Does Zillow $500M+ Loss and Exit from Flipping Prove The Housing Market Will Crash Finally

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good morning good afternoon good evening

folks michael’s uber one rental at a

time yes i say that all the time and i

still messed it up but anyways we do

this one time only live so uh let’s

welcome greg dickerson to the show how

you doing buddy?

Doing great Michael, good to see you nice

to see you as well thank you for being

back every Monday. Uou are one of my

original experts, we’ve been doing this

now seemingly I think almost two years

together so thank you very much for that

oge that’s right that just means we’re

old man that’s all that means

you and me together hey uh i don’t

know if you saw this I’m sure it crossed

your radar at some level but uh

Zillow has exited the flipping business

they are going uh no longer going to be

an eye buyer and uh as expected there

are lots of channels out there talking

about this is the sign this is the

canary in the coal mine the real estate

market is over get out disaster coming

and i just wanted to ask you what you

thought what

what uh do you have any opinions on yeah

yeah a lot of people are still calling

for a housing market crash and you know

zillow was never profitable with their

home buying program and

you know i think they’re one of their

issues obviously is their their

valuations everybody knows or most

people should know that you know the

zillow z estimate

zestimate as people call it I mean it’s

it’s pretty meaningless

it’s very inaccurate

in most areas I mean, there might be some

areas of the country where

you know they’re relatively close but

for the most part they’re very

inaccurate because it just takes an

average of everything within a radius

and you could have any number of values

within a radius. I think number one

that was their biggest problem was they

were just overpaying for houses they

you know went on a spree and just bought

too many of them and you know I read a

the story the other day where somebody said

hey you know I sold my house to Zillow

for 850,000 last year they called me

back asked me if I wanted to buy it back

and I just bought it back for 550.

You know so uh you know they’re trying

to dump and unload but you know

they were trying to own and be the

one-stop shop for anything and

everything real estate so that was

zillow’s plan and program and you know

they took their eye off the ball in

terms of what they really are

which is you know a resource for

retail customers to find real estate to

do for sale by owners rent you know

things like that and then sell leads to

real estate agents i mean that’s what

their business is that’s what their

business model is they own real estate

search yeah so they took their eye off

that ball you know be the equivalent of

google you know abandoning search and

trying to go you know buy every internet

company out there and try to own

everything and be a one-stop-shop for

everything internet it just doesn’t make

any sense but that’s really what

happened it’s not that it’s an

an unprofitable business they just didn’t

do it the right way i mean open doors

making money at it you know there’s

other companies you know high buyers

that are making money and the key is you

know to buy and value the properties

correctly and you know the day that’s

where they messed up

yeah i’ve done a lot of reading on this

uh here recently i think they’re i think

you’ve hit they broke cardinal rule

number one and that of course is you make your

money when you buy when you flat out overpay it’s hard to

recover from that and um you know they

actually had an internal they had an

internal cold name code name called

project ketchup

right like mayonnaise mustard ketchup

because they wanted to catch open door

right so they actually not only took the

eye off the ball as you’re saying but

then they had the wrong metric they were

they were rewarding teams on margin or

on market share this is like the dot-com companies

trying to make up losses on volume right

so they just started they they were

already unprofitable and you can go back

and look at their earnings announcements

from years ago or a year ago

and then they stepped on the gas and

they got more unprofitable so

it was um

yeah never break rule number one and

again the other thing i think is pretty

obvious is zillow um

they had a lot of cash

and they thought cash would fix it right

so they they’re gonna go they’re gonna

go down as the worst flippers ever

they’re gonna lose somewhere between

five and seven hundred million dollars

flipping homes yeah but it doesn’t

matter you know in this economy and this

market right now they can just go sell

debt to the to wall street you know sell

more shares of stock and raise all kinds

of money and nobody cares yeah you know

because you know stock go up you know

price go up everything yeah

yeah yeah so let’s talk about that

because again i think i i have no

problem i i was in tech i tried to

launch products all the time for for

many years some work some didn’t

i don’t mind taking the risk i just i

actually think the ceo of zillow is

making a strategic mistake on the exit

and as an entrepreneur yourself as

someone who built a nine-figure business

i wanted to ask you

so okay he’s sitting here he’s now the

you know the 8 12 15 most powerful

people at zillow in a room and they’ve

now recognized they’re not good at

flipping homes fine

then you know then they look at the

inventory of homes they already own it’s

18 000 deep so it’s it’s bigger than was

initially reported

and now the ceo comes out and i’m sure

it’s him and says i want these off my

books i don’t want to be in this

business blah blah blah make it go away

in q4 which is the the quarter right in

now i think that is short-sighted i

think that only guarantees losses

and where i’m going with this greg is i

think there was a better way out

they could have just become instantly

one of the largest landlords

for single-family homes or b and

probably more likely because again that

they took the eye off the ball they

could have partnered with american homes


invitation homes or whatever there are

and become you know a 50 50 51 49

partner in a portfolio of rentals

that would have been a better way to

exit because one cure for overpaying is

holding what do you think


you know but again they didn’t make it

on the buy you know how are they going

to all of a sudden turn into an

efficient property management company so

you know the internal discussions were

probably you know the carrying costs

were eating them alive it’s one thing to

buy the property and overpay values may

have caught up to a point depending on

when their last acquisition was because

you know real estate’s been going up 20

30 percent a year so it depends on where

they purchase these properties but the

market is slowing down the big thing

they saw was the market’s slowing down

we’re not going to see much more upside

on these properties and they’re carrying

costs between taxes insurance and


you know was really costing them i just

don’t understand what their

model was because they could have

immediately flipped these properties

that they bought because their whole

thing was to be a one-stop shop so

instead you have to go through a real

estate broker this that and the other

you can just sell your house to zillow

go buy another house somewhere else i

don’t know why they didn’t just put

these houses back on the market that’s

what i don’t know that’s what i don’t

understand what i’m not understanding

you know what their business model was

behind that um and you know they are

trying to unload these you know in bulk

to some of the you know rental uh rental

property hedge funds out there that are

buying you know properties in bulk and

things like that so yeah you know are

they gonna actually take a loss you know

what’s it gonna look like at the end of

the day you know i don’t know but for

them to just all of a sudden they

couldn’t get it right buying them to all

of a sudden switch to managing them no

that would have been that would have

been a nightmare for another nightmare

yeah okay that makes total sense and

yeah uh last thursday i believe it was

reported they’ve already organized a

sale of 2 000 units so yeah they’re

going to just chunk them off and yeah

you know flush and get behind them so

very very cool so again uh

when people look at so i guess the last

thing to talk about here is this a sign

that the housing market’s going to crash

it’s all over time to get out of the way

just because zillow can’t make money at


yeah the videos are out there again

everybody’s calling for a market crash

and again right now you know i mean

there’s so much demand pent up demand

out there i mean we are seeing it slow

down you know rates went up we saw a

pullback you know buyers are getting

fatigued so we’re seeing

some markets you know are starting to

you know reach critical mass and you

know they’re getting pushback from

buyers other markets not so much you

know some markets are still very

competitive and prices are still going

up and there’s still a lot of demand so

you know at the end of the day it’s

supply and demand until the supply

outpaces demand you know not a whole

lot’s going to change and the catalyst

to that is you know payments interest

rates yep uh the ability to borrow money

if we have a if we have a you know a

market accident and you know some of

these other things we’re going to talk

about happen

that’s going to you know put a put a

problem you know in the liquidity uh and

in the mortgage you know markets when

the fed stops buying mortgage-backed

securities and things like that you know

when the credit markets tighten up a

little bit it’s gonna get a little

harder to borrow money there’s gonna be

less of it available so you know that

will impact demand and then you know

there is

you know

some areas where they say construction

is over supplying in certain markets and

we’re going to reach that i mean in the

past it’s always happened where we go

through these periods this is very

unique and very different than any other

period before but we’ve gone through

periods in the 70s you know in the 80s

and the 90s where we built too much

and we ended up building this building


yeah yeah and then you know supply

catches up and the market shifts so you

know it’s it’s always been cycles and

it’s always been 10 to 14 year cycles

you know we’re right at that point you

know where you know the pandemic was

very unique created a very unique you

know condition in the economy in a lot

of ways a lot of things are going to

change forever moving forward um you

know so it’s it’s very interesting times

and you know nobody knows when or how or

what but

you need if interest rates all of a

sudden shoot up because of inflation

everything we see going on if the fed

decides to finally actually do something

you know about inflation the only thing

they can do is raise rates and stop you

know pushing money into the economy so

when that happens rates rise you know

people stop buying because payments go

up they’re already stopping the refi

which puts more liquidity into the

economy when people refinance their

house pull the cash out and then it’ll

get harder to borrow money because the

banks will pull back because people less

people will be qualified at these

payment levels at the income you know

so everything resets at that point um

you know depending on how fast that

happens that you know that could create

a crash but generally

the way we’re we’re operating right now

we could probably work our way through

it yeah i i’ve been calling for a

housing slowdown for i don’t know the

last six months or so i see it in the

data again

people just want it to be a crash they

just i don’t know whether they i don’t

know when when i see all these crash

videos i don’t a are they doing it for

the clicks right they make a penny a

video maybe

b do they want it to be a crash because

they missed last time or they weren’t

ready or c

they want to they want it they want to

see other people suffer

uh because they didn’t they can’t they

haven’t taken advantage of why do you

think why do you think everything has to

be a crash versus slow down

clicks man it’s it’s like it’s not easy


that’s what it is it’s you know for

attention right so you know they got to

get people’s attention and you know it’s

feeding on fear it’s like the media you

know you look at the headlines and you

look at magazine covers and you know

headlines of news it’s always doom and

gloom you look at magazine covers it’s

all about you know how to get this how

to get that three steps to this seven

tips for that you know so it’s just you

know it’s just hooks and click bait you

know but again when you’ve laid it out

when you look at the history of housing

you know housing has always gone up

we’ve never seen housing prices really

go backwards until when was the first

one was it

well we saw five years in a row of

negative growth it was i think it was

2007 to 2011 i think so that was it so

other than that prices have gone up so

that so again you have history to show


what will what will reverse prices and

price action you know it’s it’s an

overheated housing market and i think

we’ll see a correction so there’s a

difference correction 10 20 percent

that’s pretty healthy crash what does

that mean well oh 809 is the only

example we have of a housing market

crash that’s when values dipped you know

50 or more in some markets yeah the

markets still did relatively well

and uh there’s already markets that are

seeing decline in pricing because we

reach these you know unsustainable


um you know income to you know debt to

income ratios really is what it’s all

about at the end of the day unless

you’re paying cash it’s a debt-to-income

ratio yeah absolutely it’s all about


you could have said it better and again

yeah i was in a market that fell 75

percent peak to trough so i know what

it’s like i know what it feels like it’s

none of the signs are there but yeah

this this is very interesting i do not

see zillow as the sign that uh flip i

don’t see zillow as a sign that flipping

is a bad business they broke rule number


i don’t see it as a sign is a bubble i


uh you know if zillow suddenly put all

of their inventory on the market at the

same millisecond across the board

it would be like

three days of inventory in some markets

you know open door is very profitable

still their business model still works

i’m coaching people all over the country

that are flipping houses and they’re

making money and doing well and you know

at all different levels and you know i


you you still buy houses you know so the

model works again you got to know your

values and it’s all about knowing you

know what to pay and you know having an

exit at the end of the day and or cash

flow so that you can pay again you can

pay whatever you want as long as the

property cash flows but if you’re

straight up

you know flipping i think they forgot

the other half of their business they

were going to buy and sell they just

forgot to sell yeah just kept yeah yeah

it’s pretty bad so again greg how can

people find you get part of your world

because you put out a lot of amazing


yeah gregdickerson.com all of my social

media channels youtube podcast

gregdickerson.com yeah do yourself a

favor and follow him he is a realist or

he is an entrepreneur through and

through he talked about a lot of things

that i don’t have experience and thus i

do not cover so gregdickerson.com thanks

bud yep


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