Quit Crying About Zillow!

Real Estate Broker/Owner with National Marketing Realtors 7456

Bob Timm, National Marketing Realtors, Minot ND, Real Estate

Are You A Salesperson Or An Order Taker?

With all the griping/whining/crying here on Active Rain about data mining companies like Zillow I'm trying to figure out just what is your job if you think Zillow is ruining it? Are you a Salesperson or are you an order taker?

Crying boyI check our MLS stats every day and one of the stats I check is the SOLDs. To date I have not yet seen the selling agent listed as Zillow or any other data mining company. Are there agents who use Zillow that get sales because of that information... yes, GET OVER IT!

Zillow is a tool and in the right hands it's effective but face the fact: If you think you should have gotten that listing and didn't the reason is you did not do your job. Quit whining, take responsibility, you didn't get the job because of YOU (not Zillow's data mining) the data that you need to keep track of is the number of times you didn't get off your ass. Man with hat

There were about 2,000 sales in Minot ND that I did not get last year. About 1,999 of those were because I did not reach out and touch those Buyers/Sellers in a personal way. Were any of the sales I missed out on completed by an agent who pays Zillow for the data we generate... maybe, but they did so by using a tool that I also have at my disposal if I choose to pay for it.

We all choose the sales tools we want to use. If you really think Zillow is costing you sales then use that tool, don't curse it. I don't use Zillow because it doesn't fit my style. I'm the only agent in this City that uses Christian Radio, it's a tool that fits me well. Some people think a Mercedes is a tool that helps them make sales, is there anyone out there cursing their BMW because the Mercedes got the sale.. damn inept Bemmer if only I had a Mercedes I would have had that sale! I know agents who use popular organizational tools, I prefer to use a real live secretary who has a desk in my office. My point is we all use tools that other agents may think give us an advantage over them... GET OVER IT!

If you are losing sales to a tool that doesn't even sell Real Estate you need to look in the mirror for the problem. When I start seeing Zillow on the offer to purchase as the Selling or Listing agent maybe I will join your pity party but until then those who are crying foul over Zillow should take a sales training course or get an order taking job behind the counter of McDonnald's or somewhere else.


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Richard Bazinet /MBA, CRS, ABR
AZuRE Team - Realty ONE Group - Scottsdale, AZ
Phoenix Scottsdale Real Estate

Interesting comment Bob from an interesting perspective - not looking at the whole picture, perhaps... I agree Bob that no one should be crying about it. 

But you completely missed the bigger issue of them all in their defense. Zillow's purpose is not to sell your or anyone else's listings at all whatsoever - they don't have an once of interest doing that - there is absolutely no money in it. They are not a real estate company and certainly don't claim to be one either. Real estate is a mean to their end.

We have to understand that Zillow is not an industry partner but a competitor. They are competing against you for consumer web eyeballs, and they use real estate information that you publish and plagiarize it in order to sell its content of your production and the web eyeballs they gathered to other agents.

In your marketing, you have to make decisions about how you go about this in developing and marketing your own IDX capability.

As you know, that changed over time and no longer possible as many MLS's now have the ability to block individually by agent Zillow's ability to plagiarize listings and its content. And the same applies to IDX systems as well by the way.

Most agent should have in the marketing decisions the ability to choose if they want Zillow-driven consumers or not, and IDX-driven consumers or not. No crying needed, it's now a marketing decision about how you run your business. The question remains is whether or not a Zillow style company deliver 'quality' real clients and how much is that worth.

Mar 14, 2017 10:35 AM #60
Darin and Mary Waldeck
SunState Realty - Englewood, FL
Exceeding Expectations!

True, everyone has the right to use whatever is at their disposal as a tool in this business.  And you can't blame them if they need leads, have the money to pay for them,  and they are available.  The only problem I have with Zillow/Trulia is the fact that our MLS's and Real Estate Boards pretty much sold us out by giving away all that information, and then we as licensed agents now have to pay money to get the leads back.  If our boards and mls's did not provide all of this information to syndicates, then buyers would be calling the listing agent or their buyer agent directly a whole lot more often.  I've been in the business 20 years, and I see a big difference not neccessarily for the better of our industry.  Eventually, and likely not that far in the future I feel we will lose the mls (our greatest tool) altogether.

Mar 14, 2017 11:58 AM #61
Mary Jo Quay
Remax Advisors - Minneapolis, MN

We are in an era of oversold online leads, it is still a belly to belly business. A couple years ago I used Smart Zip that said they had 2000 indicators on who would sell in the next 6mo-1year.  Too good to be true, I signed up.  I went with the program for a year, $6000 poorer and no leads.  But, I tracked the list that they sold.  First year, 1-3 sales. Second and third year, 30% of the list sold. I missed almost 200 sales.  I stopped marketing to potential sellers because I didn't like the program.  That part wasn't their fault. It was mine. The data was right, but their timing was all wrong.  Nurturing was 1-4 years, instead of 6-12 months.  



Mar 14, 2017 11:59 AM #62
Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Bob, I've personally never understood the pure hate that gets directed at Z.  I understand the objections, and I know some folks feel truly wronged.  But bottom line, MLSs, brokerages, agents, etc., have provided them the listings.  There are no guns to heads, no illegal scraping of listings, it's all done on the up and up and gain eyeballs and advertising.  As agents in the trenches, we can recognize them for what they are on the real estate stage, choose to advertise or not, etc.  Personally, I know we can outplace them in the SERPs IF (big IF) we understand our market and take it to a level that the syndicators can't.  Hit the niches, hit the subdivisions, hit the long tails.  There's gold to be made.  Bill

Mar 14, 2017 04:29 PM #63
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

A Real estate Agent and their money  will soon be parted by giving their credit card #'s to Lead Gen Co.'s !

Mar 14, 2017 04:33 PM #64
Dixie Lee
Sell My House In Connecticut - Wilton, CT
We buy houses in cash. Any condition

As a real estate investor it can get very frustrating when a professional CMA says a potential lead's proerty is worth X, and zilloww says it is worths 10X.


People see and believe what they want to hear. So it can get very difficult to convince the seller they actually are selling for way too much than the market shows. "But zillow says my house is worth 10X!!"... 

Mar 14, 2017 06:23 PM #65
Mateen Karzai
H and D Real Estate - Mission Viejo, CA
Real Estate agent serving Southern Orange County.


We can do our jobs much better and faster if Zillow provided better data. I rented a condo for $1500 when Zillow priced it for $1300, it took me 3 months but I found a renter after trying to explain the problem to over 30 people. It should have been rented in one week because I have done it for 20 years at the price I wanted.


Mar 14, 2017 07:11 PM #66
Chris Kallin
SeattlebyDesign / Realogics - Seattle, WA

I agree 1000%.  I came to real estate from the print media industry where there is, was, and will forever be a river of tears about the internet.  Real estate's general frustration with Zillow (and sites like it) is little more than that same river of tears.  Disruption makes people uncomfortable.  Stop looking back at where things were and look ahead instead to where things are going, plan for that, and make a meaningful pivot.

Mar 14, 2017 08:43 PM #67
Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

The bottom line is that buyers and sellers use those sites to get information so we need to be well versed in the data that is there. 

Mar 15, 2017 03:17 AM #68
Kathryn Acciari
RE/MAX Professional Associates, with offices in Sturbridge, Charlton, Auburn, Spencer, and Shrewsbury - Sturbridge, MA
RSPS, SRS, REALTOR(R) Sturbridge-Shrewsbury MA

The Internet changed the way that real estate pros perform their business. Period. We all like to do our research before consulting with an expert, whether it's on law, medical issues, nutrition, cars, or real estate.  Adapt or don't. Great post, Bob.

Mar 16, 2017 04:38 AM #69
Mick Michaud
Distinctly Texas Lifestyle Properties, LLC Office:682/498-3107 - Granbury, TX
Your Texas Lifestyle is Here!

You take all the fun out of complaining.  You think we should take responsibility and action in determining our results?  Buzz kill.


Mar 16, 2017 05:31 AM #70
Deb Dahlberg - Rowland
Stanberry & Associates, Realtors - Fayetteville, TX
Deb sells Texas "in between" AUS/SAN/IAH


Sharing a little history about Active Rain, this very blogging platform, and about Zillow.  Some of you may remember, some may not know.

Geek Wire June 19 2015 

  • ActiveRain was founded by two Seattleites in 2006.
  • Kirkland-based MarketLeader bought the company in 2010 before becoming part of Trulia in 2013"
  •  " Zillow Group acquired ActiveRain as part of its purchase of Trulia earlier this year"
  •  "Zillow Group announced today the sale of ActiveRain, the social network for real estate agents, to the Ben Kinney family of real-estate companies."  

 Zillow isn't going anywhere any time soon.  They are here to stay, And, Zillow learned a lot it seems during it's tenure being  associated with Active Rain!    

I fought the idea a few years ago and then decided that the saying  "When in Rome"do as the Romans" is out there for a reason.  

Zillow offers a professional package with a website that is easy to build and has some good SEO features. I bought in to one of the local markets they offered, and have just finished building my Zillow Real Estate Website.  

This has not by any means replaced my older more established WordPress website and IDX, it is in addition to it! They each have their own theme and personality. 

Mar 16, 2017 06:29 AM #71
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams fox cities - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Personal responsibility, learn sales, stop being order takers, all good things to focus on.

You are right Bob, we can only blame the guy in the mirror when we do not get the job.

I get most of the jobs that I set out to get, but those that i do not were definitely my fault.

Mar 17, 2017 07:14 PM #72
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams fox cities - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Btw, i was shocked to find that you did not get 2000 sales last year, and even a bit surprised that there were that many in Minot.  Must be a larger town than I thought it was.

Mar 17, 2017 07:16 PM #73
Bob "RealMan" Timm
National Marketing Realtors - Minot, ND
Bob Timm Owner/Broker National Marketing Realtors

I will have to look up those numbers Bob Crane but I think I'm pretty close.

Mar 18, 2017 07:07 AM #74
Steven Beam
RE/MAX Alliance - Parker Colorado Real Estate. - Parker, CO
Parker Colorado Real Estate

Zillow is not your friend. They have brought nothing good to our business. Why on earth would you associate yourself with a company that openly spreads inaccurate info and data, old listings and charges you to put your face next to your own hard earned listing? I don't get it. There are plenty or other ways to get in front of people. 

Mar 18, 2017 09:10 AM #75
Deborah Dahlberg-Rowland

Zillow is my friend, along with Realbird Motvo, Trulia, Realtor.com, Redfin, Home Snap - just a few of the many many companies that are trying to do as Zillow has done. I have gotten good leads from all of them. Again...when in Rome....

Mar 18, 2017 12:30 PM #76
Bob "RealMan" Timm
National Marketing Realtors - Minot, ND
Bob Timm Owner/Broker National Marketing Realtors

Amen Deborah, they are all good tools for the agents who know how and choose to use them.

Mar 18, 2017 12:37 PM #77
Kasey & John Boles
Jon Gosche Real Estate, LLC - BoiseMeridianRealEstate.com - Boise, ID
Boise & Meridian, ID Ada/Canyon/Gem/Boise Counties

You go Bob "RealMan" Timm!  Took me until just now to read this blog.  You aren't wrong, and I mean no disrespect but I laughed through the whole post ;-) -Kasey

Apr 04, 2017 04:28 PM #78
Bob "RealMan" Timm
National Marketing Realtors - Minot, ND
Bob Timm Owner/Broker National Marketing Realtors

I appreciate you reading the whole post Kasey & John Boles and the team at Jon Gosche Real Estate, LLC !  I titally "get" the laugh as I was on a rant over agents who blame everyone, everything, but themselves for their failures.

Apr 04, 2017 04:38 PM #79
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