Zillow Premier Agent - Opinions please? - Worth the cost to buy a zip code?

By
Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Capital Partners Realty

Hi all I hope you're all well!

Quick Question:  Has anyone used Zillow and paid to become a premier agent for a specific zip code?  

Any good or bad experiences?

How about any opinions on the customer service / Realtor friendliness of Zillow? 

Thanks in advance!

Ryan Reynolds

Keller Williams Capital Partners Realty

(740) 972-2731

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Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Nancy & Mike Thompson 04/10/2011 05:03 PM
Topic:
Real Estate Sales and Marketing
Tags:
advertising
zillow
value
online advertising
premier agent

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761,250
Brad Andersohn
Director of Education & Industry Outreach at eXp Realty & RE Tech Campus - Fairfield, CA
ActiveBrad 707.646.1876

Well, I only speak here as a former employee of Zillow, and will say honestly and transparently that it DOES work for many and DOESN'T work for others for a multitude of reasons.

It's much like the open house theory or joining a gym?!?

If you know how to work and believe in the opportunities an open house presents, then they can and will work for you.

If you join a gym and are promised good health and fortune, nothing at all will happen if you don't go there and utilize the tools and services offered. YOU HAVE TO WORKOUT if you want results.

At the end of the day it is up to YOU to determine and decide what works for your business model and strategy but just make sure you are working the Gym and open houses to your advantage. Just buying zip codes at Zillow and using the "HOPE" strategy will work for no one! Just my 2 cents...

Dec 31, 2014 02:59 PM #94
Anonymous
Agent - to - Agent

Hummmm... I am with you for the most part. When you're doing the work and hitting the gym hard you do see results... I've used Zillow a few years. It's more like a slot machine than your gym/open house comparison... They pay off... if you're lucky the payoff is greater than the money you've put in the machine... There are times (sometimes many months) with Zillow (and other Internet marketing sites) where you can work your butt off and still not have an opportunity to connect with a Buyer or Seller that ends in a closed transaction... For those Agents who have the work ethic and not a strong longer term budget, this can be a real problem/consideration. Zillow does payoff at some point for Agents that work it.. hopefully at the end of the year what you've made from Zillow is greater than what you've spent...! It is hit and miss... obviously it's more of a "hit" for me than a loss in overall averaging a few years.. with that said I have gone more that 8-9 months without any real action from my Zillow advertising... So, it is realistic that if you buy a 6 month contract you may not get a payoff... If you have the budget to go the distance Zillow can be a useful piece of your income pie.. if you are stretching to afford it, think twice!

Jan 11, 2015 05:33 PM #95
Ambassador
761,250
Brad Andersohn
Director of Education & Industry Outreach at eXp Realty & RE Tech Campus - Fairfield, CA
ActiveBrad 707.646.1876

Agent-to- agent, great comment and advice. There really are just too many variables and individual factors to consider when trying to determine who it will work for and who it won't? I like your advice in regards to "stretching to afford it" contrary to Julia Carnahan investing her entire mortgage payment into Zillow Zip codes successfully, that just doesn't happen all the time for everyone.

Jan 11, 2015 09:52 PM #96
Rainer
6,301
Sharon Kotchetovsky
Doylestown, PA

I don't know who Zillow is working for but it's not working for me.  I signed up for one zip code in the area that I work and live.  I have only received leads from 1-1.5 hours away from my zip code in a part of the city that is not known for being safe and in price range less than $50K.  

I reached out by phone and email to my rep. and his supervisor many many times and got no response from either!  In the past week, there has been a new rep. assigned to my "account" because apparently the rep who signed me up is no longer there.  

Zillow seems to think they don't need to honor their part of the contract.  They think it is okay to keep charging me for what they promised me even though  they are not giving me what they promised me.  To me, that seems like breech of contract.

Feb 12, 2015 06:33 AM #97
Anonymous
johnmorra

We ALL want a silver bullet. :)
I have been paying for leads from Trulia thru housevlaue.com. These are seller leads. In my market I need sellers , not at all interested in buyers, plus I can get buyers easily from craigslist. At 40 bucks per lead, I am not happy either. 40% are looking to refinance. Why , as a Realtor, am I paying for leads that should be directed to the mortgage market? Out of maybe 80 leads, I have attained one listing. so the system pays for itself, but doesn't make money. As for 'best practices" this is a cop-out. there is always 'something more' you can do to convert..so the failure is always the agents.
Frankly I am looking at getting leads from those who need to sell NOW. Nurturing leads is fine...that's the icing on the cake. If I pay for leads I want that to pay for the cake plus more flour for the next two cakes.
I been thinking of trying zillow next, but again, I dont want to pay for buyer leads.

there needs to be better filtering of leads........

now I need to get my profile up and running here.....

Apr 13, 2015 06:38 AM #98
Anonymous
Agent Coach

To John Morra- I've been a Zillow advertiser for several Years and a Trulia advertiser for about 2 years. As an agent in south Florida, I pay a substantial amount to be in zipcodes and areas that work for lead generation... Most of us agree with you that Buyer leads are abundant right now. The majority of closings I have had from Trulia and Zillow are mostly all Buyer leads. With that said I have closed enough Buyer Leads annually to cover my advertising expense and make a relevant profit. I have only received a total of about 4 "Listing Leads" in the last 4 years from Zillow/Trulia combined. 2 of these turned into actual listings and both sold (one with buy & sell side). I think potential Sellers look at Zillow and Trulia but, I find that the real response from sellers come from "direct mail farming". It may take a few months (4-6) before you start to see a response. I have been on listing appointments where the owner pulled out a post card of mine that they had been holding onto for months. As Real Estate Agent and Agent Coach I strongly believe that we need multiple streams of lead generation. You are right, there is no silver bullet. My breakdown looks like this: Referrals & Previous customers = 45%... Internet leads = 25%... Direct Mail = 15%... and the other 15% comes from hand shaking, handing out my business cards, luck etc... I have spent $$$ purchasing "Seller Leads"... NONE of the venues I've tried have ever worked. Aim for some direct marketing specific to sellers... there are many ways to filter down information to get to those most likely to sell.. Good luck with your endeavors, each of our advertising mistakes are valuable lessons learned

Apr 14, 2015 05:22 AM #99
Anonymous
3 year Zillow agent

Question for Zillow... was with my sales rep for 2 years. The merger of Zillow and Trulia brought a great deal of changes. I was switched to a new sales rep who is NOT a match for me. My previous rep is still there.. how can I have him represent me again.. the new sales person I have leads me to believe I must continue to work with her?

Oct 25, 2015 01:01 PM #101
Rainmaker
606,608
Jay Thompson
Zillow - Seattle, WA

@3 year Zillow agent - Jay from Zillow Group here. The sales group was recently structured to provide more focused and regionalized service from the business consultants (reps) so many have changed. I'd encourage you to reach out to your new rep. You can also reach out to your area manager. Contact info is on you Zillow Agent Hub Dashboard. They're there to help you be successful. You can also reach me at JayT AT Zillow DOT com

Oct 25, 2015 03:00 PM #102
Anonymous
3 yead Zillow Agent

Jay.. Thanks for the note.

I have been in contact with my new rep on a few occasions. It's just not a fit for me. I contacted my old rep by email and my new rep responded wanting to know why I reached out to the previous one... she said it wasn't protocol but, she would have him get in-touch with me.. never happened. I could not imagine telling one of my long term customers they must work with one of my agents or buyers reps after working directly with me for years.. I would loose that client.

Since I have tried a few avenues (asking the new rep if I could be repositioned with my old rep and reaching out directly to my old rep and having my new rep question my reasons).. it seems like I have no options.. not a good way of doing business.. I have increased my annual spend constantly over the years to a tune of over $12,000. My new sales agent does not understand my needs or my business model, our communications and personality styles are like oil and water. I find her nice enough but, condescending.. she talks as though I am an inexperienced new agent who needs to be directed. Every point I make with regard to my business model and how I have grown my business with Zillow/Trulia is discounted with something like "you should have never... you may have in the past but... etc..." ugh! I am not knocking her as a person but, it seems as though she would be best served with Agents who haven't yet advertised with Zillow/Trulia. Given my spend and my several years with both Zillow and Trulia I would think she would have had her boss contact me after expressing my discontent and after reaching out to my previous rep. I now feel if I make that call, I will only be told this is the way things are and I am stuck with her.. this would make our working relationship even more tenuous.

Zillow/Trulia is really missing the big picture on this type of revamping with agents and reps who have worked hand in hand to make the relationship a "win-win" for both Zillow and the Agent. When you have long term success with a client it's not normal that you undo it; Instead of looking forward to seeing my sales rep name show up on my caller ID to discuss open zip codes or buying more in some of the ones I have, now when I see my new reps name I just avoid it and let it go to voicemail. This definitely isn't helping your company or mine increase revenues.

Lastly, I teach monthly classes on how to use online marketing and how to specifically working with Zillow and Trulia and have referred agents to my previous rep. I wouldn't entrust sending any of the students to this new one.

Oct 27, 2015 07:36 AM #103
Anonymous
Read the whole thing

I wanted to put this out there as my perspective and observations. I am not including contact info because I have no interest in what the Zillow ambassadors here have to say (reasons are below). Again, this is my personal opinion/ perspective so take it with a grain of salt but I will try to be as honest as possible.

I started my online advertising with Trulia a few years ago, before they were bought out. Leads were hit or miss, but I was getting contacts and when I finally honed my follow up technique and processes, I saw a huge jump in the amount of people that I retained.
I quickly realized that to be successful, I needed to buy out 100% of a zip code which I did. This helped immensely, and business was booming (4-5 solid leads a month that would all close on a $500 per month spend).

Because this was successful, I eventually decided to try something similar on Zillow. Due to the way the zip codes were sold, I could not buy 100% of one, but did manage to get about 40k impressions per month locked in for a reasonable price (or so I thought based on what that should have brought in). Get everything set up and we're live!

5 Weeks go by and I've managed 2 whole contacts despite the 45k impressions I actually received, one of which was another agent, and one who had a simple question about a property her agent had showed her. In the mean time, I managed to get 8 new good leads from Trulia in the same time frame. On less impressions. For less money.

So I called my Zillow rep, who despite what others experienced actually was responsive. But they couldn't offer any insight and essentially told me that I needed more reviews. Other than that, they had no additional instruction.

After two more weeks, and no new contacts, despite my now more complete profile, I canceled.

Fast forward a while, and I decide to give Zillow another shot along with my Trulia advertising. Well now they have completed the merger, and it seems all advertising is done through Zillow, though you get the added benefit of being featured on both sites. I thought that was awesome!
It turns out that my preferred zip code was sold out, but after working with my rep, we settled on one that gave me a minimum of 45k impressions for about $1100 per month. Not what I wanted to spend, but after talking to the rep, it seemed like a trivial amount for all the business I was going to get. I said ok.

Now, some people complain that they are getting crappy leads. I'm getting what amounts to none. So far in the first month, Zillow /Trulia has delivered a whopping 20k MORE impressions than they promised me, and I've gotten a grand total of 4 leads. Two leads were agents, one was for a property that was so horribly misrepresented I have no words. The address was wrong, and the property was 6 miles from where the buyer was looking. I resolved this after getting the MLS number and showing the real listing to the buyer, who ultimately did not want to work with me because of the inaccurate data I was "representing" despite my explanations that I had no control over what appeared on the site.
The final buyer is someone that I am working with, but has no concept of the buying process, and has wanted to buy 3 properties yet will not get pre-approved. I admit that this is more on me than Zillow, but this is the only real lead I have ended p with for 65k impressions.

Now, what confuses me is that for doing the EXACT same thing on Trulia (before the merger) and Zillow, I received immensely more business and leads with less than half the impressions and monthly spend.
I mentioned this to my rep who told me that I needed a more complete profile (it was about as complete as possible) and reviews, something that I do have already, and that I needed to wait. Statistically, I should be getting (according to their ROI calculator based on the 45k impressions) 31 contacts per month. I'm receiving way less than that for way more impressions.

So what the heck, I'll try upping my game, and work on my profile. I call my rep to pick his brain, and the conversation essentially ends with him telling me that he doesn't know what to do and that "he'll cross his fingers for me."! And then proceeds after much pressing, that it may take up to 6 months for me to see some sort of uptick in contacts.
Funny that Trulia worked and worked well before the merger without any ifs ands or buts.

I will be cancelling, and focusing my ad dollars on far more effective routes. If others have had great experiences, then good for them. For me, Zillow / Trulia is truly a waste of money.

TL;DR:
Zillow / Trulia delivers far more impressions than I was supposed to get, but there are no leads. Rep has no idea what I can do other than completing my already complete profile and getting more reviews, and that "he'll cross his fingers for me". Rep also says it could take 6 months or more to see anything (at a spend of $1100 a month).

Nov 03, 2015 08:17 AM #104
Rainer
2,675
Ralph Wright
First team real estate - San Juan Capistrano, CA

My personal experiance:

I signed up last Nov. on a 6 month contract then after one month of a couple junk leads i requested for more impressions. The rep sent me a docusign for a 12 month contract. My mistake is that i signed it without reading it thoroughly. I never wanted to extend my existing contract. I only wanted more impressions to hopefully gain more leads. Now i am stuck with them. I recently confronted the rep on this. He said he has no record of the conversation and that i am the one who requested the extension of contract. I feel totally misled and duped. There is no support at all.

So far after almost 4 months all junk leads and when you finally speak to an actual live person about homes they never call u back. I have tried everythin they suggested: follow up within minutes, drip campaign, send them mls
Listings, etc etc. i believe my mortgage lender partner has received more leads than me by mistake. Pretty laughable.

If you have plenty of spend money to burn and several listings then its a possibility to gain a few more leads from zillow but if I were to do this all
Over again i would not.

I am currently in a BBB dispute with zillow and with Amex due their salepeople making false promises to gain more leads.

I would not recommend zillow to my worst enemy.

Feb 16, 2016 01:07 PM #105
Rainmaker
606,608
Jay Thompson
Zillow - Seattle, WA

Ralph Wright - Jay from Zillow Group here. This isn't the experience we want anyone to have. I've escalated your billing concerns to our Director of Agent Care. I'd also love to talk to you about maximizing your success with the Premier Agent program. My email is JayT@Zillow.com, please feel free to contact me at any time. I'll also try giving you a call tomorrow (Feb 17).

Feb 16, 2016 04:51 PM #106
Rainer
2,675
Ralph Wright
First team real estate - San Juan Capistrano, CA

Thank you everyone for the response. 

 

I have voiced my concerns with a few zillow employees recently but havent heard or felt any support. Just all repetiveness and people tryijg to upsell me. I have joined coaching calls, posted advice, linked my main website to

zillow set up a feed, asked people

to review.  I am at 89% on my profile.  Service first is my motto.  Anything that is recommended.

 

Last call i have received has been Jan 26  

 

Today, i am already fed up. I made a second complaint via bbb about the contract length issue. 

 

At this point, i am already hopeless and just want to end my contract without any early termination fee. 

Feb 16, 2016 05:11 PM #107
Rainmaker
606,608
Jay Thompson
Zillow - Seattle, WA

Ralph Wright - I'm not going to try to sell you a thing. I'm not is sales and couldn't sell you something even if that's what you wanted. Feel free to shoot me an email with some times that are good for you if you want to chat tomorrow. Again it's JayT@Zillow.com Would love to talk to you. 

Feb 16, 2016 05:39 PM #108
Rainer
2,675
Ralph Wright
First team real estate - San Juan Capistrano, CA

Thank you. I apoke to my rep and we came

up with a resolution. 

Feb 17, 2016 11:48 AM #109
Rainmaker
606,608
Jay Thompson
Zillow - Seattle, WA

 

Good to hear, Ralph, and thanks for letting me know. Feel free to reach out at any time if I can ever be of help to you.

Feb 17, 2016 12:01 PM #110
Rainer
6,983
Chad Deihl
Keller Williams - cell: (559) 892-0549 - Fresno, CA
residential home specialist in the Fresno vicinity

Hello!

Just adding my 2 cents here.  Consumers are more saavy than ever these days and will look at the agents name that is displayed on their screen and check their reviews/stars.  If you don't have any, they'll skip to the agent that does... wouldn't you?  I know I would.

So, coming from someone newer to the industry, I am going to request that my buyers leave me positive reviews, foster more attention over time and garner a little notoriety in my area before forking over all that money.

The one major drawback that I see for Premiere Agents, is that many Realtors can pay for a zip code and have their name displayed... and if it is a very popular zip code, you may have to refresh your screen 5+ times before your agent names pops up!   Now, on Realtor.com, advertising there they cap each zip code to a much smaller agent count, I believe 2 or 3 maximum, everyone else is put on a priority waiting list.

I suggest waiting until you have some online reviews and show up on some Google searches for your ara before forking over the big $$$ - it just makes sense.

The website that I am using now and really love the layout is this one:

http://www.homeasap.com/chaddeihl

(except that I cannot customize the url - but its a nice perk to having the Facebook IDX Home search app)

Feb 23, 2016 11:03 PM #111
Rainmaker
17,676
Bonnie David
Quantum Real Estate, Inc. - South Lyon, MI

I have been a significant paid subscriber for Zillow for a number of years. In the past, I did receive a good amount of leads that my team converted to closed transactions.  However, Zillow became more diluted with more agents and changed their format a couple of years ago.  At that time, I even had a co-sponsor, a mortgage broker who had someone on staff to immediately take action on any inquiry.  It was not profitable for the mortgage broker so he quit after a year.   I noticed my closed sales from Zillow diminished significantly so I just recently bit the bullet and quit my paid subscription.  I seem to get more hits from my website for clients.  However, I do get listings as a result of Zillow because sellers go into the map section and can see the number of sales in my market area.  I have had a few sold listings as a result of that. I believe they are posted once a client submits a review.  I still like Zillow, it's a great source of information.

Jun 21, 2016 01:15 AM #112
Rainmaker
8,238
Cari Patterson
VANCE ELLIOTT REALTY - Austin, TX
Real Estate Broker Austin Tx San Marcos Kyle Buda

Thank you for all these great comments about Zillow Premiere Agent. I just joined and wished I had read these prior. I have had similiar results so far with renters, and junk leads but it's early. Fingers crossed, I have my first showings this week off of a lead from this weekend. 

Aug 23, 2016 09:50 PM #113
Rainmaker
606,608
Jay Thompson
Zillow - Seattle, WA

Hi Cari Patterson - Jay from Zillow Group here. I'd be happy to have a chat with you about getting the most from the Premier Agent program. Have a few ideas/suggestions that may be helpful.

You're off to a great start with showings after only a couple of  weeks in the program. Good luck with them!

Please send me an email with a couple of good times to call, and I'll be happy to help. Just need 15 minutes or so of your valuable time. JayT at Zillow.com
Or feel free to call me at 206-757-4224. If I don't answer, I'm in a meeting. Just leave a message and I'll get right back to you.

Aug 25, 2016 11:25 AM #114
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