You Know, ZILLOW Is Not The Only Big Bad Wolf Out There!

By
Real Estate Agent with Joe Manausa Real Estate 8508880888
https://activerain.com/droplet/5jWt

Real estate agents appear to fall into one of three camps when it comes to Zillow. They either see Zillow as a threat, they see Zillow as a great benefit, or they do not care one way or the other about Zillow.

It seems to me though that the majority recognizes Zillow as an organization that continues to move closer and closer to our space and it has the potential to control a healthy portion of what we have traditionally done on our own.

If you see Zillow as the big bad wolf (making us agents Little Red Riding Hood), then I propose you should take a broader look at how the digital marketing space is evolving, as there are many more wolves out there than just Zillow.

Step Back Out Of The Box

To understand the marketing evolution that is occurring, one must take a step back and view the entire business world beyond just real estate brokerage. There are many other "Zillows" out there, and they represent a similar threat to those other industries in which they compete. So who are they?

They are merely DM organizations that are publicly funded. They are mega-marketing machines with the sole purpose of generating traffic in specific niches. They have no intention of servicing the consumer; rather they form to take advantage of the lack of digital marketing skills in industries that have not embraced DM. These digital marketing organizations generate customer leads and then, in turn, sell them to local business owners who then convert them to consumers of their products or services.

In every industry, there is always a group of business owners that embrace these mega DMs as an opportunity to outsource some or all of their marketing efforts. They buy leads and mistakenly see this as a way to simplify their operations, allowing them to focus on customer service rather than generating business. They believe the marketing company will “market,” while their own business will “service.” So who am I writing about?

Just a few examples. Does HomeAdvisor offer any benefit to the consumer? Can they fix the HVAC or unclog a toilet? No! But they can sell online consumer information to HVAC companies and Plumbers for a nice fee. Is Angie's List any different? Not really. But here's the thing.

Ten years ago, in your town, the largest plumbing company was local. Today, it's probably the plumber that is willing to pony up and pay for leads from the big DMs as we mentioned above. It does not matter how many years an organization has thrived through traditional marketing methods and word of mouth, digital is taking over. Death is coming to organizations that do not embrace digital.

A well-funded DM can take over any industry including Doctors, Lawyers, and all brick and mortar businesses that are not actively working digital channels. It comes down to this for all of us who operate as small businesses:

EMBRACE DIGITAL OR DIE

If you are not educating yourself on digital marketing, if you are not creating digital marketing solutions for your business, you are losing ground to those that are. It really is that simple. If you are only a year or two away from retirement, then it really does not matter. You can survive on word of mouth. But if you intend to work many more years as a real estate agent, what are you doing to own your local digital space?

I do believe Zillow and a few other organizations will control the flow of real estate activity for most locations because I believe the current structure of the real estate brokerage industry is too fragmented to counter the invasion from real estate digital marketing organizations. Are you defending your area of operations?

Enhance Your Digital Marketing Skillset

Fortunately for ActiveRainers, there is a solution. If you are on ActiveRain, then it is likely that you are at least trying to get a handle on the growing channels within digital marketing (DM). Content marketing is obviously one major tenet of DM, and ActiveRain is an excellent place to improve upon your content marketing skillset.

But there are others, and you must continue to grow. Evolve. Learn.

Or perish.

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Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Peter Mohylsky, SoWal Is HOME. 07/08/2019 06:00 AM
Topic:
Real Estate Best Practices
Location:
Florida Leon County Tallahassee
Groups:
The Lounge at Active Rain
Addicted to Active Rain
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Tags:
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Rainmaker
203,281
Foster Smith Summerville
Carolina One Real Estate - Summerville, SC
Summerville & Charleston Homes for Sale SC Realtor

Excellent post and very relevant to our industry.

Jul 08, 2019 04:24 AM #20
Rainmaker
534,463
Gwen Fowler-CRS- 864-638-3599 SC Mountains & Lakes--
Gwen Fowler Real Estate, Inc - Salem, SC
Gwen Fowler Real Estate, Inc.

I see Zillow for what it is: an excuse--to spend money, to complain or to weed out those who do not want to keep up with what is happening.  If the rules would just stay the same for a week or two then we all could get ahead instead of just spinning our wheels trying to keep up.

Jul 08, 2019 05:24 AM #21
Rainmaker
2,959,338
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of Manchester NH's Leading Agents

There is a good 6 plus others that are active in generating leads in my area that call non stop with leads to sell. I will not pay up front for any leads, they always turn out worthless, but will take a listing by referral and pay a referral fee. 

Jul 08, 2019 05:55 AM #22
Rainmaker
1,004,068
Corinne Guest
Corinne Guest, REALTOR® | Barrington Realty Company - Barrington, IL
Barrington Lifestyles

I think a high proportion make use of Zillow leads, as well as other companies as the way they can get into DM. Doing it yourself is too much work for most agents. The few of us that do our own, put in a lot of effort to stay present in the DM space. I will be retiring in 2-4 years but I still put forth the effort. My DM has been the biggest lead generator I have.

I watch with interest to see how this all evolves, it is evolving day by day. Just look at all the companies offering pay per sale property packages on Facebook.

Jul 08, 2019 06:06 AM #23
Rainer
10,794
RE Virtual Solutions
RE Virtual Solutions - Saint Charles, MO
Virtually helping real estate professionals.

Great post Joe.

Jul 08, 2019 07:39 AM #24
Rainmaker
463,756
Sondra Meyer:
Star View Real Estate - Colorado Springs, CO
See It. Experience It. Live It.

Whether we like it or not, we live in a world of online marketing. The  Amazon, Google, and Zillow type of marketing organizations will not be going away anytime soon.   They have found a way  to satisfy a LOT of people.  

As real estate agents, we must find ways to satisfy clients in our respective "niches."  We must be willing to continually evolve in order to best meet our potential client's needs and wants.     

Jul 08, 2019 07:55 AM #25
Rainmaker
700,156
Richard Bazinet /MBA, CRS, ABR
West USA Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
Phoenix Scottsdale. Sellers, Buyers & Relocations

Good post Joe. It's a constant learning process. Obviously there's money in the game.

Jul 08, 2019 08:12 AM #26
Rainmaker
311,145
Wayne L. Brown
Franklin Advantage Inc. - Alpine, CA

Joe

Like it or not, change is inevitable.

Your post was very well on point.

Jul 08, 2019 10:15 AM #27
Rainer
56,822
HOMEiZ.COM Real Estate Technology
HOMEiZ.COM - Agoura Hills, CA
The Real estate social network

Very well said! 

Jul 08, 2019 11:27 AM #28
Ambassador
461,355
Keith McMullin
Port Aransas Realty - Port Aransas, TX
Port Aransas Real Estate

Joe Manausa You made so many excellent points.  Our industry is not exempt from the changes seen elsewhere.  Who would have guessed a few years back that the vast majority of our web traffic would be on mobile devices.  Customer service and local market knowledge still win in the end.  As Michael pointed out in his comments, you hit on a conversation starter for sure.  Thank you for the post.

Jul 08, 2019 04:59 PM #29
Rainer
208,796
Robert Hicks
United Country River City Realty - Savannah, TN

.....and things will change and be different tomorrow.. Thank you for a great read..

Jul 08, 2019 06:50 PM #30
Rainmaker
3,186,531
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Joe good points now we need to get rid of the Finn red that is... we got rid of Purple Bricks... so there are many more to be needed to get rid of.... and there are agents in our profession that we need to get rid of too, but I am just sayin, Endre

Jul 08, 2019 11:17 PM #31
Rainmaker
398,287
John Wiley
Right Move Real Estate Group- EXP Realty - Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL, ECO Broker, GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

Great post.

Change is a constant, I can attest to the fact that I am no longer 21.

Change is coming more rapidly than ever before. Unfortunately many have spent so much time ignoring change and will pay the consequences.

If we do not adjust our business model we will see the impact and we will not be happy.

So, I must ask myself: What adjustments can I make today?

Jul 09, 2019 04:22 AM #32
Rainmaker
6,697
Bryan Haarlander
KEYSTONE FINANCIAL SOLUTIONS - Exton, PA
IRS Tax Strategies & IRS Tax Debts

Good advice! Today, businesses need to continuously evolve as the market changes. The old adage of "if it isn't broken, don't fix it" generally is no longer applicable in today's world. 

Jul 09, 2019 11:37 AM #33
Ambassador
934,979
Mike Frazier
Carousel Realty of Dyer County - Dyersburg, TN
Northwest Tennessee Realtor

Zillow is definitely the elephant in the room and wants to eat all our business. I personally cannot stand zillow.

Jul 09, 2019 01:17 PM #34
Rainmaker
454,783
Michael Eisenberg
eXp Realty - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham Real Estate Guy

Zillown has the eyeballs of the acerage consumer. Your sure right Joe we have to learn to be the local expert that gets found in the digital world.

Jul 09, 2019 02:14 PM #35
Rainmaker
347,691
Alan Brown
Coldwell Banker Montrose Colorado - Montrose, CO
29 Years of Real Estate Experience .

Nice article Joe.. You are spot on, snooze we lose,

Jul 09, 2019 02:16 PM #36
Rainmaker
893,775
Kay Van Kampen
RE/MAX Broker, RE/MAX - Springfield, MO
Realtor®, Springfield Mo Real Estate

Discussing the future of real estate is something that comes up more lately.  I have an agent stating that Zillow is now trying to eliminate the MLS completely.  We know changes must occur to keep in content with changing times.  Is this one of them?

Jul 09, 2019 06:42 PM #37
Rainmaker
454,510
Bruce Hicks
Best Homes Hawaii - Honolulu, HI
Your Lifetime Friend/Helper!

All I can say Joe Manausa is that I agree.  Now Inman is Trying too.  We have several RENTAL ads and they send emails saying we have this person or that person who is interested, please pay us a referral fee.  Sorry, owners do not want to pay for rental leads.

Jul 12, 2019 06:29 AM #38
Rainer
473,014
Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

Regardless of the industry, lead generators are in business only because their clients (real estate agents, brokers) most of them, are simply order takers, don't you agree?

If the market exists, the lead generators will remain in business, many if not most, use bait and switch tactics to generate leads from expired, sold listings or inaccurate information, yet consumers aren't aware the information is bogus.

I agree with Endre, #31, that agents in our profession who sustain lead generators might be better suited in another profession and perhaps get into a need type of business and over time make more income without effort. 

Jul 14, 2019 09:14 AM #39
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