real estate process;
- the transition to an independent contractor relationship with real estate agents that provides greater flexibility, larger incentives and which has helped the Company attract and retain a more experienced agent force;
- the development of a new “Powered by Zip” offering with market-leading brokerages in Atlanta and Tucson to combine the Company’s strengths in technology and online marketing with the great local presence and operational excellence of other local real estate brokerages; and
- the resizing of the Company’s service footprint and the restructuring of its headquarters and field infrastructure to more efficiently support its customers and agents while focusing on the Company’s most attractive market opportunities.
ZipRealty, ( www.ziprealty.com; NASDAQ: ZIPR), the nationally-ranked, full-service real estate brokerage powered by proprietary technology and effective online marketing, announced today that the Company is discontinuing the commission rebate program offered to buyers who close a transaction using a ZipRealty real estate agent. This announcement continues a series of strategic changes the Company has made over the past several months to reposition ZipRealty to capitalize on its core strengths in customer service, industry-leading technology, and efficient online marketing capabilities. The rebate program will end effective July 15, 2011. “Our recent strategic changes are aimed at addressing the realities of today’s real estate market and moving us closer to our financial goals. We are working to evolve the Company’s position in the market, upgrading our customer experience online and offline, and enhancing flexibility and opportunity for our agents,” said Lanny Baker, Chief Executive Officer of ZipRealty. “Extensive customer surveys and a series of pilot tests revealed that our current rebate program is not the primary driver for choosing to work with ZipRealty and our talented agents. Recent tests and focus groups have shown that consumers are motivated to use ZipRealty because of our technology and our service-oriented local real estate agents. We are focusing on these core strengths, and seek to develop our technology and service to far exceed online search in helping buyers discover the right real estate.” ZipRealty was founded with a culture that embraces technology and the efficiencies it creates, and the Company has built a reputation for innovation and online expertise over the past 11 years. The Company was recently named the fifth largest brokerage in the nation according to the 2011 REALTrends 500 by transaction volume, with 22,013 client transactions completed in 2010. The Company’s website was listed as the ninth most-trafficked real estate website according to an Experian Hitwise report issued in April 2011, making ZipRealty the only real estate brokerage in the top 10. Strategic changes the Company has made over the past several months include: