Several customers have contacted us about odd activity from Zillow that occurred yesterday. Specifically, two related events.

Curious Event One: Inquiries on off-the-market listings. Sometimes these listings might have been off-the-market for a week or more.

Curious Event Two: Some auto-reply emails (and sometimes a flood) intended for the inquiring prospect were also sent to ShowMojo customers.

What we know

We received an unusually high volume of emails inquiries from Zillow yesterday. These inquiries were sent using an anonymous email forwarding system that Zillow has been testing off and on for a few months now.

For some reason, this email forwarding system does not correctly identify the email sender. This new system forwards the email to both parties. The prospect does receive your email, but you receive a copy as well.

Zillow ran this new system for perhaps fourteen hours yesterday. The vast majority of the activity from this new system was sent in the middle of the day.

We have not seen a new lead from this new system today. Right now, Zillow has returned to their old system for emailing leads.

What we suspect

We don’t know how or why, but based on reports from customers, we suspect that Zillow sent or resent old listing inquiries. In some cases these inquiries might have been a week old or more. Again, this in only our speculation based on customer reports.

What ShowMojo did and continues to do

When ShowMojo receives a lead about an off-the-market or deleted listing, it notifies the prospect that this listing is no longer on the market and directs that prospect to a page with your on-the-market listings. It’s our opinion that this feature allowed the system to address these out-of-date inquiries in a graceful fashion.

What we will do

We’ve contacted Zillow via a couple channels to see if they will share more information with us about what occurred yesterday.

If Zillow re-enables this new email forwarding system, we are investigating options that would mitigate the superfluous email forwards to our customers.