Why I LOVE Zillow!

Real Estate Agent with Fathom Realty West Sound WA State 52404


(I recently posted this on a popular Facebook group, where it illicited quite a bit of response. Fortunately, most of the comments were positive and supportive. I though it would be helpful to post it here as well.)


With so much vitrolic criticisms of late, and calls for Spencer to be burned at the stake, I thought it would be nice to balance out the conversation, and tell you why I personally LIKE and APPRECIATE Zillow.

So many spend inordinate amounts of time and energy consumed in complaining and lashing out against Zillow. Their Zestimates come under tremendous scrutiny & criticism for being misleading or innaccurate. Others accuse Zillow of stealing our listings, and selling leads back to us. How dare they!

Regardless of how you may feel, syndication is a good thing. It provides our Sellers, and their homes, with additional exposure, on sites that generate scary good traffic.

But more importantly, its folks like Zillow that help to better establish and affirm my value as a local real estate expert.

At every listing appointment, I bring the Zestimate for the property (Chances are the Seller already knows what it is!) I use it as a starting point in my conversation about market value. I also discuss the current County Assessed valuation, and share the RealAVM from Core Logic.

But when my detailed market analysis is complete, and I share my findings, I have become the knowledgeable local real estate expert. This is a big part of what differentiates me, and establishes my value proposition with my clients.

Zillow does an admirable job of creating content & tools that consumers like. Their platform has tons and tons of data. But someone has to interpret that data, and apply it to specific local market dynamics.

Rather than belly ache and complain about Zillow, I use their platform to my advantage. I turn a perceived negative into a positive, and spend my valuable time and energy doing other things more vital to the success of my business.

Here is a link to the group on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/NARMembers/

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Rich Jacobson is a District Director for Fathom Realty and a licensed REALTOR®; an avid Crab Hunter, Clam Digger, and Oyster Shucker, He is the Social Media Evangelist for Life on the Kitsap Peninsula & The Western Puget Sound in scenic WA State.


Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Lynn B. Friedman 01/30/2015 11:05 AM
  2. Jeanne Dufort 01/30/2015 10:25 PM
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Debbie Reynolds
Platinum Properties - Clarksville, TN
Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent

Hi Rich, You have found the secret to making it work for you. All the tools out there should be looked at and we need to see how they can point to us as the expert. Great points you have made.

Jan 30, 2015 10:29 PM #11
Mike Cooper, GRI
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro

I've used Zillow for a few years now with great success. They helped me double my production over the past year. I can't complain.

Jan 30, 2015 10:36 PM #12
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

What I learned

Jan 31, 2015 09:00 AM #13
Russ Ravary ~ Metro Detroit Realtor call (248) 310-6239
Real Estate One - Commerce, MI
Michigan homes for sale ~ yesmyrealtor@gmail.com

I too have embraced both Zillow and Trulia.  They are not going away and they do bring me business.

Jan 31, 2015 08:57 PM #14
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Rich, nice way to turn a potential negative to a positive. Enjoy your day! 

Jan 31, 2015 09:09 PM #15
Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Realty Center - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

I enjoyed your post and I was glad Kathy put it on her weekly summary page this week!

Jan 31, 2015 11:03 PM #16
Lottie Kendall
Compass - San Francisco, CA
Helping make your real estate dreams a reality

I, too, address Zillow with potential buyers and sellers. Consumers like the site, and I tell them to. Then I'll send them links to some of my posts showing Zestimates and actual sales prices so they can see reality.

Feb 01, 2015 02:34 AM #17
Ed Silva
RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Z certainly does it make it easier for us to defend the local market with their track record for accuracy

Feb 01, 2015 04:21 AM #18
Cindy Edwards
RE/MAX Checkmate - Johnson City, TN
CRS, GRI, PMN - Northeast Tennessee - 423-677-6677

I do like the positive twist. We need to take what we have and make it work for us.

Feb 01, 2015 05:02 AM #19
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

I wouldn't say I have a profound hatred of Zillow, but I have definitely used their flawed Zestimates to show a more accurate market value to buyers and sellers.

Feb 01, 2015 06:41 AM #20
Dianne Goode
Raleigh Cary Realty - Raleigh, NC

You make some good points.  There's a proverb to the effect of, "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em!"  Incorporating Zillow into your presentation makes more sense than just grumbling about them.

Feb 01, 2015 09:23 PM #21
Beth and Richard Witt
Long Island Cash Home Buyer - Huntington, NY
Long Island Cash Home Buyer 516-330-6940

Like your idea of turning a negative into a positive... thanks to Kathy I got to come over and enjoy your post

Feb 02, 2015 01:40 AM #22
Marie Story
Coldwell Banker - Pinecrest (Miami) - Pinecrest, FL
Broker Associate, Pinecrest (Miami) Specialist

Rich, what's that saying.....

              "Keep your friends close, your enemies closer."

Feb 02, 2015 03:48 AM #23
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Rich Jacobson I always wonder why people don't learn something positive from every opportunity given to them! This is in fact the best.

Sometimes I get a call from buyer for a listing which is not in MLS! Hey, that's an FSBO opportunity - and I love that!

Feb 02, 2015 10:02 AM #24
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

I really like the way you have found a way to use Z to your benefit and establish yourself as a market expert and a necessity.  

Feb 02, 2015 12:03 PM #25
William Johnson
RE/MAX Associates - La Jolla, CA
San Diego Real Estate Voice, GRI CRS e-Pro CDPE

Hi Rich, Utilizing the tools that are out there, we can all be better at what we do. I doubt we are right 100% of time but we try and that is what we can always strive to improve. 

Feb 02, 2015 01:18 PM #26
Beth Atalay
Cam Realty and Property Management - Clermont, FL
Cam Realty of Clermont FL

Rich, this is a great way of using a negative to your advantage. We are the local experts that no other company can compete with.

Feb 02, 2015 10:08 PM #27
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

I choose to use the flaws to my advantage in the market place.  I also choose to harness their advertising power for my listings.  I am a premier agent and I have found great success.  I realize that I am apparently rare, but I will take it.  Thank you for posting.

Feb 03, 2015 12:04 PM #28
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

I'm not a hater of zillow. I advertised there with great success for quite some time. 

Now how funny is it I'm reading this post with that photo while watching someone burn at the stake on the last of the Mohicans

Aug 14, 2015 01:21 PM #29
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • Green • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

Zillow is not perfect but it is popular and powerful. I do not use it, but many buyers/sellers do trust it. The data they pull is good, but not their zestimate. 

Apr 02, 2016 05:19 PM #30
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