Study Shows Yahoo! and Zillow Have High Lead Conversion Rates

Services for Real Estate Pros with Zillow

Anyone in advertising will tell you that is in important to track where your leads are coming from- a task that is sometimes easier said then done.  ListHub recently commissioned a white paper to try to tackly this task,and figure out which web channels they distribute to, are providing the best results. 

In case you aren't familiar with ListHub, they offer a service that will syndicate your listings for free to approximately 21 various Internet sites.  They work with over 110 MLSs and have about 65% MLS market coverage.  It is a great service to their clients that they put this report together, as it helps them better understand which sites are working the best.  This is good to know if you are going to spend addition marketing dollars online. 

The full report can be found here.  If you are affliated with a MLS, it is a must read.  The Northern Nevada Regional MLS was used for the case study.  If you are an agent, the results section of the study are of particular interest.  Here are the highlights:

First they looked at where traffic for the NNRMLS's 8700 listings was coming from. 


Then, from this traffic, they looked at who actually turned into a lead for the listing source.


Big props to Yahoo! for taking top honors in both measurements. 

From my perspective as a Zillow employee, these numbers line right up with what I hear from Brokers and Agents, regarding the spread between the number of clicks we generate (12%, ranked 4th) and the number of leads we send (21%, ranked 2nd). The survey says, “It was interesting to note that Zillow’s lead conversion numbers are proportionally higher relative to their referring traffic volume. Not all traffic is the same; some sites attract customers who are closer to making an actual purchase.”

I believe a lot of this has to do with how much content is presented on a site.  For example, on Trulia there is minimal information presented and only one main photo, you need to click over to see the rest of the listing details.  So of course they are going to drive more traffic, but the quality can be lower. 

Conversely, Zillow has very rich content on the site- up to 50 photos per listing.  So while we may send less clicks, when the person clicks over, they quite possibly are further along in the shopping process.

DavidG does further analysis on the numbers saying: "By dividing the second metric by the first, it’s possible to calculate the relative ratio of leads per visit for each site. With that ratio, you can compare the relative value of traffic referred by each site on a conversion rate basis. Only Yahoo! comes close to referring traffic that converts as well as traffic from Zillow does - at 71% of Zillow’s rate. That’s far better than average. For all other sites combined, referred traffic converts at a dismal 40% of the conversion rate of traffic from Zillow. And some sites faired even worse. Trulia, for example, would have had to refer 5 times as much traffic as Zillow to generate the same amount of leads (they didn’t.)". 

If you are not syndicating your listings, you are definitely missing out on some exposure opportunities.  ListHub has a great product to help you gain this additional reach and quite possibly save you some time if you are manually entering listings today.  And now, their current clients have a better understanding of just how their product is performing, very helpful in building an online marketing campaign.

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Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Spencer Rascoff 09/09/2008 04:47 PM
  2. Drew Meyers 09/09/2008 04:55 PM
Real Estate Sales and Marketing
The Lounge at Active Rain
Zillow Discussion Group
Marketing for Cheapskates
Turning Technology into Sales
online listings
yahoo real estate
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Shane OnullGorman
Eau Claire Realty, Inc. - Eau Claire, WI
Eau Claire Wisconsin, Real Estate Agent & Realtor- Buy or Sell

Its good to see it works in other areas. I just dont see it here. It just seems like a slower area for stuff like this.

Sep 09, 2008 05:09 AM #1
Ed Lopez
Vantage Realty Group - New Bedford, MA

Great stats! Thanks for the information Sara

Sep 09, 2008 05:15 AM #2
Jason Sardi
Auto & Home & Life Insurance throughout North Carolina - Charlotte, NC
Your Agent for Life

Interesting.  Trulia has more of a sharehold than I would of thought, then again I haven't utilized it as much from the Mortgage End.  I haven't checked out Yahoo as much as I should either.

Sep 09, 2008 05:18 AM #3
Brian Brumpton
Keller Williams Boise - Boise, ID
Boise Idaho Real Estate


Thanks for sharing this. This really give some great insight into where to drop marketing dollars.

Sep 09, 2008 05:26 AM #4
Sara Bonert
Zillow - Atlanta, GA
Real Estate Internet Marketing

Shane- ListHub's syndication services are free, but one of their main revenue streams is selling reporting then to agents.  This would help you to know for your specific area. 

Jason - One thing Trulia does extremely well is play the SEO game.  They come up very high in search results, which drives a bulk of their traffic.  So while they are getting a lot of visitors thru this, question is if they even know what site they are on? 

Brian- Good, I am glad to hear that.  I know marketing dollars can be tight, so it is good to make educated purchases.



Sep 09, 2008 05:31 AM #5
Betina Foreman
WJK Realty - Austin, TX
Realtor, C.N.E., with WJK REALTY

Very interesting. Now I really have to start tracking my leads!!

Sep 09, 2008 05:44 AM #6
Susan Laxson CRS
HomeSmart Professionals - La Quinta, CA
Local Knowledge & Global Network

Good post Sara, I agree with so many offers out there that many of us should spend time analyzing where best to spend our marketing dollars.

Sep 09, 2008 05:45 AM #7
Associate Broker Falmouth MA Cape Cod Heath Coker & - Falmouth, MA
Heath Coker Robert Paul Properties Falmouth MA

Interesting info.  They don't mention conversion rates from agent's own sites that don't pay for leads.

Sep 09, 2008 06:12 AM #8
Sara Bonert
Zillow - Atlanta, GA
Real Estate Internet Marketing

Heath- Not sure what you mean, as Listhub and its partners don't sell leads?

Sep 09, 2008 06:15 AM #9
Troy Erickson AZ Realtor (602) 295-6807
Good Company Real Estate - Chandler, AZ
Your Chandler, Ahwatukee, and East Valley Realtor

Very interesting information.  I do try to promote myself and my listings on Zillow, Trulia, and of course AR.  I believe many of my listings are being syndicated through Point2Agent.

Sep 09, 2008 10:02 PM #10
Patricia Beck
RE/MAX Properties, Inc., GRI, CDPE - Colorado Springs, CO
Colorado Springs Realty

Very good info Sara, thanks for sharing.  I actually have not heard of ListHub so I am going to most definitely take a look at it.  Thank you!!

Sep 10, 2008 08:56 AM #11
Laksmi Taylor
RE/MAX Alamo Realty - Lakehills, TX

Thank you for sharing with us, Sara.   I never heard about ListHub either.

Jun 23, 2009 07:03 PM #12

Nice post, everbody loves pie chart reports, see you in San Diego for the NAR show?

Jul 02, 2009 04:37 AM #13
Ray Nellum
Envision Real Estate Group, LLC. - Fort Smith, AR
Fort Smith Real Estate

Sara, my board just signed on with Listhub and I can't wait to see the results!

Sep 14, 2009 12:25 AM #14
Tim Mellor
Equity Real Estate - Provo, UT

I had my first showing today from someone who seemed to have found my listing directly through listweb's site.  Is there a way to make it show all the photos from the MLS (currently it is only showing one of them)? 

On a related note my Zillow site did not show all my MLS properties and I finally figured out it was because the email that I subscribed to Zillow was different from the email that I used on the MLS.  Zillow wouldn't allow me to add an additional email so I changed it and almost instantly all my other listings showed on my profile.  Now if only all the pictures would show up as well.  When I click on the add pictures, it shows all the pictures but only one shows on the main screen and a user cannot scroll through the other pictures.

Oct 14, 2010 11:32 AM #15
Sara Bonert
Zillow - Atlanta, GA
Real Estate Internet Marketing

Hey Tim -

It looks like your listings do all have multiple photos? (Tim's listings) To answer your question though, no, there is nothing you need to do to have multiple photos show up.  We simply display whatever the MLS sends us.  So if they send one photo, that is what we display.  If they send 75 photos, that is what we display.

One note you could check is the actual source of the listing.  Many agents just assume it is coming out of the MLS, when in fact it may not be.  If you scroll to the bottom of the listing, you'll see Listing Source: COMPANY.  If there is something about how the listing is displayed that you'd like to edit, doing here at this source will change it on Zillow.

About your second point - You are absolutely correct that the emails need to match up, this is very important!  One thing that is very cool that we recently changed, is that you can now add TWO email addresses to your profile.  This is good for when you use multiple syndication services with different email addresses.  Here is a quick video with more information on how to do this

Oct 21, 2010 04:59 AM #16
Tim Mellor
Equity Real Estate - Provo, UT

Thanks Sara for your response.  I think what may have happened with one of my zillow listing is this: I added the photos of the property on zillow first. Then because my email address issue, it started pulling data from listhub which only had one photo.  Zillow archived all the other photos thinking they were now outdated and only displayed the one it was getting from listhub.  When I changed my email address, I think it realized that even thought listhub only shows one photo that because I was the current agent all the photos I had uploaded were the most recent and re-enabled them.  This is all just a guess but the best explanation I could think of.

I think Zillow is great--keep it up!

Oct 21, 2010 05:22 AM #17
Sara Bonert
Zillow - Atlanta, GA
Real Estate Internet Marketing

Thanks Tim - And while I have your attention.... I checked out your Zillow profile and it looks good and complete!  Glad to see you have all of your social media and blog link included on it.  The one recommendation I would make it to actually include links in the About Me section.  These links are followed-links, so linking the appropriate keywords can help with SEO on the words your highlight and link.  Just a suggestion!  :) 

Oct 21, 2010 05:31 AM #18
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