A friendly commenter noted on my blog today that it had been a few weeks since my last post. Yicks- sorry! I attending the NAR annual convention two weeks ago and was rarely at my computer (note to self- learn how to submit a mobile post) and then I have spent the last week playing catch up.
I usually come back from the convention full of ideas and with pages of blog topic ideas. But this year I mostly confined to our trade booth, so unfortunately I didn't get to attend a single session (except for the one where Zillow was on the panel). So all I have to write about this year is what I learned in the confines of our booth- which was actually quite a lot!
One thing I was surprised to learn was how many Realtors didn't know that their listings were already appearing on Zillow. When they didn't know, it was usually because a virtual tour company or website developer or media company was submitting on their behalf. When you use these types of service providers, make sure you ask everywhere they are sending your listings. Unfortunately some don't send good communication out each time their syndication list gets updated. If you ever wonder who is the source of your listing info on the site, look in the contact info area and you will see the company.
We got a lot of questions about the accuracy of the Zestimate at the booth and we had some good conversations around this topic. One of the things that Realtors constantly were glad to learn is that we are very transparent about our accuracy rates and actually publish them on the site. At the bottom of page, there is a link "Zestimate Value & Accuracy". Clicking here will take you to a page that lists out by county, how accurate we are. This is a great tool to use when people have an inaccurate idea of what the Zestimate actually represents.
There were some questions about our recent press release that we had dropped all of our broker licenses (except in TX and WA). Overall, people were happy about this, and further proved that we have no desire to get in the transaction business. Spencer was there, and his insight on it way- if I had known this was such a big issue to folks, we should have dropped the licenses a long time ago. We did it mostly as a cost savings measure, but it seems to have also been a good PR move.
Finally, I got a lot questions about customer service. What if I see something wrong on the site, or the listing is expired, or it has the wrong listing agent? The best thing to do is to ‘flag' the listing. Here you can tell us what is wrong and it immediately gets sent to our customer service team for investigation. Doing this is just like calling or sending us an email. It will get into the right hands if there is indeed something that needs to be corrected.
Thank you to all who stopped by the booth to say hi. We heard a lot of great testimonials, including this one from Cindy in Flint, MI.