I bet you're not a fan of Zillow. Most agents aren't. For good reason.
But the real task is convincing owners that Zillow isn't reliable.
It causes problems all the time for agent's listings and can affect the owner.
If an owner mentions anything he saw or learned on Zillow, you need to show them statistically how Zillow is usually wrong.
Or show them examples of Zillow having incorrect information.
Owners aren't familiar with real estate. But they are familiar with Google.
And Zillow is always the first search result on Google. Hence their trust in it.
One of our members, Steve, had to deal with an irrationally angry owner because Zillow listed the home as a foreclosure instead of a normal listing.
Sadly, this is a run of the mill experience with Zillow.
"He calls me up, and he's all fired up. He says, "What the hell did you list my house as a foreclosed property for? What the hell kind of ... " cause it wasn't a regular residential house, it was an income property," said Steve, "What kind of an income property goes into foreclosure? It means that the place isn't bringing in any money. Take that word 'foreclosure' out of Zillow." I said, "What are you talking about?" So I go on to Zillow, and I see it there. I don't even know how to get in touch with Zillow, but one of our agents, one of our 45 agents at our office does advertise with Zillow, so I asked him. I said, "How do you get in touch with these a**holes?"
Situations like that are why Zillow is such a thorn in a realtor's side. The only thing you can do is prepare your client to not depend on Zillow for the majority of their information.
Prospecting leads that used Zillow to estimate their house's value is a pain as well.
Owners who don't agree with your CMA because of Zillow can learn how it is wrong.
Stop dealing with owners who believe Zillow over you.
Convince them to listen to you using these five arguments.
1. Make the robot verse human case.
Here's an example from a couple of years ago.
On Saturday, 7 May, Joshua Brown was driving his Tesla Model S on US 27 in northern Florida. He had the car’s Autopilot technology package switched on. A long, white articulated truck heading in the opposite direction suddenly turned left across the Tesla’s path, heading for a side road.
Neither the car’s radar or computer-vision systems saw the truck and neither, it seems, did Mr. Brown. The Tesla ploughed into – and under – the truck, continued off the road, hit a fence and an electric power pole before coming to a stop. Mr. Brown died instantly in the crash.
This is an extreme example. But really, who wants to trust a computer algorithm over a set of trained human eyes.
You think these owners are going to be comfortable letting a car drive them 80 MPH?
Then why would they let a computer decide thousands of dollars for them?
Owners making any choices need the help of a trained professional. They need an agent to come out to their house and look at it.
Nothing can replace a set of agents eyes.
There are thousands of examples on the internet of homes selling for $10,000 different than Zillow had priced it. I bet there are plenty of examples in your area as well.
2. Show them that Zillow doesn't have every house listed that's is on the market.
Local MLSs are pushing back against Zillow and all the crap it creates.
Not all homes are being listed their (and Trulia as well). Obviously, the regular homeowner has no idea about this.
So when they look it up, it can dramatically screw up their perception of their market.
This is a problem for all the clear reasons.
Many owners don’t know this, and they go to Zillow to start their house hunt, thinking they see everything on the market when they only see a fraction of the homes for sale.
Show them some houses that Zillow doesn't have listed.
You can quickly end any false thoughts they had about what their city marketplace looks like.
3. Even when they do have the right houses listed, often they are outdated or incorrect.
That's what happened to our member Steve. Then he had to deal with an extremely irrational client.
"I talked to somebody, and they said, "Yeah, we'll take care of it" and then my guy, my buyer ... my seller, rather, he kept calling me saying, "It's still not fixed. It's still not fixed." I'm like, "Geeze Louise, who the hell invited these people to the party, man?"," He said, "It pissed me off. I was beside myself when it came to the point of me not even being able to control my customer because he was so pissed off at things that I had absolutely no control over."
"That's what angered me more than anything else. The fact that they screw up, they put up the wrong information and then they're like, "La di da. Tough toenails. It's your problem now. It's not our problem." I was really fired up. My client was really pissed," he said.
Zillow cost him time, effort and created friction between him and his client.
Tell any owners that Zillow can't be relied upon because of things like this.
Sometimes homes that sold weeks or months ago are still showing as for sale. Zillow doesn't always get the notice it was sold.
Price changes are a big problem as well. If there's a reduction, just like the foreclosure label with Steve, it could take months for it to show.
4. Zillow is a media company. Not a home search company.
This is one of the biggest things homeowners don't understand.
Zillow just lists houses and has ads. If a commercial aired on CBS for power tools, would you trust CBS as your power tool expert?
Or Home Depot?
They sell advertising. Zillow doesn't help owners buy or sell homes.
It's just a giant website with pictures and inaccurate details.
Take the necessary steps to negate any thoughts an owner has about Zillow being a home selling website.
It's just the facts.
5. Finally, prove to them you are the real expert.
Unless you're a new agent, you know how to do this.
Show them your past home sales. Demonstrate your knowledge of the area and the market.
Separating yourself from Zillow should be easy. Separating yourself from the competition is the hard part.
Our members at Smart Agents have the ultimate way to do this. They use licensed books that position themselves as the expert.
Even if you're not a member, you still should demonstrate how valuable you are to them.
Do this by approaching them differently with valuable tips or information. Build your trust from there.
Take these steps to show owners Zillow isn't a valuable source.
What if you left a book that you were the author of with these owners?
Books have a huge perceived value. They don’t get thrown away.
They can get tucked away somewhere, but most people aren’t going to toss them in the trash. They’re worth something, and they’re worth something to the author’s name.
Do this and you will position yourself as the authority in your market. When you give away your book, it will separate you from your competition.
That’s how a Smart Agent thinks!
Want to get a free sample of the book that will get you more listings? Click the link below.