Are Zillow leads worth the money? Check my experience with them, with detailed information.
First let me clarify my experience as a Real Estate Agent: I’m new as a real estate agent more than a year experience showing properties. I don’t have too many contacts, therefore I started doing marketing at Facebook Marketplace, but the quality of those leads were really bad, during about 3 months I got more than 100 leads, but only one close of a property for rent.
After I put my information on Zillow trying to see other ways to get leads, I received a call from one of its sales guys telling me about all the advantages to receive “high quality leads” from them enrolling in its “Zillow Premier Agent”
I have heard mixed opinions regarding the utility of Zillow for marketing porpoises for Real Estate Agents. I have read other blogs and some people say it works, other that is waste of money, so I wanted to give it a try.
The sales-guy from Zillow asked me about my budget and I told him no more than $300, but like all sales-mans, he gave me an option twice more expensive. I told him I wanted to stay in my budget and in order to reduce the options to fail and just lose my money, I didn’t choose by myself the area where to work, I asked him to recommend me a Zip Code where to market my services.
I also asked him to give me information about the type of leads I will receive, and he told me that I will receive a call directly from the client or from Zillow, who will have the client in the line.
He also told me that 6 months was the minimum number of months to market in Zillow, but I was able to get a month to month contract.
He gave me 3 options he thought were good areas for my budget. He told me that I will appear several times, enough to receive at least 13 leads a month. According with their statistics, every 18 leads there is a close, so I thought that perhaps was worth to try.
"According with their statistics, every 18 leads there is a close, so I thought that perhaps was worth to try."
So, finally I enrolled in “Zillow Premier Agent” because everything I was hearing was good, so now my picture will appear (not every time but several times) when somebody is looking for a property in the zip code I choose so now I only need to wait to receive leads.
Let me tell you that at the end, it was not what I was expecting, because I was expecting to receive what the agent told me I would receive.
The leads I received from Zillow are clearly better that the ones I received from Facebook, but some of Zillow’s leads are even worst and all of them much more expensive.
These are the problems I had with Zillow’s leads
1) Just a small percentage of the leads I received, were what the sales-guy told me a would receive, this means a call directly from the client or from Zillow with the client.
2) Most of the leads you I received were only the email of the client and even when I answered the leads immediately, providing the client all the information he/she asked, I never received an answer from anybody.
3) The application not always told me, in a proper way when I received those “email leads”, therefore some of those “leads” were answered too late.
4) Most of the “email-leads” I received were also useless, because they came with the warning that “the client is not ready to talk with an agent” or “The client didn’t respond when we reached out”
5) I received “leads” which in reality were one of the clients asking for information about other properties, and for Zillow, that is a new and different lead.
The first month, according with Zillow, I received 19 (or more) leads, but for me I only received 6 real-leads and I will say 13 “fake-leads”. This is the table of real and fake leads I received the first month.
a) Four “fake-leads” with only the email of the client and the warning “the client is not ready to talk with an agent”. They clearly were not ready, because they never respond the emails I sent to them.
b) Five “fake-leads” with only the email and the warning “The client didn’t respond when we reached out”. They also didn’t respond my emails.
c) One phone call “fake-lead” of somebody asking me about a problem with her new dog (what ???!!!)
d) One “fake-lead” of somebody looking for a section 8 house to rent
e) Six “real-leads”, with somebody in the phone requiring information of a property
f) Two “fake-leads” about one of the phone-leads requiring information about 2 other houses.
Because I was not receiving the amount of the real-high-quality-leads I was expecting, I called the agent and told him to cancel my subscription, but he recommend me to continue another month, because he expect that I will receive more leads the second month, because that is the usual behavior of the system, so I trusted him, I enrolled in other month and this is the table of “real-leads” and “fake-leads” I received the second month
a) Three “fake-leads” with only the email of the client and the warning “the client is not ready to talk with an agent”.
b) One phone call with somebody asking something not related to real estate (again one wrong number in the leads)
c) Five “real-leads”, with somebody in the phone requiring information of a property
d) One “real lead” with somebody asking for a property, but somebody who also provided a phone number and who answered the phone.
So, at the end I received less “fake-leads” and the same number of “real-leads” than the past month, so the real leads didn’t increase (which was what I was expecting), so at the end I received less than half what Zillow told me I would receive.
Finally, for me this is the conclusion about Zillow leads
I. Don’t trust in the information Zillow agents will tell you. He told me I will receive 13 real leads a month, I received only 6. He told me the second month will be better than the first month, it was not the case.
II. More than 50% of the “real-leads” you will receive from Zillow, are people which are already working with other agents; therefore, you will have them as a client just for the only house you will show them.
III. Around 50% of the “real-leads” I received where related with only 3 properties. All those properties were accepting only cash offers because they were damaged, but that information was not clearly specified in the description, so most of those leads were also almost useless, because those clients didn’t have the money to buy a proper house in the zip code they wanted and they were only “shopping” on Zillow checking if there were something extremely cheap in the market .
IV. I would say that only 4 leads in total, during the full 2 months, were leads with potential, that means 2 leads a month, and if we think that you need 18 leads to get 1 close (supposing the Zillow agent is at least correct on this point), then you will need 9 months to get 1 close, so if I sell one 200K house at 3% and in my case I will get 70% of the result, that means I will get $4200 after I spend $2700. It is still +$1500 positive, that means I will get $0.5 for each dollar I spend in marketing. For me that is a very bad ratio. Imagine how much I need to spend in order to have a proper monthly salary, $8000 a month ????!!!!.
V. What happen if like the other points, the Zillow agent is also wrong in leads to close ratio? then it will take longer to get a close and at the end, I will get nothing. But also, if I spend $8000 a month, that means I will need to work in several zip codes at the same time.