Knowing why we comply with RESPA.
Simply, we have modeled ourselves, and will continue to conduct ourselves, virtually identical to Zillow, as far as legally collecting internet lead fees.
Zillow was accused of illegally taking money for referring clients to many different realtors, and getting paid for referrals. Zillow was taken to Federal court, twice. Zillow won those 2 huge Federal Lawsuits back in 2017 and in 2019. Zillow was not a licensed real estate company at the time of those lawsuits. Zillow won those lawsuits, and said that these referrals/or leads (see longer explanation for the differences between “Leads” and “Referrals”) are marketing efforts, that deserved to be compensated, period. The court left the States to determine the law between leads and referrals, but that either should be legally and justifiably compensated for valuable marketing efforts and accomplishments. The government in 2021 saw that Zillow was working the Zillow Flex Program (charging 35% of the realtor fees at closing/no monies for the leads upfront, and became furious at their loss of control and power. The government then changed the definition and rules, to prohibit (quote unquote) “transactional fees”. Zillow didn’t want to fight a 3rd lawsuit. So, they became their own Real Estate Company working with different entities with licenses, in many different states. Notice that “Zillow’s Flex Program” was never taken to court, even in their pilot phases before acquiring licensing. We will not take on that fight either, so we have chosen again, to follow in Zillow’s foot-steps. We are working with different Brokers who are forming a multi-state/national real estate company. These 2 categories are not commissionable.
Great news: You should still enter the leads for these 2 categories, as we are networked with a new real estate company, and we can legally charge administration fees for organizing and sending leads, lease lead caption space and advertising on our website, and we can charge on-going consulting fees, and more. Now, this is not a wink wink, and for legal transparency, it suits everyone best to understand what we will do with these extra monies. We plan on using extra earnings, from all sources, to give affiliates extra bonuses. It will not correlate with affiliates and these specific category leads. We may give bonus money to people who never submitted leads in these categories, while others who did submit these leads, may get less, or more, or no bonus money at all whatsoever. To see examples of legally allowable extra bonus money, please read the longer version). There will never be a defined correlation, as we will not directly pay on these specified leads, and this is clearly and concisely stated. We are happy to give you full and complete transparency.
So, while most all other services are legally allowable to disperse lead compensation, these 2 industries, we currently cannot offer or provide commissions. Independent of that, we may still post what we desired to pay, we insist that we will not pay you on these success leads, any entity that suggests otherwise, will be in jeopardy of possible slander and defamation. Our company will not be in violation of anything, for legally giving separate random bonus money (from extra monies that we legally receive from any entity), as we deem fit, and not based on the 2 categories of sales mentioned above, but, 100% completely at our sole discretion.