Now that Zillow is a direct competitor for your real estate business – what’s your plan to compete with Zillow? We at iFoundAgent have a simple one – build your homeowner database.
We believe this is an important time in the careers of agents. If you think about what Zillow has done with their Zestimate tool over the years – they have attracted millions of homeowners to their site to check their homes’ values. In the process, they’ve collected millions of homeowner contacts. A doom’s day interpretation of this in light of Zillow becoming a real estate brokerage could be these homeowner contacts will turn into listing leads for Zillow agents. While true to some degree – it doesn’t have to go that way – and it’s completely 100% up to you as an agent how it goes and how it goes for your contacts. This is why we think this is an exciting time for agents – you really are in control – here’s why!
As agents, we have something in common with Zillow – we all know the same contacts they do. We’ve done business with them. They are our friends, family, work colleagues, kids’ teachers, coaches, neighbors, church friends, club friends, golfing buddies, college friends, referrals, etc. All of these folks trust us as their agents – all we have to do as agents is stay in touch and send them what’s important to them.
The big question is – what’s important to them? If we look at Zillow again, what’s important to the homeowner is information about their home’s value (the Zestimate tool) and what’s going on in their neighborhood with homes for sale and sold – not recipes of the month or home staging tips or winterizing their home tips.
Now ask yourself the question – why do the homeowners I know go to Zillow? Here are some possible reasons: they see a new listing sign in the yard across the street from their home and want to know about it, financial curiosity about their home’s value, they just had a life event happen like retirement/had a baby/got a job change, their brother or a friend wants to live close to them – there are a lot of reasons. We know that a big trigger for homeowners going to Zillow is when they see a new listing sign in their neighborhood. The new listing sign is random, in many cases, and triggers them to go to Zillow, the listing agent’s website, or some other source – BUT not the agent whom they know’s website.
Why? Well…2 reasons mainly. First, you – if the shoe fits – haven’t really stayed in touch (only you know how true this is). Second, you haven’t trained them or made it easy for them to go to your website to get what they want. Most website and IDX systems are ill-prepared to help you in this part of your business. Our iFoundAgent websites are designed to drive your contacts to your website for listing information instead of going to Zillow. We know this is happening because we see the website traffic of our agent websites every day, and there’s a lot of it.
Our iFoundAgent Campaign Builder and Website system drive your contacts to your website to view that new listing when that listing sign goes in the yard, and the listing data hits the MLS. If you had one of our websites, you’d be sending this listing information to your homeowner contacts before they’d have a chance to go to Zillow, and you’d get a notice when your contact came to your site to see the new listing information. You’d be there when your contacts wanted this information.
One last thing, we know when you get a notice from your website that one of your contacts visited your site to look at the property information you sent them, that they, to some degree, are thinking about real estate, and this is the perfect time to reach out to them to “check-in.” It’s pure, honest connection and serendipity.
The plan to compete with Zillow is simple – develop a large homeowner database (past clients and other homeowners) and send them home listings around their home regularly and immediately when new listings come on the market and even “Just Sold” notices when homes around their home are sold. Homeowners love this kind of information – they seek it out on Zillow. If they are looking for it – be the one who sends it to them. They will remember you and do business with you. You can do all of this with an iFoundAgent website and Campaign Builder system.
As a post-script:
Here is a brief list of things our websites do to help you market yourself and have a deeper connection with your contacts:
- Display your past sales and active listings on your website – since Zillow is now competing with you they have taken your listings down
- Display your customer reviews on your website since Zillow taken yours down
- Send “Just Listed” and “Just Sold” listings from your website to your past clients and any homeowner contacts immediately as the listings hit the MLS so your clients won’t have a need to go to Zillow to find out when they see that new sign near their home
- Send a monthly neighborhood update of active/sold/pending listings to your past clients and homeowner contacts – most coaching and accountability programs like Tom Ferry and Brian Buffini, talk about touching base with your database at least 30+ times per year per contact. Make listings part of those contacts – super high value and important to homeowners.
- You can blog and make pages with home searches for your farming neighborhoods – great for SEO and establishing yourself as a local expert.
- You can have unlimited landing pages for doing different lead generation campaigns – don’t need multiple systems for landing pages – all done on your website.
- Registration notices that you control to capture leads when someone tries to save a property or view too many properties.
- Activity notices let you know when your registered contacts visit your site – free yourself from “time-blocking” schedules – call your contacts when they are thinking about real estate
If you understand the information you read in this blog – get in touch with us to get started no matter whether you are new to iFoundAgent or one of our customers. Our game is to connect and keep you connected to your people – they want that from you! Schedule a Demo today!