Although many realtors are undoubtedly successful using lead generation systems run by big, established companies, it may not be in their best interest to succumb to their “apparent monopoly” on finding buyers.
In a society obsessed with technology and social media, we are bombarded by loads of content. Today, anybody can post information online and just because something’s popular doesn’t mean it’s accurate. Now more than ever, we need to be very conscious of where our information comes from. Does the founder of this website have a motive for posting certain content? What is the real reason this website exists?
In real estate, most websites exist to extract your contact information. They’re giant traps created as a lead machine for Realtors (the ones who pay anyway). Websites such as Zillow, Realtor.com and Trulia are all designed with the sole purpose of creating (weak) leads for Realtors, and in turn, revenue for the websites. At the same time, these are the exact sites where buyers begin their home search and where sellers look to find the value of their current home. This creates a variety of problems due to the false advertising and inaccurate data.
Of all the online real estate databases, Zillow may be the very worst. It’s the most commonly used site despite the false advertising and information. I was first introduced to Zillow leads when I left my previous real estate team. It was my first time working entirely on commission, and I was doing whatever I could to generate leads. An agent in my brokerage told me about the Zillow leads she paid for. She offered to share a few of them as she didn’t have enough time to contact all of them in a timely manner. It seemed so easy. The first Zillow lead email she forwarded me included the name, number and email address of somebody who was interested in a South Austin home. At the time, I didn’t realize how the Zillow lead system worked. So, I called this lead, ready to give them more information on the home, happy to help and excited to talk to a potential client.