When people are looking for a realtor to help them buy a house, chances are they’re visiting Zillow and reading your Zillow reviews. When it comes to the world of real estate, they’re a powerhouse.
The bad news? Many of your competitors are on their platform. The good news? Most of your competitors don’t know how to use their platform properly.
Zillow is a power broker.
You can use their platform to rapidly attract and convert new clients, the kind of high-value clients your real estate firm needs to scale growth. But to do that, you need a plan. We’ll show you how to achieve that in 60 days using Zillow, Zillow reviews, and other strategies.
Here’s what we’ll cover today:
Table of Content
Why Zillow is important to your real estate business
Zillow is the leading real estate marketplace. Users can search for real estate, apartments, mortgages and property values on their platform. Here’s why Zillow is so important to your business.
- Acquisitions: Zillow acquired Trulia, StreetEasy, HotPads, and nine other real estate brands. This gives Zillow significant reach which means you have a significant reach through each of their platforms.
- Reach: According to Statista, Zillow, via its website and Trulia, controls the majority of the online real estate marketplace.
- Inventory: The majority of homes in the U.S. are listed in Zillow’s U.S. database. They have a significant amount of public and proprietary information on home sales, properties, values, etc. Their public and proprietary data make their data set unique.
- Users: Zillow has a massive number of active users. Their users have updated information on more than 80 million homes. These home profiles aren’t available anywhere else. This user database provides them with a treasure trove of unique data – behaviors, habits, sentiment, buying/selling signals, etc. Why is this important? This data means Zillow knows your customers better than you do.
Let’s take a look at some of the reasons behind their tremendous value.
If you’re a real estate professional and you aren’t on Zillow, you’ve already fallen behind. Almost all of the properties and the majority of users in the U.S. come to Zillow for real estate needs.
Who uses Zillow?
Zillow consumers can be broken down into four distinct groups – home buyers, homeowners, home sellers, and renters. These three users have their own set of desires, goals and motivations.
1. Homebuyers are young, educated and diverse. Zillow defines home buyers as “people who moved into a home that was purchased within the last year, which includes the main decision-makers and household members who had a say in the decision.”
According to their research, Millennials are housing flexible; they’re willing to look at any type of home (in any condition if they’re budget-conscious). Gen X buyers are least interested in condos and co-ops. Boomers show the highest interest in manufactured housing, while Silent Gen buyers are less interested in single-family homes.
Nearly half (48%) of all buyers consider homes that have never been lived in before.
Here’s the caveat.
More than half of all buyers (52%) considered renting instead of buying a new home. This includes repeat buyers, which is surprising. Here’s a bit of good news. As buyers age, their interest in renting declines.
2. Homeowners are typically married, educated, and mid-career. Zillow defines homeowners “as people who own their home and have lived there for more than a year.”
3. Home sellers are educated, married, and new to selling. The vast majority of sellers today are listing their homes for the first time. This is typically due to a life change e.g., divorce, job change, empty nest.
What are the key events driving home sales?
4. Renters, most earn less than 50K. Zillow defines renters as people who moved to a “home that they rent within the last year, which includes the main decision-makers and other household members who had a say in the decision.”
Renter desires vary by location.
Here’s what’s interesting.
There’s a significant degree of variance here, but the majority of these four groups converge towards a single goal.
Buying a home.
What makes Zillow so special? Why do so many people feel Zillow is the best place to shop for a new home?
How Zillow compares to other review platforms
Zillow is a mainstream platform, especially when you factor in their recent acquisitions. Here’s how their site compares with other mainstream platforms.
See what I mean?
Zillow users are more engaged; their bounce rates are comparable to the big three, which is saying something. Zillow receives most of its traffic from direct sources (e.g., mobile apps, direct visits) but they also receive a significant portion from search.
If you’re in real estate, Zillow is the place to be.
If you’re a real estate agent/broker, lender or loan officer, property manager, builder, or real estate themed advertiser, Zillow can add significant value to your business. Zillow’s network of real estate sites gives you direct access to the millions of people searching for a home.
What should your goals be on Zillow?
After a buyer contacts an agent, they return to Zillow an average of 27 times and visit 77 listing pages in 30 days. This is phenomenal, but it’s also a wonderful way to establish yourself as the agent of choice.
Isn’t sales a worthwhile goal?
It is, but closing a deal is between you and the customer. This portion of the deal isn’t an area that Zillow facilitates though this is expected to change in the future.
Claiming or creating your profile on Zillow
Creating a profile on Zillow is a bit tricky; some of the onsite options are unclear. To get started, just follow the steps below.
1. Head over to PremierAgent.Zillow.com/products/agent-account/
2. Click sign up now.
3. Enter your email address and password.
4. Select your profession from the list. Then enter your name, phone number, and extension.
5. Follow the prompts to begin completing and optimizing your profile.
6. Edit your profile information by completing Zillow’s form. This form is comprehensive – you’ll need to provide Zillow with your business, personal, and contact information. You’ll also need to include a valid real estate license with your profile.
7. Click the “Request Reviews” link in step five to make a request.
8. Enter past client email addresses, then fill out their review request form and click “Send Request.”
They could be a bit more clear on this, but it’s simple enough to find if you do some digging. You’ll want to complete your profile first, then gather email addresses from your past clients so you can make review requests. Doing this upfront legwork means it’s easier to optimize your profile later.
Optimizing your Zillow profile
Here’s a video from Zillow that will walk you through the process of optimizing your Zillow profile.
Emily at Zillow suggests using the acronym S.H.A.R.P to optimize your Zillow profile. Let’s break this acronym down to learn more.
- Sales: You’ll want to list your recent sales on your Zillow profile, as doing so displays your local market expertise. It also provides indisputable evidence that you’re an in-demand agent or broker. Post every transaction, starting with the 12 most recent ones. Here are some instructions showing you how to do it.
- Headshot: Emily recommends getting a professional headshot taken as this conveys key details about you. Your headshot conveys intangible details about you, your business, level of professionalism, and tone. It’s an implicit tool that draws like-minded clients to you.
- Advertising markets: This is also known as your service area. Add all of the cities, towns, neighborhoods, and zip codes of areas that you serve. This ensures that you show up in the agent directories whenever a home shopper searches for a professional in your market.
- Reviews: Sixty-two percent of buyers choose a real estate professional based on online reviews. Buyers worked with an agent 87 percent of the time to find their home. Google says 49 percent of real estate consumers search for trust, followed by experience, negotiation, personal references, speed, and brand. A strong review portfolio increases customer trust considerably. Be sure to follow Zillow’s best practices when requesting reviews.
- Professional bio: This is also known as your about me section. Use this section to highlight specialties, expertise, credentials, accomplishments, memberships and awards. Give home shoppers a compelling reason to choose you. Zillow offers a professional bio template you can customize for your business.
What if you’re a broker managing a team of agents in your office?
Here’s how you create and manage a team profile on Zillow.
What does this look like in action?
A quick look at 8z Real Estate will show us. 8z was listed as the “#1 rated brokerage in Colorado by Zillow.” What makes their profile so special?
8z Real Estate:
Here’s a screenshot of their brokerage profile.
If you expand their list of Realtors, you see the same thing — dozens of Realtors with glowing reviews and a fully optimized profile.
Let’s look at the profile of Aimee Quaratino, an 8z Realtor.
Let’s break Quaratino’s profile down to see what makes her exceptional.
1. Professional headshot: First off, Quaratino’s headshot is professionally done. Her headshot communicates professionalism at every level – there’s no inappropriate or suggestive posing, no bizarre filters. It’s crisp, clear and direct. She exudes confidence.
2. Activity: Quaratino has a phenomenal 5/5 aggregate rating across 54 reviews. This is an extraordinarily difficult feat to pull off.
3. About us: She understands the secret of an exceptional bio. Your bio isn’t really about you; it’s about your clients and the value you can provide. She uses an appropriate mix of credibility, prestige and authority signals to build shopper confidence.
4. Her listings: If you’re selling your home, this is what you want to see. She’s sold a large variety of homes in the metro area. This displays her experience, credibility and proven ability to achieve results. It’s an implicit, evidenced-based way to show shoppers that she is an all-star.
5. Active listings: She has one active listing shown. Depending on the reason, this could be a good or bad sign. Is she giving this property her undivided attention? Is her attention elsewhere at the moment? Why only one after selling so many homes? Has demand for her services cooled?
6. Past sales: This drills deeper into the results shown on the map above. It also shows that she’s a seller’s Realtor who can deliver results, across a variety of neighborhoods, price ranges and amenities.
7. Reviews: Wave after wave of glowing reviews from happy customers. Normally this isn’t as convincing except for the fact that there’s a difference here. The majority of her clients offer detailed insights in their reviews, demonstrating that she is, in fact, exceptional.
8. Service areas: Quaratino serves 11 different cities in Colorado. This is impressive as it requires a significant amount of time and energy to learn the ins and outs of just one town or city. This makes sense when you realize she has 19 years of experience in the industry as a full-time Realtor, impressive.
It’s difficult to fake these details.
Which is precisely why they’re so compelling when they’re added to your profile.
Responding to reviews on Zillow
Responding to reviews on Zillow is straightforward. Here’s how you do it.
1. To respond to reviews, first go to your profile page.
2. Scroll down to the review you wish to respond to.
3. Below the details of each review, you can click “Respond to review” to write a public response to your client. Your response will be shown below the original review.
Zillow recommends that you respond to each of your reviews regardless of whether the review was positive, negative, or neutral. Here are 19 response templates you can use to do just that.
This is crucial because it sets the tone for future reviews. A calm, empathetic response to angry reviewers means you’re less likely to deal with combative reviewers who are looking to get a rise out of you. This attracts more of the right clients and less of the wrong ones.
Goal tracking via Zillow
If you’re a Zillow Premier Agent customer, you have access to their CRM tool. This is a wonderful tool because it helps you to segment and follow up with the leads you receive in your business.
This isn’t limited to Zillow.
You can import leads from more than 25 sources, including Homes.com, Realtor.com, IDXbroker, and others. Here are some of the significant features that come with Zillow’s CRM tool.
Zillow’s primary focus, on the professional’s side, is lead generation. Their CRM tools are a helpful way to verify campaign performance. Some of the features listed require investment but it’s worth it for one simple reason.
Zillow receives more than 80 million+ page views per month.
Your Zillow point-of-contact
Zillow offers several ways for real estate professionals to get in touch.
- Web: Zillow Help Center
- Phone: 206-470-7000
- Email: [email protected] or [email protected]
This is significant, because it’s uncommon.
Most review platforms don’t provide customers with straightforward contact channels. There are lots of hoops to jump through on other channels.
Advertising on Zillow
Almost every single home buyer or seller in the U.S. uses Zillow at least once during their search for a home. This means sense because Zillow has 80 percent of U.S. properties in their database, remember?
Here’s a list of their advertising programs.
Zillow Seller Boost
According to Zillow:
“Seller Boost is a new program that connects Premier Agents with highly interested seller leads: homeowners who have indicated they are looking to sell and choose to contact an agent on Zillow or Trulia. The program is an add-on to your existing Premier Agent advertising; when you participate in Seller Boost, listing leads appear in your Premier Agent Inbox alongside your buyer leads, and they are clearly identified so that you can see at a glance what kind of leads you’re receiving.”
Seller boost keeps your sales funnel full and offers the potential of doing more than one transaction with the same client.
Zillow Featured Listings
With featured listings, your listing receives maximum visibility in Zillow’s search results. This is good news for your clients as it helps to generate more interest and desire in the marketplace. Even better, your profile receives extra exposure on those listings as the exclusive, sole agent to contact – no other agents are listed.
“After working out details with your sellers, you can post Coming Soon Listings before they hit the market to gauge buyer interest. As a Premier Agent, you can get a head start on your marketing and sell homes faster.”
Zillow Premier Agent
This service is billed on a per lead basis (typically anywhere from $20-$120 per lead). Here’s how it works. If you’re a Premier agent and you’ve submitted a listing, you’ll be listed as the real estate agent next to the property details. For listings submitted by non-Premier agents, you’re listed as one of three agents below the actual listing agent.
This is huge.
This means any listing in your service area is a potential lead source for your business. If your Zillow profile is optimized, this means you may generate more leads on your competitor’s listing than they do!
Zillow Premier Agent Ads
Advertising by Zillow works similarly; a shopper on Zillow or Trulia makes an inquiry while viewing a listing. Zillow contacts and verifies the lead on your behalf. They call you and introduce you to the shopper, enabling you to attract and win new clients.
Here are some additional details provided for Zillow Premier agent ads:
“When you have a My Agent relationship with a client, you’re the only agent they’ll see. You’ll also get information on the homes they search for, view, and save, keeping you one step ahead.”
Zillow Premier Agent Direct
“Premier Agent Direct allows you to promote your listings and brand online by combining the reach of Zillow and Facebook. With Premier Agent Direct, you get premium ads on high-traffic Zillow search results pages that showcase your listing, video, or profile. You also get personalized ads on Facebook that are targeted at Zillow’s audience of high-intent buyers and sellers.
Also included with Premier Agent Direct is a professionally shot video that you can use on your Zillow profile, Premier Agent Direct ads, and email autoresponders to clients. Our Agent Care team schedules the video shoot as part of the purchase process.”
1. Homebuyers shop online
2. Views your neighborhood on Zillow and Trulia
3. Sees your ad on Facebook
4. Clicks to your custom landing page
5. Greater conversion
Program pricing varies based on location ranging from $300-$5000 per mo.
Premier Agent Concierge Program
This program is offered to select brokerages and teams on Zillow, here’s how it works. Zillow’s Premier agent concierge team calls, emails or texts your leads to verify them. You receive these leads once they’re vetted and approved; new leads are entered into your CRM system and graded according to lead status (i.e., hot, warm, cold, etc.).
Customers typically receive follow-up from Zillow in a few minutes.
Zillow also offers advertising in the following areas:
Your step by step real estate business building plan
Here’s the problem for most real estate professionals. From the very beginning of their careers, real estate professionals are trapped in a vicious cycle.
It’s no surprise then that most newcomers are out of the industry within five years. Here’s how you can build a profitable real estate business with Zillow reviews in 60 days.
Step #1: Create and claim your review profiles
You’ll want to create or claim your review listings on mainstream sites like Zillow, Trulia, Google, Yelp, Realtor, Movoto, Homes.com, and other industry-specific sites. Review management for the real estate industry absolutely needs to be on your radar.
If you’re a broker, you’ll want to create profiles for your business, yourself, and each agent in your brokerage. If you’re an agent, create a profile for yourself on both review and listings sites. Syndicate your listings across the variety of sites I mentioned above.
Step #2: Create a compelling value proposition
Your value proposition answers one specific question. Why should I buy from you, specifically? Your value proposition has four essential ingredients.
1. Appeal – I want it
2. Exclusivity -I can’t get it anywhere else
3. Clarity -I understand you
4. Credibility – I believe you.
This is the most difficult part of the process. It’s also the part most real estate professionals will skip. Don’t do it. Stick with it until you’ve created a compelling value proposition that includes all four ingredients.
Step #3: Create multiple irresistible offers
An irresistible offer provides your target audience with the overwhelming incentive they need to take action on your offer. Examples include:
Create an irresistible offer for both your prospective clients and tangential sources. Post your value proposition and irresistible offers (for prospective clients) on the profiles you’ve created or claimed. You can share these details in your descriptions, as image snippets, or links to specially tailored, offer specific landing pages on your website.
Step #4: Partner with tangential sources
Make a list of the clients you want (e.g., luxury, commercial, or first-time homebuyers). Next, identify the professionals who have said clients in their portfolios. It’s the absolute worst thing you can do as it tells your competitors, other agents, that you’re coming.
If you’re a Realtor, don’t reach out to other realtors or real estate agents. Find and meet with tangential professionals – mortgage brokers, appraisers, home inspectors, title companies.
Tell them you can resurrect their dead leads, that you can put 40% to 60% more money back into their pocket without any additional effort on their part.
Expect a healthy degree of skepticism. Work to minimize their risk.
Step #5: Resurrect their dead leads
Ask each of these professionals to share a list of their dead leads, prospects they’ve contacted in the past but failed to close for one reason or another.
Tell them you’d like to help them close these lost customers. Let them know you’ll do all the legwork, keep them updated on your progress, and alert them when it’s time for them to step in and help you close the sale. If you’ve done this right, you should be flooded with leads from a variety of sources.
Step #6: Create a resurrection sequence
If you’re a Zillow Premier Agent, plug these dead leads into your Zillow CRM tool. A resurrection sequence is nothing more than an autoresponder sequence that’s designed to grab and hold the attention of an inactive prospect. Your resurrection sequence has a specific set of details included in each message.
Your communication should include these three ingredients regardless of the channel used (e.g., email, text message, phone call, social media, etc.).
Hit this tactic aggressively, and you should be flooded with leads in 30 days with deals closing consistently in 60 to 90 days. Combine this tactic with your Zillow profile and you’ll see results even faster. Utilize parallel advertising of your own on Google or Facebook and you’ll be seen everywhere.
Request reviews from every client you close.
You can use email request reviews campaigns from each of your tangential sources once you’ve delivered exceptional results for their business. Send them to your Zillow and review profiles to boost your profile further.
Zillow is a real estate powerhouse
The vast majority of your competitors are on their platform. This is very good news as most of them don’t know how to use Zillow properly.
You do. You understand the hidden power of their platform.
You now know how to use their platform to rapidly attract, acquire, and win the kind of high-value clients your real estate firm needs to grow. No money, zero leads and connections? No problem! You can generate a significant amount of business in 60 days or less. Zillow is the leading real estate marketplace. Use their platform well and you’ll find you’re the real estate powerbroker your clients desperately need.