Over the past few years, there has been a paradigm shift in the agent’s approach to lead generation. The growth of online marketplaces, like Zillow, now allows agents to sit back and let leads come to them. Hundreds and thousands of Realtors® have turned to lead machines to automate their flow of new business.
While there are benefits in paying for automatic leads, is it worth the price of admission?
At Goodwolf, we don’t believe it is. For agents looking for quick “leads” to run with, by all means, go for it! But be ready to pay for it. We see Zillow as an investment that is simply not worth the return.
This is how Zillow is failing you as an agent
Lack of Exclusivity Agents who turn to Zillow are competing with other agents within their selected zip code. The agents who cut a bigger check, are given a more significant share within their respective zip code. That means those with limited dollars to put towards marketing are very extremely limited in their return. As a Premier Agent, your info is listed next to three other agents, two other premier agents, and the property’s listing agent. So, imagine paying top dollar for exposure to home buyers, but without the exclusivity. What does this do to your brand? Well, nothing. Buyers can only differentiate you from the other agents because of your picture and name.
Reputation of Poor Quality of Leads I once heard an agent compare Zillow to Amazon, and it was not necessarily an endearing comparison to the e-commerce giant. You see, both sites have pages upon pages of inventory. Whether you want to buy a new television or a new home, you can look for hours on end at things for sale without purchasing. Zillow’s average lead conversion is about 3.5%. And that’s not including closings; the conversion is just considered to be a lead turning into an active client. So out of 100 leads, on average, you’ll get about four potentially strong clients. And now you have to bring those leads to the closing table to make the investment on them worth it.
The Extremely High Cost of Leads The average cost of a single Zillow lead can range anywhere from $20 - $60. Let’s backtrack to a point I made not long ago. If the average lead conversion rate for Zillow is about 3.5%, that means a monthly investment ranging from $2,000 - $6,000 can result those 3.5 legitimate buyers.
With NAR membership dues, MLS fees, brokerage desk fees, and the fact that most agents don’t get paid unless they sell something, we don’t see it as a plausible business model to shell out that much money for such an inconsistent return.
It’s Simply Not Designed to Help Agents With Zillow, what you see is what you get. There’s no room for customization of ads or any personal branding opportunities. Not only are you placed next to your competition, but there is no way to stand out. Reviews, which are a prominent feature of Zillow Premier Agent, can certainly help. But because of the big blue button that reads “Contact Agent,” most viewers won’t even get to that point.
Our Approach That’s Crushing Zillow Leads
Dominate Online Search That lack of real estate agents NOT UTILIZING Google search is incredible, we consider it one of the biggest marketing opportunities we’ve seen since email marketing int he 90’s. Think about the last time you had a question that you couldn’t come up with an answer to…how’d you resolve this issue? In 2019, there were 258 million search inquiries made related to real estate, and around 2.5 million individuals actively looked for their agent via an internet search. If you search “real estate agents near me”, and your name doesn’t show up near the top, we need to change that. Yes, millions of active home buyers turn to Zillow specifically to search for properties, yet, they go to Google to find an agent. Imaging showing up first, no matter who they search for? We make that happen for agents. On average, Google Ads offers an impressive ROI of $8 for every $1 spent.
Optimize Your Social Strategy This is a GOLD MINE for real estate agents. The agents who are active on social media every single day are the ones setting themselves for massive success moving forward. And it’s never too late to hop on that train! The beauty in social lays in the fact that you are in complete control of how your audience perceives you. By showing off your successes, stories, knowledge, and of course, personality, your audience will know who you are before they even meet you. Lastly, the conversion rate for Facebook leads is about 10.68% on average, compared to the 3.5% conversion rate of Zillow that we spoke of earlier.
We Position Agents as Industry Leaders You’ve taken over Google search, your social media strategy is running a full-force…now what? Where do they go? A website of course. And we aren’t talking about the generic page you have listed under your broker. At Build we create beautiful, custom resource hub's for agents where organic and paid search traffic, social media strategy, and all other market initiatives can aggravate a robust experience for the customer. Not to mention, its a lead capture machine! By adding this to your marketing strategy, you are setting yourself up for a complete takeover in your marketplace.