Rain Camp was amazing – awesome content by the great Ben Kinney, a panel of local bloggers that are truly harnessing the power of the internet, and so much information my head was spinning. But later in the day, something didn’t sit right with me.
A rep from Zillow came to speak to us in what I thought was supposed to be a “non-selling” atmosphere.
Zillow, a “leading online real estate marketplace” and home of the “zestimate” is, in my opinion, completely misleading potential homebuyers and even worse, trying to scare Realtors® into advertising on their site for fear of losing buyers that would contact them directly.
Let me show you:
I’m a buyer in Killeen, TX and I decide to use Zillow to search for a home. I come across this gem on Carlee Court.
So I decide that I want to contact the agent.
It looks like you’re going to contact the Listing Agent for this house. Right?
Apparently, in Zillow Land, Contact Agent means contact the agent’s that are paying the big advertising bucks.
Completely misleading. Here’s what happens when you click any of the three options:
3 agents to choose from who bought that positioning, none of which are the Listing Agent.
Here’s the actual Agent:
Hey Zillow, what about being transparent? Even “Contact AN Agent” would be better – and much more truthful!
Part of my job is to help Real Estate Agents determine the best places to spend their marketing dollars. Dollars that have been pretty hard to come by in the past few years. I enjoy finding the best places to showcase properties, the best places to advertise, and the best online communities to be a part of – and where not to.
So, while taking advantage of Realtors® and peddling duplicate junk isn’t necessarily a new thing, I think Zillow has taken it to another level with this scare tactic advertising. No thank you. I’ll advise my clients to take their business elsewhere.