Seattle-based Flipt, a new online home shopping site that matches properties to buyers based on what the buyer plans to do with the property – ‘fix and flip,’ ‘buy and hold’ or ‘rent’ – has apparently gotten itself into some hot water with online real estate marketplace Zillow.
According to technology news site GeekWire, most of the functionality of Flipt's new website was removed late last week after Zillow sent a cease and desist letter accusing Flipt of copyright infringement.
According to the report, Zipt was using listing data and photos of properties on its site that were automatically aggregated from Zillow without permission.
Andrey Nokhrin, CEO of Flipt, responded to the letter by removing all of the Zillow data from the website, according to the report. He told GeekWire that the practices his company used to compile the data are commonplace in the search engine business.
Nokhrin, however, also told GeekWire that his firm was having trouble obtaining real estate data. As a result, his firm came up with a ‘quick hack’ so that they could populate the site with more listings.
Such aggregation strategies are commonplace – however, there is usually a sharing agreement in place between two parties furnishing real estate data – particularly when the data is being downloaded and stored locally on a company's servers â�¦ which, according to the report, is what Zillow thinks Zipt was doing.
Nokhrin told GeekWire that Flipt is investigating other ways to get the data.
‘Until we source and finalize agreements with real estate data providers, we are focusing on providing innovative marketing solutions to Realtors that will get our business to the infinite runway,’ he told GeekWire.