Is Zillow Worth It
Real estate can be a very lucrative business to be in. Realtors who are able to get clients and close deals are the most successful. First, you need leads in order to get clients who will work exclusively with you so you can close those deals. To get leads, a Realtor has two choices. You need to establish branding through website marketing efforts and search engine optimization (SEO.) Or you can pay one of the big companies to help you get leads.
Zillow and its Advantages
Zillow is one of the largest companies that help real estate agents get leads. Over the years they have become more and more popular and well known. They have acquired other lead generating websites such as trulia.com, hotpads.com and StreetEasy.com. They have a program called Zillow Premier Agent which helps Realtors capture leads. They have an app to help you manage those leads and turn them into closed sales. They provide access to training and resources for their premier agents.
The main disadvantage is that it’s very costly. The leads are also not guaranteed to turn into closed deals. You purchase leads by zip code. The cost varies due to quite a few factors. The cost is determined by how large the zip code is, how many homes are in the zip code, how desirable the zip code is and so on. The cost also varies with how much of a percentage of leads you want from that zip code. For example, if you want approximately 25% of the buyer leads in a not-so-desired zip code, you will pay approximately $500 per month for the leads. Another example is if you want approximately 60% of the buyer leads in a more popular and growing zip code, you will pay over $1000 per month for these leads. You are competing with other agents for the leads as well.
Another program the company has is its rental leads program. If you are listing a rental property and want leads, it costs approximately two dollars per day. The cost starts the day you list a rental property and goes until the day you close it. Even when you mark it pending in the multiple listing service, and have a signed lease with a security deposit, they are still charging you the two dollars a day. At this point, you might not really want the leads anymore. They do have a second rental program where you pay ten dollars a week for the rental listing, and you can stop paying for the leads whenever you get a signed lease and security deposit. There is more work on your part for this program. More work takes more time, and time is money.
Invest in Yourself
There is a cost-benefit to Realtors who invest in themselves. If you pay a one-time fee to set up your own website and a small monthly fee for a company to host it, you’ll end up paying less overall. You will have your very own website to market wherever you want. There are many ways you can market your own website for free. You will get one hundred percent of the leads.
In the long run, it’s better to invest in your own real estate business than pay another company to generate leads for you. It’s ultimately not worth the cost per lead. You are better off building your own brand through your own website marketing and SEO efforts.