Recently an article came out in the Huffington Post giving real estate prospects and Realtors a little “Buyers Beware” before you use site like Zillow, stating that they are “giant traps created as a lead machine for Realtors® (the ones who pay anyway).” The information on sites like Zillow and Trulia are hard to track, sometimes it is very inaccurate (as information is gathered from multiple other sites that they rely on to be up to date) or it simply has very misleading information.
One of T. R. Lawing Realty’s Property Managers, David Kennedy, had a different take on the use of sites like Zillow.
In my humble opinion, everything in this article encompasses what savvy Realtors® have known all along about Zillow. Sometimes, Zillow can be accurate, but sometimes their Zestimates can be totally off. It is up to the professional Realtor® to engage the potential clients who are empowered by the information they have obtained from Zillow and show them how, by using a real estate professional, we can help them navigate through the potentially misleading information that is out there.
So, while I agree with the notion to never recommend using it to find a client or customer, which is essentially what I believe this article is stating, I do embrace this venue as one that many potential clients are using. Moreover, I would encourage other Realtors® to use Zillow as an opportunity to show how much smarter you are than a revenue-based real estate database that no longer receives a direct feed from even our own Charlotte Multiple Listing Service. The mention of Zillow by a potential client is the beginning of a real conversation that I feel confident will show them why they need to engage with a professional like me.