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10 Things You Should Do On Zillow Today

(Since this post I have written a more updated list.  You can find the updated post here.  Zillow is now reaching 9 million people a month.  Double that of when this post was written!)

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In my job at Zillow I meet with a lot of Realtors and have heard many creative ways that agents are using Zillow to further their business.  Based on these comments, I have typed up the top 10 ways agents can get involved with the Zillow website and reach out to our 4 million monthly users. 

1.  Look up the home you are selling on Zillow.  Know the Zestimate so you can be prepared if buyers want to discuss this number with you. 

2.  Edit the home's facts.  Was there recently do a kitchen remodel?  Do public records say that it is a three bedroom house, when really there are four bedrooms?  Edit the home's facts to arrive at your own Zestimate which will be published next to Zillow's automated estimate. 

3.  Post your listings for sale for FREE.  When a home's status changes to "for sale" on Zillow, traffic for that home increases over 200%.  Post your listings (and as many photos as you'd like) for free on Zillow. 

4.  Create a personal profile for FREE  This is your persona on Zillow-when you post a listing for sale, report a home for sale, ask a question or post an answer, or edit a Wiki page,.  On your profile page, you can add a photo, self-description, contact information, web site address, company name and location.  Any contact the Zillow community makes with you through this page is free.

5.  Report homes for sale.  Zillow is opening up the site to the entire community to tell us which homes are for sale and for how much.  This is a great way to appear as an expert in a particular area of town.

6.  Ask and answer Questions on home detail pages.  On every home detail page users can "ask a question," or, if a question is already posed, you can "write an answer."  To do this, you must just be registered with Zillow.  All questions and answers link to your profile page.  Home Q&A is about enabling real estate conversations online where they are useful and helpful for everyone, and lets you have an opportunity to showcase your knowledge and experience.  If you're a listing agent and post your listing on Zillow, you will be automatically updated each time there's a new question or answer on one of your listings.

7.  Contribute to the Real Estate Wiki.  The wiki is a place to find up-to-date and relevant information on home buying, selling and financing, written for and by Zillow's community of users.  Any registered Zillow user can add, edit, remove and change the content in the wiki, and you'll receive links back to your profile.

8.  Look up For Sale By Owner listings and Make Me Moves (MMM) prices.  Agents should spend time on the site to learn about the "Make Me Move" market that is available to them, whether their intentions are to prospect or expand the pool of homes a client could consider for sale.  In competitive markets Make Me Move homes can be an alternative stream of available homes for clients.    

9.  Incorporate Zillow into your listing presentation.  While a private home owner can post their own home for sale, there is value in an agent doing it for them and maintaining the copy, photos, and public inquiries.  Show the home owner that you know how to maximize Zillow's marketing tools and that you will handle the process for them.

10.  Buy an EZ Ad.  Want even more exposure on Zillow?  EZ Ads are a low-cost, self-service way for real estate professionals to reach local buyers and sellers on Zillow.  EZ Ads will show up throughout Zillow, on our map and home details pages, in the particular zip codes the advertiser chooses.  Advertisers are able to promote themselves, their company or a specific home in a specific zip code.  You can see the performance of your ad in real time, including the number of times it has been clicked on and the number of times it has have been shown.

Please find an updated version of this post at:

http://activerain.com/blogsview/977541/10-Ways-Real-Estate-Professionals-Can-Use-Zillow-v20

 

 

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Comment balloon 67 commentsSara Bonert • April 19 2007 07:01AM

Comments

Thanks for sharing Sara, I did not realize Zillow is interactive.  I do not see why number 9 would be of value, can you please elaborate.
Posted by Timothy Schwartz (Century 21 Mack Morris Iris Lurie) about 13 years ago

With regard to #9- While homeowners can do many of these things on Zillow, they do take time and there are obviously good and bad ways to describe a home and take photos.  So it is valuable to a homeowner to tell them that you are going to take care of representing their home on all websites, and that you are going to use your expertise in writing a description and taking photos.  Further, you will manage the calls/emails/questions that come from the online listing for them.   

Any time you post a listing to Zillow or answer a question on a home, it ties back to your profile.  With all this information on your profile, plus your personal marketing text, it begins to build a reputation or voice for yourself.  By you listing a home on Zillow, verses the homeowner doing it themselves, they are able to leverage your reputation. 

Not a lot of agents (and owners, for that matter) today know about ALL the ways you can use Zillow and if you come to the table looking very informed and knowing all the ins and outs of the site, it is going to make you look like a more informed agent overall, especially with regards to technology.  These are important things to discuss in a listing presentation. 

 

Posted by Sara Bonert, Real Estate Internet Marketing (Zillow) about 13 years ago
Thanks for reviewing all of the things you can do on Zillow.  I realize I've just tapped the surface.
Posted by Christina Ethridge (The North Idaho Dream Team powered by SKE Realty Group) about 13 years ago
Thanks for the tips, Sara.  Obviously Zillow is branching out.  It is nice to have a presence here in the midwest.  When will Zillow start covering the Michigan markets?
Posted by Stefan Scholl, Northern Michigan Real Estate (Buyer's Broker of Northern Michigan, LLC) about 13 years ago

Yes, our coverage is a little spotty in Michigan.  We are constantly working on ways to make the data better, especially in areas where we are light.  I don't have an exact date for you, but I would say in the next 3-4 months our coverage will be better in the Midwest. 

However, you can always post your listings for sale, even if there isn't a Zestimate or the home isn't in the Zillow database.  You can create your own listing.

 (For an exact list of the counties we cover and how good the data is: Go to the home page of Zillow.  Under the address search box click on About ZestimateTM values and accuracy.  Scroll down and click on your state.)

Posted by Sara Bonert, Real Estate Internet Marketing (Zillow) about 13 years ago
Sara - I signed up for a Zillow account, but haven't used it for a listing yet. I heard you can never delete the ad; it stays in their database forever. I would think that could be detrimental to future sellers of the property. Just my thought!
Posted by Paula Henry, Realtor - Indianapolis Real Estate - 317-605-4174 (Home to Indy Team @ HomeSmart Realty Group) about 13 years ago

Sara,

Thank you for sharing.  I use Zillow and another agent in our office also uses it.   It is easy to list your homes on.  I have heard that alot of people look at Zillow but I haven't had a client yet that has said they saw one of our houses on Zillow.  I also list my listings on other sites.  I figure the more websites i post my listings on, the more opporunity for them to be seen. 

Posted by Michelle Cantlin about 13 years ago

Paula - Thanks for posting.  Zillow has permanent records on our site for about 70,000,000 homes, displaying such information as public record information and a Zestimate.  However, you can always change the status of a home (for sale, pending, not for sale).  You can edit the status at any time.  Also, as an extra service, when you post a listing with Zillow, the site will email you about every 7-10 days asking you for an update on the status.  It is a one click process to tell us if the home is still for sale, if it has a contract pending, or it has indeed sold.  You are correct that we wouldn't want incorrect data on the site!

Michelle-  Thank you for trying us out and posting!  We are getting approximately 4,000,000 users a month to the site, so it is possible that clients are finding a home on one site and then researching it more on Zillow.  Thus you plan of posting it as many places as possible is very complimentary to posting on Zillow.  A few weeks ago we added page counters to the bottom of all home detail pages, so you can at least get an idea of how many people are seeing your listings. 

 

 

Posted by Sara Bonert, Real Estate Internet Marketing (Zillow) about 13 years ago

Sara,

I have been on zillow for fun but didn't realize what a valuable real estate tool this really is! Thank you! 

 

Posted by Yvonne Brown (Century 21 Northwest) about 13 years ago

Regardless of my opinion of Zillow, it has become a part of my listing presentation. I now take my sellers to the site and show them how Zillow displays their property. Most of the data is dated or incorrect, so I make sure that my client's claim their property and update the information. Sadly, there is quite a lag time before Zillow factors this new information into their Zestimate, which can be a frustrating experience after checking week after week for several weeks.

My most recent example of this: I listed a 2250 square foot home with a swimming pool for $425,000. Zillow showed the square footage as 1560 square feet, didn't mention the swimming pool (even though it had been there for twelve years and was visible from the aerial photo), and valued the property at $397,000. A prospective buyer came along who loved the house, but having not bought a home before, couldn't bring themselves to write an offer for $425,000 because of Zillow's much lower estimation. Had I been the buyer's agent I would hope that I would have been able to explain the pros/cons of Zillow, then showed them relevant market data that supported the price. That gentleman tarried for too long - a few days later we had multiple offers, one that went over the listed price of $425,000.

A month after we updated the information on my seller's property, Zillow has yet to change their estimation. I'm aware of the other services Zillow has to offer, but I'm wary to attach myself to a site that provides mis-information. I'm not bent against Zillow, but their inability to re-evaluate data in a timely manner concerns me greatly. A lot of people are beginning to rely heavily on the information Zillow provided - until that information becomes relevant I think that we need to be cautious about using their services.

Posted by Jesse Moore (Keller Williams Realty Bothell) about 13 years ago

Thanks Sara,

 Number 2, Edit the home facts, will be helpful since, (sorry), Zillow estimate is not always where my asking price might be.  At least I can have my information along side the zestimate.

 

 

 

Posted by Moisés "Moe" Pagán about 13 years ago
I just entered my first listing on Zillow---Thanks so much.
Posted by Sandra Williams (Rancon Real Estate) about 13 years ago

Regardless of your opinion of Zillow's estimates, everyday the public is using this website to value their home.  Therefore, I agree its important to adress Zillow's estimate upfront.  This way your client does not retain a false idea of what their house is worth.

Posted by Dawn Jensen, Realtor - Colorado Springs (Keller Williams) about 13 years ago

Thanks for the good information.  I'm going to give it a try.

 

Sandy williams - BRIO Realty

 

Posted by Sandra Williams (BRIO Realty) about 13 years ago
Sara, I will have to admit I have been skeptical of Zillow's approach.  I've watched what they were promoting for the past couple of years.  I don't have all the facts on this, so I'm going to ask you for your candid, honest remarks here.  As I understand Zillow's approach to real estate agents, it was originally designed to take business away from the realtors.  Then, they decided to try to sell leads back to the realtors when they decided they needed to work with realtors.  I think Trulia.com does a much better job of promoting the real estate agent.  I'm not interested in hurting your business, I'm just trying to understand what Zillow's approach is now.  Thanks.
Posted by David L. Britt, MBA (Platinum Realty, LLC) about 13 years ago

David- Thanks for asking and letting me set the record straight.  Zillow launch in Feb. 06, a little more than a year ago. 

From day one we have been a media company, meaning we make money solely from selling ads on our site.  We have never taken a dime by doing any type of lead generation service and we have no intention of getting into the referral business or getting involved in the transaction.  100% of our revenue comes from people/companies running ads on the site.

Your misunderstanding might come from the fact that the person who started Zillow is also the same person who started Expedia.  When Expedia launched they wanted to be an online agency and obviously shifted a lot of business from the traditional travel agent to the website.  When Rich Barton said he was going to start a real estate website, a lot people thought that his intention would be the same, to shift money from the realtor to the website- but that is not true in the least.  Zillow is a media company and wants to a create a vibrant online real estate community where constructive conversations about real estate are taking place.  Agents should definitely leverage these conversations and this audience by doing the things mentioned in this post.

Please let me know if you need any more information on this subject, and I will be glad to provide. 

Posted by Sara Bonert, Real Estate Internet Marketing (Zillow) about 13 years ago

Sara,

Investigating Zillow more as we speak. How do you do # 2?-- looking at my own house which is going on    the market before too long, there is a mistake-- How do I correct this?

Posted by Terry McDonald The McDonald Group, Brokers NC/ SC (TerryMcDonaldRealEstate.com, LLC) about 13 years ago

I've had lots of negative feedback on Zillow........I will definitely investigate its possibilities for our market.

Thanks for the info

Posted by Mesa, Arizona Real Estate Mesa Arizona Realtor, AzLadyInRed (Homes Arizona Real Estate LLC) about 13 years ago
In our area we've had only negative feedback on Zillow. The "zestimates" have been very bad. I have no idea where these numbers come from, and it's made the listing agent's job much harder, as some sellers who are aware of Zillow are wedded to trying to get the price Zillow indicates. Bad idea...values are often inflated by 25-30% or more!
Posted by Laura Warden Nordin, 30-year Top Producer in Greater ABQ Real Estate (Century 21 Camco Realty) about 13 years ago

Thanks for the information. Will check into the areas of Zillow you suggest. However, we too have had difficult experiences with Zillow. The estimates are simply not anywhere what the market is. For example I recently posted info about 2 of our listings on Zillow and the difference between the listing and Zillow is about $200,000!! with Zillow being low. The information on Zillow seems to relate to the time a couple years ago when homes in the area were being built. However even if that is the case, that number is low, as any of the homes that were purchased from the builder back then were higher $$ than the estimates, if the homes had any upgrades at all. The fact the estimates are so off on Zillow makes it difficult at times to work with a buyer who believes the data that is posted, making our jobs as real estate agents harder.

We hope there is a plan to update Zillow and make it more relevant to what is actually happening in the marketplace.

Carolin Benjamin
Bob and Carolin Benjamin - The Benjamin Team - Keller Williams Integrity First Realty - Gold Canyon, Arizona

Posted by Bob & Carolin Benjamin, East Phoenix Arizona Homes (Benjamin Realty LLC) about 13 years ago
Thank you for the Information... I can't wait to check it out.
Posted by Leigh Bates, The Trinity Group (Atlantic & Pacific Real Estate) about 13 years ago
I have my listings on Zillow but haven't seen any benifits.  I have one listing that they have valued $100,000 less than the appraised value.  I added upgrades and did all I could to get the value up but no success.  Also I have noticed in the city of Washington DC they have no information what so ever on some properties.
Posted by Endea Thibodeaux, Solar Energy Consultant, CDPE, CLHMS about 13 years ago

Terry- If you are the owner, click the "owner" button on the homepage.  If you are the seller, click the "professional" button and the site will take you through the appropriate steps.  It won't allow you to actually change public records, but it will publish all your updated facts right next to them. 

Teri and Carolin- Making the Zestimates as accurate as possible is a top priority at Zillow and an ongoing process.  We know in some counties we are considerably more accurate than others.  One tool that you can use when talking to the general public about the accuracy of what you see online is to use our accuracy charts.  On the homepage, under the address search box, there is an "about zestimates" link.  Click on that are can drill down to your county and see the accuracy for your local area.  Using this "margin of err" percentage may help you in your discussions.  We have also put links to this information every time we display a Zestimate now (new last month), and try to reinforce that for a more accurate representation of what the home is worth, they need to contact a professional. 

Endea-  Did you try changing the homes that the listing was compared to?  Changing this can definitely have an impact on the updated value.  Yes, unfortunately the amount of public record data available to us in DC is very light.  However, you can still post any listing to site you may have, even if it isn't in our database. 

Posted by Sara Bonert, Real Estate Internet Marketing (Zillow) about 13 years ago
Hi Sara, thanks for the list.  I've put our latest listing on Zillow, but haven't had a chance to do much else.  This should help me out quite a bit.
Posted by Andy Kaufman, East Bay Sales & Investments (Better Homes & Gardens Mason McDuffie Real Estate) about 13 years ago

I totally agree with #1.  Know the Zillow figures for any property you're looking to SELL or BUY.  This is part of normal preparation and be prepared to discuss why the number is or isn't inline with the market.  Many clients are using this and it's bad to be caught off guard due to Zillow.

Zillow uses public record to get data.  In our area, the bottom level of a tri-level is called "garden level" in public record though the entire level may be above grade.  Zillow DOES NOT include this in square footage, which affects estimates, throwing off ALL tri-levels in our county.  It took some exploring to discover that issue.

As consumers and Realtors update property values, Zillow will become more accurate.  The days of being the expert because you can price properties are quickly coming to an end!  You'd better be looking at ways to provide additional value to compete.

Posted by Derec Shuler, www.MileHighUrbanLiving.com (Mile High Urban Living) about 13 years ago
very good idea.
Posted by Dave Cheatham (INC Financial ) about 13 years ago
Hi Sara, I have enjoyed reading your response regarding Zillow, I just listed my new listing on the site, however it is about 100,000 below the listing price and the homes that have recently sold in the area.  Well, this discussion about the site help me to explain when buyers go on the site and see the great difference in the listing price.  How can I get the price to reflect the current market.
Posted by Jerbethaqui "Beth" Strickland (California Real Estate) about 13 years ago
I have listed on Zillow.would readers mind suggesting other free sites as well ?Thank you.
Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) about 13 years ago
Well, I just learned something new!  I thought Zillow was just a bastion of outdated tax assessor data (our area is not represented very accurately by that resource).  You definitely convinced me to go and check it out.  Thanks for the tips!
Posted by David Phillips (Solid Source Realty) about 13 years ago
I've found that the "buzz" about Zillow is lukewarm - sort of a curiosity.  My concern is that the estimation process will create a conflict for agents and appraisers...over the long haul the Zestimate will be popularly viewed as an alternative to a full, detailed CMA.  The reality is that number-crunching alone will never get to the place where it's a valued-added assessment of a homes marketability.  All the algorithms in the world can't take the place of walking through a home and visually assessing it, IMHO.
Posted by Jeff R. Geoghan, REALTOR, Marketing Manager (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) about 13 years ago
Thanks for the advice!
Posted by Joe Long, Purchase Perfect (Waterstone Mortgage) about 13 years ago
Thanks for the post Sara. I am definitely going to check it out.
Posted by Lanre-"THE REAL ESTATE FARMER" Folayan, I don't make promises.I deliver results.SOLD HOMES (Keller Williams Select Realtors-Buy a home in Washington DC. Sell a home in Washington DC) about 13 years ago
I'm not enthusiastic about a national entity like Zillow making long-distance estimates of values in areas they're not personally familiar with.  Having said that, if dotcoms like Zillow are going to be seen and used by the public, it behooves us local professionals to at least put some our input and profile visibility on the site.
Posted by Brian Schulman, Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552 (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA) about 13 years ago
Great ideas. I also have found the Inman Wiki to be another good spot to place your info. The site sees a lot of traffic, and there are some good discussions happening on the blog side as well.
Posted by Eric Carlsen (The Scene Lab) about 13 years ago

Thanks for the post Sara.

I have used Zillow in the past but have net kept up with it as much as I should have.

I can see where it would be useful to include in my list of ways I get the clients house "out there".

 

Kenny 

Posted by Kenny Elliott, CGP, CSP, CDPE (Re/Max Elite) about 13 years ago

Hi Sara

 

I am looking into Zillow as another avenue to place listings.  I found the article in "Agent Direct New, May 2007 issue timely and informative  "Alternative Listing Options"  I am always open to new ways to market properties and  especially now, with the market slowing down....we need to stay on the cutting edge.  Thanks for the overview. 

Posted by Brenda Mull, CRS Broker-Associate about 13 years ago
This is right from the horses mouth.
Posted by Tracy Santrock, Raleigh - Cary Realtor/Broker In Charge (Fonville Morisey/Santrock Realty Group, Inc. ) about 13 years ago

Thanks for the information... I'll have to see if this is available in Georgia or for other industries.

1-877-MattLocke (628-8562)

www.GeorgiaHomeInsurance.com

 

Posted by Matt Locke (Allstate Insurance) about 13 years ago
Hey Sara as a realtor when I purchased my first home (last summer ) and looked on Zillow it had my house listed 30,000 more than it should've been LOL I was ready to sell it! I haven't spent much time on it since until I read your post. Thanks for all the good updated information!!!!
Posted by Tiffany Chabot (Avery Hess Realtors) about 13 years ago
Zillow.com is a great area to post your listings along with homes you know that are for sale. As long as you know the asking price you can post your profile.  Great information Sara.
Posted by Julio Anchante, CRS, Vacaville, CA - Home Search (Century 21 M & M and Associates) about 13 years ago

Sara,

Thanks for some great pointers on using zillow.com   I had no idea it had so much to offer!

Warmly,

Shai     

Posted by Molly S Ringer, Realtor Lake County FL Luxury Homes (Weichert Hallmark Properties) about 13 years ago
I have posted one listing on, zillow , did not get any results.I will check it today.I will look into wiki .
Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) about 13 years ago
Sara Thank you for sharing. I will have to take a look at zillow sometime and see what you have to offer. Take Care
Posted by Daniel Lowery, e-PRO, Broker - Owner (1st Choice Real Estate) about 13 years ago
Why I don't feel Zillow's "Zestimates" are even close to being accurate in my market, They definitely get some traffic to my site for me.  Great pointers by the way!
Posted by Dave Jones, Broker/Owner - e-PRO Dave Jones Realty llc Prospec (Dave Jones Realty, llc.) about 13 years ago
Thank you for the infomration.  I was only using craigslist, and lycos.  I will try this one today and if anybody else has any more sites send me an email. Zenagray778@aol.com
Posted by Zena Gray (Vision Quest Realty) about 13 years ago

Hello Sara,

Thanks for your post.  I've loaded our team's profile onto Zillow.com (a little cumbersome as there is no option for a team name instead of an individual agent name).  We hope to enter a few new listings very soon...

Best of success!

John Slocum,  Alexander ∞ Slocum Team

Clark County; Vancouver, Camas & Felida, Washington Homes and Real Estate

Posted by Alexander- Slocum, Realty Team- Vancouver WA Real Estate (Premiere Property Group, LLC - Vancouver Washington) about 13 years ago

Sara- Last Friday I posted about my results using EZ Ads, which were not favorable, $2 per click through.  I'm disappointed, it looks like you deleted my comment.

Here is the link to my blog post.  http://activerain.com/blogsview/96436/Update-Zillow-EZ-Ad

I would hope that you don't delete my comment again.  I would think that Zillow would want to respond to this, rather than hiding the issue.

Posted by Amy Bergquist, ABR, GRI (RE/MAX Premier, REALTORS) about 13 years ago

Amy- I haven't deleted any comments from this post. 

Posted by Sara Bonert, Real Estate Internet Marketing (Zillow) about 13 years ago

I looked up what it would cost to buy "west hartford, ct real estate" on Google, and they are charging approx $1.60 per click, so $2 is in the same ballpark.  However we made the decision not to go with pay-per-click (like Google), and instead went with pay-per-view because agents told us that advertising their phone number and getting calls was important to them.  By charging per view, it enables someone to advertise their number on their ad, whereas Google does not allow this to cause the click.  EZ ads also has the benefit of branding, as your picture and information are prominently displayed and it is important for the public to see your face over and over again to cause action.  

Finally, (and I don't have any facts to back this up at this time since we are still working through the feedback we are receiving) when people search on real estate sites, they are typically looking for houses, not people.  I wonder if the click-thru rate would have been better if you advertised a home verses a personal ad?  Just a thought.     

Posted by Sara Bonert, Real Estate Internet Marketing (Zillow) about 13 years ago
Sara- thanks for researching the comparative cost with Google in my area, I agree they are somewhat in the same ballpark.  I understand the point of advertising a listing rather than me, but none of my clients have authorized me to use Zillow to post their listing.
Posted by Amy Bergquist, ABR, GRI (RE/MAX Premier, REALTORS) about 13 years ago

Zillow - needs a lot of work.. dated information, omitting a pool whenit is there. sq ft records updated at public records but not at Zilow...etc,.etc.. time is money and driving people to a website with so much inaccurate data is irresponsible as it misleads the consumer. Agents may be able to deal with the growing pains, but this is just one more obstacle to overcome when meeting with buyers and sellers.

I will continue to use my trusted Title companies for public record info , the MLS and an appraiser.

Posted by Bill Cook about 13 years ago

Title companies are not always updated quick enough but I'd rather trust their information first, since it their business to be on top of things.  I am have written a couple of blogs on some of the things that title companies offer and they are useful tools.

Zillow.com is another source and it is pretty good.  I just don't like that there are so many opportunities for a potential buyer to go to my website and then click on zillow and end up going with another agent that is right there on my page!  So it does have it drawback.  But FREE is just that, getting what you pay for.

 

Happy Tuesday!

Posted by Rosemary Brooks, The Mother & Daughter Realty Team (BMC Real Estate - 209-910-3706) about 13 years ago

Sara, good points, especially about being prepared at the listing presentation.

I have a question. Some homes with Realtors have the zestimate removed, do you know how to do this? My home still has the zestimate.

Posted by Gary Smith (Agent Marketing Today) almost 13 years ago

great information....will use some of your ideas....thanks for sharing

 

bob

Posted by Robert Ratliff, RE/MAX Realtor Las Vegas (Ratliff Realty Group RE/MAX Las Vegas) almost 13 years ago

Gary I'd like to know how to remove that zestimate too.  Especially since it is lower than what I have my property listed for and less than the comps I pulled.  If you find out before I do, please let me know.

 

Posted by Rosemary Brooks, The Mother & Daughter Realty Team (BMC Real Estate - 209-910-3706) almost 13 years ago

Gary/Rosemary-  Thanks for commenting.  Zestimates can not be removed from a home detail page.  If one is not on the page, it is simply because we didn't have enough information to create one.  There are some states where information is very rich, and some where it is very light, so that can make a difference. 

As an owner of a home, you can create an "owner's estimate" which will appear along side the automated one, and include more details about your home.  As the realtor, obviously you can publish whatever details needed to describe the home. 

Posted by Sara Bonert, Real Estate Internet Marketing (Zillow) almost 13 years ago

Sara,

not very smart of Zillow, not to remove zestimate from homes listed with an agent.

Posted by Gary Smith (Agent Marketing Today) almost 13 years ago
Gary- When an agent posts a home that they have listed, their sales price replaces the Zestimate as the most prominent information on Zillow. Smart listing agents are taking that opportunity to set the record straight on the site (even when the Zestimate is lower than list price) ... and they realize that by posting the home on Zillow they're telling buyers that they know what the Zestimate is and that it's incorrect.

Zestimate values are a starting point in researching a house's value but they're not the final word. We do not allow owners or listing agents to remove the Zestimate because Zillow's goal is to be a consumer-centric real estate destination and that requires treating buyers and sellers equally, and not giving more power to one or the other. The 4+ million buyers and sellers who visit Zillow each month do so because of the transparent access to information on Zillow.com. We think the smart thing to do is to publish Zestimates ... on every home ... and then provide a forum for sellers and buyers to discuss them.

Posted by Sara Bonert, Real Estate Internet Marketing (Zillow) almost 13 years ago
When I see the zestimate I have mixed feelings.  One is opps maybe no one will even bother to take a look at my listing because it is higher than the zestimate and the other is why is it there!  I can see if it was a button with the option of showing the zestimate with a disclaimer stating it is not a guaranteed figure, but it is the first number you see when you pull up the property - at least for me it was.
Posted by Rosemary Brooks, The Mother & Daughter Realty Team (BMC Real Estate - 209-910-3706) almost 13 years ago

Sara,  I understand Zillows stance to provide consumers information.

From a consumers point of view, if I was interested in the home priced at let's say 200K and a zestimate of 180K. I doubt the consumer would ever offer more than 180K for the home. That's because we are conditioned to want a DEAL. I personally use Zillow and two other consumer sites to justify my lower price at the listing presentation, just for this reason.

As such, the Code of Ethics might prevent an agent from marketing the home on Zillow, even when the information indicates an update. It would not be beneficial to the home seller.

Posted by Gary Smith (Agent Marketing Today) almost 13 years ago
question: where do the zestimates come from.  We as agents pull comps before we do the pricing and I have not seen many that hit the mark of the listed price.  Does zestimate take into consideration upgrades and other plus (es) or is this just dry bone?  And how would the consumer know what this figure is based on?  Is this a drawback or what? Sara, I'd interested in your stand on this question.
Posted by Rosemary Brooks, The Mother & Daughter Realty Team (BMC Real Estate - 209-910-3706) almost 13 years ago

Rosemary- If you really want to know everything about Zestimates, we have a "what is a zestimate" reference page on the site at http://www.zillow.com/howto/Zestimate.htm.  But yes, basically it comes from raw numbers (transactional data, tax assessor data, etc) and then fed into an algorithm.  No, we would not know that someone upgraded a kitchen or built a new porch.  This is why we let home owners and agents post any relevant data to the site and create their own estimates.  We consider the zestimate a starting point, and then let the experts build on top of this.  How would consumers know this?  We post a link to the above link whenever we display a zestimate, and on the homepage right under the search box we link to a page that very transparently shows our accuracy across the country, http://www.zillow.com/howto/DataCoverageZestimateAccuracy.htm (this is a good tool for an agent to use when talking to someone about why the zestimate is off).  Zestimates get people to the site and keep them coming back.  The more users that are on the site, the bigger the audience that we can expose your for-sale to, working out good for both parties. 

Posted by Sara Bonert, Real Estate Internet Marketing (Zillow) almost 13 years ago
Many of the agents in our company are unwilling to listen to information on Zillow. Inaccuracies of Zestimates really turned them off. I have futilely explained that any data that is based on public records will not be accurate...no "machine" works in real time or understands the subtleties of the market. It  takes human beings to assess the value of the property and decide if the Zestimate does or does not fall inline with their expectations. That in itself holds value. Open and frank discussion - as an Realtor you bring professional expertise to dispute the result or to show sellers that their expectations are unrealistic. Zillow has enormous value if you are willing to take the time to understand how it functions.
Posted by Sharon Brehm (Gloria Nilson & Co. Real Estate) almost 13 years ago

Sara -

Is there a Zillow contact person/rep in Minnesota?

Chris

Posted by Chris Prescott - Minnesota (Coldwell Banker Burnet) almost 13 years ago

Sara: Got ya.  I like zillow listing but I wasn't too hot on the zestimate because it always appears lower than the listed price and I wonder why.  I probably would have asked the question if I had not read the post.  But it is a good point.  I have had sellers and buyers ask me about that zestimate.  I understand that the data is only as good as what you gather but it does make it a little harder seeing the lower estimates on the property that you list.  I learned something that my remarks must be beefed up so show the difference.

Thanks for your answer. 

Posted by Rosemary Brooks, The Mother & Daughter Realty Team (BMC Real Estate - 209-910-3706) almost 13 years ago

Hey all, Wanted to let you know I revisited the concept of this post and wrote an updated list.  We have had a lot more cool stuff launch since this post was written a year and a half ago. 

10 Ways Real Estate Professionals Can Use Zillow, version 2.0

Posted by Sara Bonert, Real Estate Internet Marketing (Zillow) about 11 years ago

Hi Sara,

 

How do I do #5 please?

 

5.  Report homes for sale.  Zillow is opening up the site to the entire community to tell us which homes are for sale and for how much.  This is a great way to appear as an expert in a particular area of town.

 

Thank you,

 

Arpad

Posted by Arpad Racz, 408-252-0976 - www.aracz.com - Cupertino and Bay A (Altas Realty) over 8 years ago

Participate