Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com are NOT stealing your leads and Selling them back to you !!

By December 19, 2014Technically Jeff

After Responding to this comment or many similar comments, dozens of times on Facebook, in private groups and on my training and coaching calls, I decide to put my response in a post for others to share and to hear my perspective.

The typical comment that I see is the following: “Companies like Zillow, Realtor.com and Trulia should not be allowed to use our Listings to profit and make us pay for leads. If a Realtor has a listing, all leads generated from that Listing should go to that Listing Agent who worked hard to get that business through our own marketing funds, or personal time used at Open Houses or personal relationships.”

First , you aren’t paying Zillow, Realtor.com and Trulia for leads..(many get free leads by the way and phone calls based on reputation and reviews/recommendations at no charge!) They are simply and advertising portals in front of millions of consumers that you can CHOOSE to pay for leads, like a lead gen company .. If you don’t want your listings there remove them..the reason for millions of monthly consumers.. Because they built a better , more user friendly, NEUTRAL platform to search for homes that gave and still give a better consumer experience on the desktop and mobile ! Period.

What I don’t understand is why most agents are angry with the large portals but be ok with standard IDX ! ..with IDX your listings are on your competitors website right up the street from you and they look just like its their listings, branded in their site, of which they get calls on, they get the client, show the property and sell it and you don’t get anything from that buyer or the lead….. why is that OK ?

Secondly, Google uses your data for business and profit too..they sell advertising based on your data and search habits…without your data.. Google doesn’t exist. Mad at them!?

Facebook uses your data for business and profitability (or not) for their entire business model.. If no one posts, likes or shares… No Facebook.. They too sell advertising based on your data..and make money.. You too can choose to not participate so they don’t make money from your data and share it with you. Are you upset with them ?

Portals are simply an amazing advertising platform has done a better job connecting with our consumer.

Think about this.. Years ago, (pre Zillow, Realtor.com and Trulia) what would it have cost us to be in front of millions of potential home buying customers on a monthly basis and have nationwide /worldwide coverage ?! Seriously.. What would have been that cost?

I’m not going to sit here and debate they are perfect companies or that I’m a fanboy. We might not like some features of zestimates or they way they rotate ads or how stuff is displayed or even what they charge! All I’m saying here is stop thinking like and angry Realtor for a second and think like a business. These are consumer opportunities that operate in some cases like other web companies based on your data and an advertising model..

You don’t have to participate.. You could lead gen on your own, do your own SEO, be your own social media guru, send your postcards and knock on doors.. They all work!

All I know is as one in the business for 24 years, I would want to be where the consumer is. I would also be with any advertising platform that gave me a listing advantage, (that’s right, a Listing Advantage! I Teach this strategy in my training and coaching platform.) and I would continue to market myself anywhere I can get a good ROI on my Marketing Dollar.

So many people focus on buyer leads here which is the main source for portals but when you can learn the value of Portals beyond buyers and could go take dozens of listings with the right approach.. That my friends is where the Gold is !

Just my humble opinion..

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