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ShowingTime alternatives coming online, gaining popularity

When Zillow Group announced its $500 million purchase of the popular home showing scheduling platform ShowingTime—the company’s second-largest acquisition ever by price—a chorus of real estate agents expressed their concerns about everything from privacy to data mining to helping funding a competitor, and many started looking for apps and platforms that they could turn to as ShowingTime alternatives.

Agents who are looking for ShowingTime alternatives in response to the company’s recent acquisition have several existing options, such as Showingly, Calendly and Homerover, to name a few. Some have opted to schedule directly with clients via text and eschew scheduling platforms altogether. Agents’ options are expanding as more apps are being introduced with functions that equal or surpass ShowingTime’s, without the Zillow overlord and with the added promise not to sell your data.

Starting next month, real estate industry veteran Delta Media Group will offer Local Showings, a platform for scheduling home showings that Delta CEO Michael Minard says will come with a “no-sale guarantee,” and will be available to non-Delta clients as a standalone iOS and Android mobile app. For Delta clients, “Local Showings” will be seamlessly integrated into its all-in-one DeltaNET platform.

“Zillow is in the business, now, and I don’t think Realtors are scared of Zillow being their competitor. I think they’re fed up,” Minard said of the introduction of ShowingTime alternatives like Local Showings. “They don’t believe Zillow is acquiring all this technology and using it for the good of the industry.” 

Minard said that after multiple conversations with real estate industry professionals, his company decided to develop and launch Local Showings, which he says will compare in cost, functionality and feature parity with ShowingTime.

Minard said Local Showings will “contractually commit” not to sell its clients’ data, and also said in a recent news release that it guarantees the Delta Media Group won’t be sold or acquired. The platform is set for official launch in early April, and plans to expand its offerings as the rollout and integration introduces further consumer needs. 

Why does data matter enough that agents are seeking ShowingTime alternatives? When ShowingTime became part of Zillow, the company brought its relationships with 370 multiple listings services and more than one million agents … and all of the data that those relationships generated. That means cookies, browser info, usage logs, location information and consumer behavior, as a few examples.

And though many agents have expressed concerns about privacy issues stemming from the sale, a February news release addressed the issue in the immediate future by stating that “regardless of who owns the company, we have a binding contract with ShowingTime that strictly limits access to and use of your confidential information. ShowingTime also has a privacy policy with similar restrictions. Zillow is bound by both of these.”    

Several former Zillow heavy-hitters—including Trulia founder Pete Flint and Tomo co-founder Greg Scwartz—recently committed $1.5 million to funding home showing scheduling startup Instashowing, which as of March is “in conversations with MLS and brokerages that represent 600,000 agents.” Schwartz in a news release said, “Local agents and brokers covet a digital home touring tool which is independent from the big real estate platforms.”

As the “big real estate platforms” like Zillow buy up a larger share of real estate tech companies and agents continue to seek personal and business data privacy tools, independent companies and startups could continue to see openings in the tech sphere for non-“big real estate”-owned platforms, such as we’re seeing with the rollout of ShowingTime alternatives.