As a real estate agent, you’re always looking for new ways to generate real estate leads for your business. Many brokerages and agents turn to real estate lead generation companies, but you might want to try the DIY route first. And, while there are a lot of real estate lead generation tools available to help you generate your own leads, you can never have too many. One way to fill your pipeline is with Zillow leads.
In this article, we’ll look into the details, discuss the pros and cons of Zillow Premier Agent, and see whether Zillow leads are worth it. We’ll also give you an option you can use instead of or in addition to Zillow leads.
How to Get Leads from Zillow
Having a presence on Zillow is a must. Zillow is the most popular real estate site in the US, with nearly 230 million average monthly unique visitors in the second quarter of 2021. Most buyers will visit Zillow at least once to look for their next home and use it to keep an eye on the market and assess prices.
Getting leads from Zillow is easy. You can create a free profile with Zillow, which may generate some leads. But to increase your odds of winning new business through the platform you’ll need to pay.
How Much Do Zillow Leads Cost?
Adding your listings to Zillow is also free. And, as mentioned above, you can create an agent profile and sync your listings at no charge.
In addition to having a polished presence on Zillow, many real estate agents use Zillow Premier Agent to keep their pipeline full.
But is Zillow Premier Agent worth it? Below we’ll explain the platform so you can determine whether it’s the best use of your marketing budget.
What is Zillow Premier Agent, and How Does It Work?
Zillow Premier Agent is Zillow’s advertising platform for realtors and brokers. It can help new agents generate a steady flow of leads, giving them better visibility on the platform. It is similar to purchasing ads on other real estate websites like Realtor.com or Home.com.
Purchasing a Zillow Premier Agent membership gets you featured on ad spots on real estate listings in your area. It’ll also place you among the top agents for a given property, sometimes right after the listing agent, depending on the number of realtors competing for the same area.
That’s right. You’ll have to compete with other Premier Agents for ad spots, but Zillow will place your ad above those who don’t have a membership.
Zillow Premier Agent also gives you exposure on Zillow’s partner websites, such as Trulia.com and RealEstate.com.
How Much Does Zillow Premier Agent Cost?
So how much does Zillow charge for leads acquired through Zillow Premier Agent? It varies.
The pricing of Zillow Premier Agent depends on the following factors:
- Your claimed ZIP code and the average home price in your area
- The number of Premier Agents competing for the same area
- The number of impressions your ad receives
For those reasons, Zillow leads cost more in some areas and less in others.
What’s the Difference Between Listing Agents vs. Premier Agents on Zillow?
If you have an active Zillow profile, you’ll be the listing agent for your claimed properties, regardless of whether you purchase a Premier Agent plan. Premier agents get displayed right after that and on every listing in their ZIP code.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Zillow Premier Agent?
Let’s now discuss the pros and cons of Zillow Premier Agent and the leads you get from it.
Let’s first begin with the advantages of Zillow Premier Agent.
- Attention. Even if you don’t pay for a Premier membership, you can still collect reviews. But if you’re a Premier Agent, the platform highlights them.
- Exposure. You get exposure on the most popular real estate website in the US. Most buyers will use Zillow at least once while they’re looking for a property to purchase. With monthly visitors just shy of 230 million, Zillow is the perfect place to get your real estate business exposure.
- More Exposure. You also get exposure on partner websites. With your Zillow Premier Agent membership, you also get exposure on Trulia, StreetEasy, and RealEstate.com. Exposure to these site audiences can be an essential asset for your business.
As for the downsides, Zillow does have a few. (That might be why they have a rating under three stars on G2 as of this writing.)
- Leads are not exclusive to you. On G2 and elsewhere, agents have shared complaints about the fact that if a lead doesn’t opt into an exclusivity agreement with you in thirty days, Zillow will share the lead with other agents.
- Questionable lead quality. Although Zillow promises vetted leads, some real estate agents report otherwise. Many leads may already have an agent and simply want to get more details about the property.
- The amount of leads you’ll get is not guaranteed. The number of leads you’ll get will depend on your budget, market, and competitors in the same ZIP code.
Is Zillow Premier Agent Worth It?
Maybe. Zillow being the top platform buyers will use to search for the right property, getting some exposure can be beneficial. If you’re starting a new brokerage, you might find that Zillow Premier Agent is precisely what you need to get your business off the ground. Some larger brokerages also report getting a good ROI from the program.
You shouldn’t, however, solely rely on Zillow Premier Agent to get new leads. The best strategy is to have a variety of lead sources.
One tool to consider is website visitor identification software, which allows you to convert more of your existing traffic into real estate leads (even if they don’t fill out a form on your website).
We’ll cover that, and two other real estate lead generation strategies below.
How to Generate Real Estate Leads Without Zillow
If you’ve been in business for a few years and have a website that already brings in a steady amount of traffic, you might want to capitalize on it instead.
Here are three strategies to help you do that.
Visitor Identification Software
Website visitor identification technology captures up to 40 percent of your anonymous web traffic and transforms it into actionable leads. The records include each visitor’s name, email address, and mailing address.
LeadPost has a B2B lead generation tool and a B2C lead generation tool depending on whether you’re in residential or commercial real estate.
With the B2C tool, you’ll always get a name and/or email. You can also get more data (e.g., phone numbers, household income range, homeowner status, length of residence range, and net worth range) for an additional fee.
With the B2B tool, you won’t just get a company name. We’ll tell you who visited your website and how to reach them.
Direct Mail Retargeting
Direct mail retargeting uses visitor identification technology to capture the mailing addresses of your website visitors. That allows you to send targeted direct mail to your website visitors. The platform will automatically send postcards with your creative for as little as $0.65 per postcard.
If you’re not getting enough traffic to your website, advertising your listings and services through platforms like Google and Facebook can help. Then, you can use visitor identification to make sure you’re getting the most value out of that traffic.
You can also use that data to understand your visitors and use audience segmentation to create highly targeted campaigns.
If you’re not comfortable running your campaigns in-house, you can outsource the work to a real estate lead generation company.
Top Zillow Alternatives
There are also many alternatives to Zillow that provide a similar offering. Here are three to consider.
Homes.com will send you all inquiries for your listing for free. All you have to do is set up a free profile and activate lead notifications.
There’s not much information available about the cost of Connections Plus, Realtor.com‘s lead generation service. Real estate sales trainer Kyle Handy says you’ll pay about $200 to $1,000 a month for leads.
Depending on how much you pay the leads may or may not be exclusive.
The service also includes Realtor.com’s lead management and marketing automation suite. That might help you convert leads to clients by automating email and SMS followups.
Instead of selling leads, Redfin’s partner program receives a referral fee on the backend. The fee may vary based on the state you operate in and the price of the property (see a complete list of Redfin referral fees here).
For most states, there’s no fee for properties with closing sales prices under $100,000 (as of August 29, 2022).
There’s a 33% fee for properties from $100,000 to $499,999, a 35% fee for properties from $500,000 to $899,999, and a 40% fee for properties with closing prices above $900,000 (again, as of August 29, 2022).
To join the program, Redfin will interview you to make sure you have enough experience. You’ll also be required to submit previous reviews (Redfin will publish these on your profile). Once you become a Partner Agent, you have to maintain a rating above four stars.
Before You Buy Zillow Leads
Since Zillow leads tend to be expensive, ensure you’ve taken advantage of more affordable alternatives first. You can try website visitor identification for free, so why not start there?
Get 125 free real estate leads and see if this technology meets your needs.