Stop Buying Leads From Zillow

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There has been plenty of changes in the Real Estate industry over the last 10-15 years. Changes that could be deemed as good and bad. Depending on what side of the fence that you are on.

During a recent conversation with one of the Real Estate agents that I take photos for on the subject of how Zillow and other large marketers are controlling the market as well the flow of prospects.

His concern came more evident when he saw a recent advertisement that indicated that if you couldn’t or didn’t sell your home, they ( Zillow) had a platform whereby they would make you an offer. Or essentially buy your property from you. I attempted to explain that this marketing approach had been used for over 30 years.

The approach wasn’t exactly the same, but the bottom line was representative. In addition to the new approach and or service product in their offering, he was upset that there was an appearance that the local MLS boards have sold the souls to Zillow and other aggregators.

The common thread among agents is that the local boards and their agents are losing ground to these marketers. Zillow, Realtor.com and others are proven business models that are working and will continue to work. As long as the body of agents that produce all the sales continues to support and leverage these services, there will be positive change in the direction of independent agents.

Firms like Zillow and Realtor.com produce “Sales Leads”

via their platforms. These leads are then sold to specific agents based on their geography. The cost of these can be very expensive. For most agents, especially agents that are new and just starting their careers.

In the past, agents drove sales leads via lawn signs and newspapers ads. Yard signs can still offer a low cost alternative. However 80%-90% of all Real Estate sales are initiated online. In other words, the process starts online.

The internet is “King”. My friend and I continued our conversation. He took a long breath and out of a long sigh he said “ So what we do”? What options do agents have? How can we affordably grow our business?

Lets look at some ideas that can help an agent business without the large expense of Zillow and other large marketers.

Here’s what I recommended

  • Get Local
  • Become The Expert
  • Provide Content
  • Leverage Your “Local Business Relationships”

Let’s look at all these suggestions in detail.

Get local, what do I mean by that? It’s very simple. Find a area / subdivision that you want to work. In old school terms, a farm area that you can work. A farm area should be no more than the number of homes that you can work. Preferably 500 homes. Now the process of farming is not something that will offer overnight success. It’s a long term venture.

Now farming isn’t just knocking on doors and dialing the phone. In a modern farming technique The newest way to start your real estate farming campaign is to rank websites for various neighborhoods. This tactic can get you access to a high number of viewers quickly. Also, it has the potential to turn you into the authority figure in that real estate market. 

Which brings me to point number two. Become an expert. This goes without saying. However, you would be supprised of the number of Real Estate agents that have noe specific expertise. While in the investment for 20 years, I became an expert on IRA’s ) Individual retirement plans) I knew some much about IRA’s and all the rules surrounding them, local CPA’s would call me.

So find a topic within your industry and become an expert. Become an expert on your local market. Know what is going on in the community.

Next on our list is Provide Content.

What do I mean about content? Very simply Build a BLOG. I know it sounds scary and time consuming. But if you are going to divorce yourself from the evil hands of the marketers you’ll need to take this major step towards your sales freedom.

I have written almost 50 articles for this blog alone. You can do it. I have confidence in you doing this. It’s not easy getting a blog started. However, once you get in the habit of putting thoughts and ideas on paper, you will quickly get used to writing a 1000-1500 word article with ease.

In upcoming post we will be discussing how to set up your blog and all the things that go into getting it going. If you are ready to get started now, there are plenty of articles on the web to help you get started.

Lastly, let’s talk about how to leverage you local business relationships. With Real Estate there are so many support businesses that are necessary in order for the real estate industry to stay healthy.

There are photographers( Hopefully us, Shameless plug) there are Plumbers, electricians, Title companies, Inspectors, Surveyors and more. Make a list of all of the people that you know that are in these types of business and reach out to each one of them and ask how you can help them. They will eventually begin to return the favor. Bonus Tip: Maybe hold a hold a “ Home Repair Workshop” and invite your service providers to speak.

By using all of these tips you will eventually begin to become self sufficient in your business. As you begin to drive and develop your own source of leads, you will truly have a business that will not be beholden to some large marketing firm. Are you ready to change your life?

I look forward to assisting you.

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