Note: if your sense of humor is below average, please stop reading. Below content is NOT based on a true story.
February 13, 2021
Real estate agents all over the United States are surrendering their real estate licenses after a stunning announcement that the real estate giant Zillow Group is acquiring one of the top cable channels and streaming services - Showtime.
“The war is over and we lost,” said John Smith, a third generation real estate professional in Wichita, KS, “I just didn’t think it would happen this fast and this definitively. My clients have been relying on me and my family for comedy, drama, and suspense for over 50 years. Yes, we have experience but I can’t provide them with the level of entertainment that Zillow can now offer them with Showtime. This is a sad, sad day for all of us.”
Gary Keller, the Oracle of Austin who decades ago accurately predicted that markets will go up and down, and who's continually compared Zillow to Al-Qaeda, said in a statement: “I told you this would happen!”.
According to anonymous sources, however, Keller Williams is rebranding its upcoming semi-annual conference known as Family Reunion into ZillowCon, with Rich Barton, CEO of Zillow, as the keynote speaker. There are also unverified rumors that Mr. Keller is considering presenting Mr. Barton with a reverse offer (whereby a seller presents an offer to a buyer) to acquire Keller Williams Realty International at ZillowCon.
Leaders of other major real estate companies did not immediately comment on the situation. Those with closest ties to Realogy, Compass, RE/Max, Redfin, EXP, and HSA all confirmed that their respective leadership teams were convening emergency meetings to decide whether to present their own reverse offers to Zillow.
"This just got really serious," commented a guy who knows a lot about a lot.
In an interview, Mr. Barton said: “We’re excited by the acquisition of Showtime. When I was a kid, I begged my parents to get Showtime so that I can watch great, R-rated movies without commercials. Although I did not get my wish then, I did get it now. We at Zillow are obsessed with enhancing consumer experience in the real estate industry. Our clients will now be able to shop for homes while watching their favorite movies and the other way around. It’s the longest end-to-end platform in the industry. Plus, according to our Zestimate, we got a very good deal.”
Sources close to the deal said that Zillow was looking at other potential acquisitions in the entertainment space. According to these sources, Fox News came in a close second. Zillow ultimately settled on Showtime by flipping a coin.
Charlie Oppler, the President of National Association of Realtors (NAR), was outraged by the news of Zillow’s further downstream integration. “This is unbelievable,” said Mr. Oppler at a special news conference that no one attended. “We believe that this transaction directly violates our nation’s antitrust laws. We are calling on the government to block this transaction. Our NAR members and the American public need to be protected from this tomfoolery. If the government does not stop it, we will be forced to start our own cable channel and streaming service.”
Conversely, Wall Street reacted positively to the news with Zillow’s stock price increasing by 245% in the first hour after the news broke. Benny Markoff, a real estate industry analyst at a fictitious hedge fund, said: “This is a ballsy move by Zillow as it continues to disrupt the real estate space. Showtime allows Zillow to truly own consumers’ eyeballs. I can only imagine what kind of creative content they will put together to keep consumers watching and shopping for homes. They are not only helping consumers shop for new living rooms, they are now in the actual living rooms with the consumers. This is revolutionary! Both dumb and smart money are on Zillow and that’s very, very rare.
“God help the realtors. It’s about to get very ugly,” added Mr. Markoff.
Brad Inman, the outspoken real estate industry reporter and founder of Inman News (recently acquired by the Russian-state media giant Pravda), wrote a brilliant piece which can be summarized by the following statement: “Chilax everybody. There is always Netflix, HBO and Disney+. Zillow is just being Zillow.”
Interestingly, in an online poll of 1,987 Americans conducted by SurveyUSA, 91% of respondents replied to “What do you think about Zillow’s acquisition of Showtime?” with “I don’t give a sh*t”.
Vlad Kats is a full-time real estate consultant, father, and husband, and a part-time, sit-down comedian who irregularly performs at weddings, bar-mitzvahs, and funerals. You can find more information about him in Baltimore's Yellow Pages.