Many agents love to hate Zillow, they complain about the Zestimates and how accurate they are but these agents seem to forget the customer.
Yes, the customer, the consumer who is on Zillow and checking for homes for sale, prices realized, nearly all the information you want on any home anywhere in the world is on the internet. When my mother died who lived in the UK last year and I was over there taking care of the estate, my wife was doing research right back here in PA and letting me know what homes were selling for etc. As soon as the home was listed with a local real estate agent she saw the photos and the listing information.
Clients can find what they need, rather than fight Zillow, Trulia and any other site we need to embrace them and realize this is where our potential clients are hanging out. I sit Open Houses, because I find many consumers coming through who have no agent, they are looking on line, remember NAR says 97% of consumers are searching online and they are not all on Realtor.com, and they visit Open Houses on their own. If I was not Open my listing would not get seen.
The times are changing and if we keep fighting to keep things the same we will be like travel agents a thing of the past. So I encourage you to embrace Zillow, their Zestimate accuracy is improving, use Zillow as a tool. I find when I ask clients if they have looked on Zillow they nearly always say yes whether they are buyers or sellers. It works for you in both cases, it either re-inforces your statistics or you can explain why your numbers are different. But ask the seller client if they think their buyer is likely to check out their home on these sites. The answer is a definite yes and they understand usually that they need to be aligned price wise with these sites or have you explain why they are not and that is what your marketing is supposed to do.
Do we have value, absolutely, but we need to make sure we explain that clearly and the consumer sees the value as well.
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