When you work in the real estate sales industry there is one guarantee: you will get a million offers to spend advertising dollars. The offers come in all forms; print media, sponsorship, personal branding, improved SEO and lots of other internet offerings. Quite simply, there is no easier target than a person who is in business for themselves and often wondering where there next client will come from.
One of the largest players in the business of taking real estate agent’s money is Zillow. In an odd and unexplainable world, real estate agents have agreed to give their listings to sites like Zillow & Trulia for free and then be charged by these companies in order to get any leads from those listings. It makes no sense, but the industry seems to have blindly sold their soul to the same group that killed the travel agent.
The most common offering from Zillow is ‘Premier Agent’. This is where an agent pays a monthly fee for a portion of the ‘exposures’ in a rotating side bar that shows agents in a particular zip code. The agents are displayed in the lower corner of the home search map as “Premier Agents” in hopes of receiving an inquiry from a prospective home buyer or seller. Here is what they say on Zillow: “Premier Agents are local, knowledgeable real estate professionals ready to help you find or sell the perfect home.”
But does it work? I am often asked by my fellow agents if it is a good source for leads. I don’t know. So, when I was recently offered a rotating slot in the 98103 zip code (which is around our office in North Seattle and includes many popular Seattle neighborhoods) I thought I would give it a try. A six month trial run in this market should be a good analysis and I can then report to my results.
So follow along as I explore Zillow Premier Agent. Does it work for agents?