Putting Zillow to The Test: My $948.60+ Adventure - Day 18 - Update

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Maui Life Homes / Metro Life Homes RS-78439 / BRE #01708344

Putting Zillow to The Test: My $948.60+ Adventure - Day 18 - Update

Alright, peeps. So I'm at day 18 with my ticket on the Zillow-coaster.

Here is my activity listed on Zillow:

Zillow Statistics

If you look at my stats, it shows that I've had eight contacts. One of those was before I became a premiere agent (Contact #3), and it was an inquiry for one of my listings (not in the zip code I have paid for).

Here are my contacts thus far:

Contact #1 - Another realtor wanting me to come to his open house

Contact #2 - Same realtor wanting me to come to his open house

Contact #3 - A prospect wanting a showing on my Goodbee St. listing - non-responsive to date

Contact #4 - A prospect wanting a showing on an REO property in my Zillow paid zip code (Yes!)

Contact #5 - Zillow Executive asking me how I was doing so far (I'm flattered!)

Contact #6 - A prospect who clicked through to telephone me to inquire about the same REO property in #4. We were doing great until I informed him I was not the listing agent, and he became somewhat dis-interested at that point.

Contact #7 - A prospect who emailed me to schedule a showing for a property in my Zillow zip code - non-responsive thus far.

Contact #8 - A prospect that emailed me to schedule a showing for a property outside of my premiere paid zip code (hmm?)

Well, I actually did end up showing another property to contact #8 because the one they had originally inquired about was an REO that had just gone into escrow.  So I found another REO that was comparable in the neighborhood. 

Yes, I did show property to this contact, but I truly feel that they are not a qualified buyer.  He was going to try and get an equity line of credit as down payment on the 2nd property.  I asked him if he was going to live in his present house and rent out the new one or vice-versa.  He said he didn't know and I informed him that it will matter due to the interest rate being slightly higher on a loan for investment property.  And in general, I kind of got that "Lookey-Loo" sort of feeling.

However, Contact #4 continues to be the best lead so far.  I actually went out on a 2nd showing with this couple and showed them 3 more properties.  The wife is working on getting a pre-approval from their credit union, and the husband took what appears to be quite some time to draw an elaborate map of the places in the valley that they are most and least interested in buying, and color coded it!  That shows me that there is some effort here, and the cool part is they see that I have a good working knowledge of not only the area, but of standard sales, REO's and short sales.  This 2nd time around we actually had a few laughs.  Good times.

So they are on an Alaskan cruise this week and we will hit the pavement when they return.

I have added more listings to my Zillow account since day 8.  2 more listings of my own and 2 more from a couple of agents in my office who have allowed me to advertise their listings on Zillow cooperatively.

Let's see how I end up with Contact #4.  Is there an escrow on the horizon?

If you would like to join our consumer advocate group to track my results, click here: Putting Zillow To The Test




Comments (40)

Matthew Mitchell
Buyer's Capital Real Estate - New Haven, CT
New Haven Real Estate Agent

In one month I had I believe about 30 Contacts! Two-thirds were doubles, triples, or quadruples from the same person and out of everything one showing!

Aug 29, 2010 05:19 AM
Balboa Real Estate San Diego, CA - San Diego, CA


Am very interestd in your success (or lack of it) with Zillow. I am always skeptical with these programs, and I think they may perform differently in different markets. Keep us posted.

Aug 29, 2010 06:05 AM
Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner
Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395 - Mission Viejo, CA
Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395

I think this is justifying my hesitation....plus I'm tired of the calls. I actually missed a call from a prospect because it was the same area code as Zillow and I'm tired of telling them NO.

Aug 29, 2010 08:27 AM
Rebecca Gaujot, RealtorĀ®
Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

Ralph, looks like the one couple will be buying a house...hope you get a lot more buyers/sellers through zillow...we will be watching!

Aug 29, 2010 09:59 AM
Denise Hamlin, Broker/Owner
Cardinal Realty ~ 319-400-0268 - Iowa City, IA
Helping Happy Clients Make Smart Choices

Hmm, just read a comment on another blog post. Zillow seems to be working for him. As interesting as it is to watch your results Ralph, we should probably get our information from more than one source. (Before you ask, his name is Marvin Beninson and apparently in a month on Zillow he has one closed sale and 2 promising leads).

Hope this comment doesn't mean I start getting calls from Zillow. I just like to keep things objective, hence my coming back and commenting again.

Aug 29, 2010 10:33 AM
Carla Dimond
CATARRA - Mountain View, CA
(Silicon Valley)

Ralph, keep with the updates.  Zillow does get a great deal of traffic,  so it could be a good long term strategy

Aug 29, 2010 11:10 AM
Mike Saunders
Retired - Athens, GA

Ralph - thanks for the update again, and all of the detail. Best of luck with contact #4. Looks like they might be serious.

Aug 30, 2010 04:27 AM
Keith Sellers
Sellers Real Estate - Kalamazoo, MI
Greater Kalamazoo and Lakeshore

I also got a call from Zillow hoping to link up - but I need to see some more action to justify!

Aug 30, 2010 09:06 AM
Carol Ryniewicz
CR Premier Properties LLC - Woodstock, CT
Broker / Owner - CT & MA

Thanks for providing us this data! It is very helpful!

Aug 30, 2010 01:42 PM
Juli Vosmik
Dominion Fine Properties - Scottsdale, AZ
Scottsdale/Cave Creek, AZ real estate 480-710-0739

Recently, our brokerage just signed up with Zillow and they put ALL of our listings in through their "free" feed.  So far, on my newest listing, I've gotten nada, zip, zero, responses.  18 clicks.  woohoo.  I'm thinking zillow stands for zilch mixed with nellow - a term for bidding in the card game spades.

Aug 30, 2010 05:58 PM
Sara Bonert
Zillow - Atlanta, GA
Real Estate Internet Marketing

Ralph - Just a technical comment here.  If neighboring ZIP codes aren't sold out, we do rotate Premier Agents through the inventory until it is.  May be why you are receiving leads outside of the ZIP you are paying for.

Sep 01, 2010 11:28 AM
Juli Vosmik
Dominion Fine Properties - Scottsdale, AZ
Scottsdale/Cave Creek, AZ real estate 480-710-0739

So, is this limited to Zillow, or can we add Trulia as well?

Sep 01, 2010 01:57 PM
Maureen McCabe
HER Realtors - Columbus, OH
Columbus Ohio Real Estate

hmmm  now I have to read all the posts... about  "Ralph G's posts about his Zillow test"

Sep 03, 2010 04:56 AM
Melissa Zavala
Broadpoint Properties - Escondido, CA
Broker, Escondido Real Estate, San Diego County

Poor Sara, she is really going to have to defend herself. It's nice to have your face out there on Zillow BUT... I'm wondering if the money might be better spent hiring someone to do SEO on your website and work on your longtail search keywords. I bet you might see better results.

Sep 03, 2010 07:38 AM
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

Thank you for the information. Have a good weekend.

Sep 05, 2010 12:12 AM
Nate Gerard
Keller Williams Premier - Stillwater, MN
CDPE, East Metro Twin Cities Realtor

Just spotted this since I was out of town when you posted.

My comment: Interesting

It would be nice to see a bit more but having one decent prospect is better than none.

Sep 05, 2010 03:06 AM
Ritu Desai 703-625-4949
Samson Properties - Chantilly, VA
Northern Virginia,Washington DC & Maryland Realtor

Ralph, interesting I will follow your blog to see how it turn out at the end of 30 days. Thanks for sharing your experience.

Sep 05, 2010 03:51 AM
Juli Vosmik
Dominion Fine Properties - Scottsdale, AZ
Scottsdale/Cave Creek, AZ real estate 480-710-0739

Okay, any news?

Sep 07, 2010 05:33 PM
David Lee ~ Orange County, Ca ~ Cash Flow Specialist
United Realty - Garden Grove, CA

keep us updated!

Sep 08, 2010 07:13 AM
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

Ralph - I'm off to look for updates as I received the call today and am trying to decide.

Nov 04, 2010 08:11 AM