Whether you’ve learned to thrive or simply survive in the real estate era of Zillow, you can’t deny that the way you do business has forever changed. Real estate agents are no longer the keeper of new listings – now everyone has “access” to the same information that you do (although we know this isn’t exactly the truth).
When did it all change?
Let’s first take a look at the history behind the rise of the real estate portals. Zillow and Trulia were both founded around 2006 when the real estate market was thriving. After the crash in 2008, portals had a unique opportunity to shape the direction of real estate. It was this perfectly timed shift that directly lead to their exponential growth. By 2012, portals were attracting over 20 million unique visitors a month and they did not stop there. Today more than 140 million people are on Zillow each month.
Why are consumers flocking to these sites?
- It’s information at their fingertips.
Instead of having to go through a real estate agent to get information about listings, Zillow allows consumers to search at their leisure – anytime and anywhere. They don’t have to decide if they are ready to buy a home, and they don’t have to decide what agent they are going to work with. They think they have the same information as you and prefer searching listings on their own.
- They are modern and easy to use.
Let’s think about how you interact with your buyer clients. You pull listings from the MLS and send them to your clients. The pictures are small and the data is not interactive. In jumps Zillow. You can scroll through large photos, get information about nearby schools, view listings on a map – all in one place. When faced with the option of small, confusing MLS data versus large, easy-to-digest modern data from Zillow – I’d choose the latter every time.
So, how can you get your clients off Zillow for good?
The only way you can compete with real estate portals, is to provide them with something even better. Here’s how:
- Send them listings that are modern and interactive.
That means the photos must be large, the listing data clearly stated, and include other information like neighborhood info and a mortgage calculator. The only tool for agents on the market today that does this is Cloud Streams. This will guarantee that your clients will be happy with the presentation of listing data.
- Work smarter and faster.
You are sending your clients listings from the MLS, but did you know that they’re turning around and looking up those same listings on Zillow? So while you’re looking at what the MLS has to offer, your clients are seeing what Zillow’s giving them. But when you set your clients up to automatically get listings alerts from Cloud Streams, you’ll both be looking at the same listings all in one place. Plus you can interact with the listings together by liking, disliking, and commenting on properties in “threads”. This keeps your communications open, organized, and all in the same place
- Get your clients to listings first.
What you need is real-time listing alerts so that you can rest assured your clients are truly the first to know about new listings. Popular listing alert tools, like Cloud Streams, are directly integrated with your MLS and send them out in real-time. Plus, you can set your clients up to receive text alerts so they don’t even have to check their email.
If you are ready to get your clients to finally kick Zillow to the curb for good, then you owe it to yourself to try Cloud Streams. It’s free for 30 days which means you will have plenty of time to see how you can start winning back your clients.