Any mention of Zillow in a real estate agent group will inevitably bring up theories of the zillowpacalypse. This article is not here to badmouth one of your (or Zurple's) competitors - but to tell you how you can positively react to some of Zillow's marketing tactics.
How Real Estate Agents Should Compete with Zillow
1. Market Listings Better Than Them
Some may have the perspective that Zillow is taking leads that should be yours, and selling them back to you. In reality, they are really good at marketing and getting people to formfill. As real estate agents, you can do better. Know where your prospects are hanging out online. Better yet, leverage your past clients and sphere of influence for referrals and nurture those relationships before they even type "homes for sale" into a search engine.
2. Focus on Being the Local Expert
Sites like Zillow and Realtor.com are great search sites for people looking for homes. The downside with those sites is that they are national databases. You, being the neighborhood expert, know the nitty gritty details of your market and how to make the buying and selling process seamless for your clients.
3. Offer a Personalized Experience
The reason people like going back to websites like Amazon, Netflix, and Facebook is because the experience is tailored for each user. If you were to log into another person's account you might feel lost because the suggestions in that account are only for that other person. What sets you apart? Be sure to include that in your value proposition and the experience you provide to your clients.
4. Inform Them What a Zestimate Really Is
We all know a Zestimate is not an accurate appraisal for a property. In fact, there is a disclaimer on the website that tells people that. As a real estate agent you are able to physically enter the house for a more accurate price analysist. You can tell if there is any remodeling done. If any repairs are needed. Or if the house is undervalued based on your in-person observations.
5. Treat Them Like Other Agents
For those of you in markets where Zillow is buying or selling real estate, then they are your actual competition. Treat them like you would any other agent. Learn from what they do well, avoid what they don't excel at. You can still operate like you normally would if they are in your area.
By learning how to compete with corporations getting into the real estate game, you are improving your ability to adapt to a frequently changing landscape. Plenty will change in your long career in real estate, but to survive you'll need to change with the industry too.