What I learned from working Zillow Leads

Real Estate Agent with Nicole Nark - Pixel Properties SA00083374


Ahh, Zillow...

Some agents will tell you that they love it, and others like me, well we go about our real estate lives pretty indifferent until our clients start to believe some of the false information it provides. Now, I don't want you to think that this is an article all about Zillow, the good, the bad and the ugly, because it's not. This past month my DEB, who strongly believes in Zillow and it's lead generating powers, needed some help. Long story short, she ended up fowarding all of her Zillow leads onto me. 


Now, of course I was excited about the potential of new deals, who wouldn't be? But I personally do not use Zillow to get leads at the moment and here is why:


  • Still being semi-new to the real estate world, Zillow is too expensive of a platform for me to invest in. 
  • If I am going to advertise, I prefer to be the only agent listed and not have to compete against others.
  • I want to continue to build on my own so that the majority of my leads are coming to me organically.


This is just my personal opinion and I am not saying that I will never invest in Zillow leads but for the time being, it's just not right for me. While I was doing my best to give every person who came as a Zillow lead the best possible experience, I couldn't help but realize that my experience was inhearently different. 


Every couple/person/family that I worked with had houses picked out that they aleady wanted to see, awesome. That's no problem! Where I did have an issue was with follow up, agent hoppers and finding motivated buyers, rather than just lookers. 


Central Arkansas experienced somewhat of an inventory crisis this summer. Great houses were moving fast with little or sometimes no time on the markets. Because of this, it is essential that clients are pre-approved and ready to buy. I encountered some problems with the clients coming through Zillow because they wern't neccessarily interested in what I had to say, forming a relationship with me or even following up despite the super active market. This surprised me and was very different than what I had experienced with my own leads turned clients previously. 


The next one really threw me for a loop. I received a request through Zillow from a young couple that wanted to look at a house. They were young, close to me in age and at the showing, I thought that we were really getting along but then they told me that they use only Zillow to schedule their showings and they do not want to be allegiant to one Realtor. Agent hoppers, that's what I have been calling them ever since. They told me that they would simply submit an offer with which ever agent showed them the house that they wanted to buy. I was shocked. I tried to explain to them that by working with one agent, their interests would be represented and the process could be smoother but they wern't going for it. 


Lastly, I encountered a lot of leads that were just interested in looking. They didn't want to get pre-approved, they didn't want to get serious, they just wanted to look and they thought that they could easily do that through Zillow.


At the end of it all, what I learned most from taking on Zillow leads is that every client is going to be different and demand a different kind of attention and experience. Some like to be super involved with their Realtor and learn all they can, others not so much. For the time being, I am withholding from being a Zillow Premier Agent because I feel that I have a method that works better at finding high quality leads for me. 


I want to know what you think! Do you use Zillow for leads? Why or Why not?


Thanks for reading my post! Check out what you can do on my website, Narkhomes.com, 

Learn more about Nicole Nark, Little Rock real estate agent. Search homes for sale in Central Arkansas and view open houses going on this weekend!


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Bruce Hicks
Best Homes Hawaii - Honolulu, HI
Your Lifetime Friend/Helper!

All these "Lead Gens" are making money off us innocent agents Nicole Nark .  If you investigate, Zillow, Hot Pads, Trulia are all under the same ownership.  Realtor.com is even controlled and does not belong to us agents!

Sep 01, 2018 05:27 PM #1
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224


            Thank you,m Nicole. 

Sep 01, 2018 06:10 PM #2
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good morning Nicole Nark,

Firs off I'd like to welcome you to Active Rain! Second thank you for a well written post. I'm not a Zillow fan and in Texas they are even more than off in their zestimates because we are a non-disclosure state. Before even considering shelling out your hard earned cash for leads through them (I think you can see the kind of leads you will receive) spend time on you bio and setting up your spheres and starting your business based on relationships. Formulate your business plan. Start by checking out the contest in Active Rain this month on your plan for fourth quarter. Create one and enter the contest. Read the other entries to give you ideas. Have a great Labor Day week-end!

Sep 02, 2018 06:37 AM #3
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

I'm back with the link for you to find the contest! I think it would be wonderful for you to enter.

Sep 02, 2018 06:41 AM #4
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

Hi Nicole Nark ,
You are very wise to want to build your business organically. 

Sep 02, 2018 07:30 AM #5
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Hello Nicole: I am a fan of Zillow leads. I do very well with conversion. You need to show value. Present how you are different and what you can do that no other agent on the face of the earth can do. If you can't do that, you won't gain a client's trust and respect. Without respect, btw, they treat you like a door opener. They just don't know what they don't know and it's up to us to explain the way of the world.

You are correct that every buyer is different. People who say things like, Zillow leads are worthless, and I'm not accusing you of that by a long shot, but, for those agents, the leads are worthless. You get out of it what you put into it.

Sep 02, 2018 10:49 AM #6
Jill Sackler
Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500 - Long Beach, NY
LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate

"they do not want to be allegiant to one Realtor." I once had a young couple, like the one you described, say to me, "we don't mean any disrespect, but we aren't going to be loyal to any one agent." Motivation to work hard for them sort of disappears after that.

Sep 02, 2018 02:55 PM #7
Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell

I am not a pop-tart agent. Never have been, never will be. I work very hard for clients that I represent but you have mentioned a prime reason why I will not pay for these leads. Loyalty is a two-way street.

Sep 02, 2018 04:28 PM #8
Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

I had a two-month experiment where my company paid for the leads from Z. Many leads did not respond, even though I contacted them immediately and followed-up regularly. I did meet a few leads, but none of those turned into "real" business; they were looking for very low-priced homes that simply don't exist at the moment (for example, one wanted a home less than $50K but not in the only area that has $50K homes so still keeping an eye on possibilities but they're non-existent). Another decided to move to a different state. I think many people who use "Z" to 'get more information" are tire kicking; in general, serious buyers get their agents from referrals, a sign, etc.


Sep 03, 2018 04:35 AM #9
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Nicole

Welcome to ActiveRain and congratulations on the feature from Kathy. I think your insights are right on target.And your post generated some good conversation!!


Sep 03, 2018 09:56 AM #10
Beth Atalay
Cam Realty and Property Management - Clermont, FL
Cam Realty of Clermont FL

Hi Nicole Nark, welcome to ActiveRain, glad to see Kathy Streib featured this post on her weekly. I will not pay for Z leads, I know of plenty of agents who do and do well, I personally don't believe in paying that kind of $$ for leads that are sent out to many agents. 

Sep 03, 2018 11:00 AM #11
Ralph Post
Suntree, FL
Melbourne Florida - Exp Realty LLC

Nicole, Thank You for post on your experiances with leads.  You gave a lot of good insight to us, the readers. 

Sep 03, 2018 01:50 PM #12
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

I did and very successfully back in 2010 and for a few years, but as they got more expensive and my "share" of my zip code diluted I learned to do without them. 

Sep 03, 2018 08:38 PM #13
Jay Beckingham
Bank of England Mortgage - Delray Beach, FL
Seniors ROCK!

i'm not a fan..i applied to basic concepts which are important to me. first "bang for the buck." i wasn't getting what i wanted. second, a favorite, opportunity cost. what was the cost based on what my production would be if i was working something else as opposed to Zillow. i decided that may time would yield higher results elsewhere.

Sep 05, 2018 05:45 AM #14
Mike Baltierra
Rise Realty - Eastvale, CA
Full Service at Your Service Realtor-Eastvale CA

Your smart by waiting. Every company wants are hard earned money for leads and they're not cheap. If there was a great lead source every agent would be using them. The best lead source for me any way is my sphere.

Sep 12, 2018 07:29 AM #15
Eileen Begley
Coldwell Banker, DelMonte - Carmel, CA
Monterey Real Estate

Hi Nicole; Good article. Nice to hear what your experience was with Zillow. It does irk me that they use our listings and then sell the leads back to us or to other agents. Now - if you click on Contact agent on Zillow - it doesn't go to the listing agent as you would expect. It goes to a Zillow agent who is paying!

Sep 20, 2018 07:35 PM #16
Keller Williams Select Realtors-Buy a home in Washington DC. Sell a home in Washington DC - Bowie, MD
I don't make promises.I deliver results.SOLD HOMES

Was this blog featured? If not IT SHOULD. Chris Smith of Curaytor.com mentioned on his webinar last week that around 5 million houses sell every year yet over 100 million leads are sold to Real Estate Agents EVERY YEAR. Are you kidding me? It just doesn't make any sense to buy leads. I have been a victim of buying leads-Ex:www.realestate.com back in 2005. If only someone told me what I know now.



Oct 02, 2018 12:43 PM #17
Nicole Nark
Nicole Nark - Pixel Properties - Little Rock, AR
Real estate agent serving Central Arkansas

It was not featured, Lanre-"THE REAL ESTATE FARMER" Folayan. But I sure do apprecitate the kind words! I would love to hear about how what means of lead generation you have found most efective for your business after you stopped buying leads. 

Oct 02, 2018 04:14 PM #18
Chuck Willman UtahHomes.me
Utah Homes - Alpine, UT
Utah Homes

I had hit and miss success with Zillow leads. Very well written, helpful post. Thanks!

Oct 02, 2018 05:21 PM #19
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