A few days ago, we had a fantastic new agent mastermind where we collaborated with agents from different companies in the Des Moines market that had been in the business for 18 months or less. We talked about which things have been successful for them, what kind of challenges they are facing, and then we had a great question and answer session about what’s brought me success in my 18 years in real estate.

One thing that really surprised me was the number of agents who said that their brokers had discouraged them from buying any sort of internet leads, particularly from Zillow. They asked me if I bought Zillow leads and, if so, how do I work with them?

“If you’ve paid to find out that a lead is a serious buyer, don’t give up on the first try.”

We all know that agents love to hate Zillow, but the truth is that Zillow is an extremely consumer friendly tool. You need to decide if you are going to collaborate with them or work against them. I think it’s important to collaborate with a tool that consumers love. Just make sure that you know as much about it as possible so that if you do decide to play Zillow’s game, you are playing to win.

There are three important things that you need to know about working with Zillow leads.

The first is that the rules are always changing. Constantly follow how they are selling and distributing leads, because it could change. They do give notice somehow, but it’s in a very subtle way, so it’s up to you to understand how the lead flow process works and how they are showcasing your listings so that you know what’s going on.

With Zillow, if you get a lead, you’re likely not the only person who got that lead. Being quick, friendly, and effective is the key to converting that lead into something. Follow up with that Zillow lead is just as important as being quick with your initial response.

Many agents fall into the trap of getting a lead, calling them, and maybe not being the first one to call them. The person says, “No thanks! I’ve already been helped.” The agent then gives up, thinking the opportunity is gone.

The truth is that they are still not obligated to anyone. Where you’re going to shine as an agent is in following up, so check in with them. Say, “Hey, I saw another home in that neighborhood pop up on the market. Would you like that information?” or even a simple, “How is your home search going?”

Don’t just follow up with them once or twice; follow up with them again and again.

If you know that they are a real buyer and you’ve paid to get the information that they are a buyer, don’t give up on the first try. Be consistent.

The third thing you need to do really well is to leverage the effectiveness of reviews. Zillow reviews are special in that they are moderated by actual people. Looking at the reviews, they check the IP address and other information submitted to determine if it really is a genuine review. Having a good number of reviews can set you apart from other agents very quickly. The number of reviews you have also affects the algorithm for who pops up in different areas and how agent searches are sorted. Having a large number of great reviews can really set you apart.

If you have any other questions about Zillow leads or would like more tips about how to be effective as a real estate agent, just give me a call or send me an email. Let us know if you would like to attend our next Be Better Des Moines mastermind. We look forward to hearing from you!