Zillow Focuses on Super Agents

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With their Q3 earnings out, Zillow says their focus moving forward is on their “Super Agents” who pay at least $5,000 per month for leads.



  • Zillow lied to me. They called and said I could “buy out” the number of impressions in certain zip codes I was interested in. Convinced me to spend $1000 a month. A couple days later called and offered to an agent in my office 90% of the impressions in the same zip code. That agent told me about it so I told my zillow rep, who said that agent was confused because I had already bought out that particular zip. The agent went back to HIS zillow rep and told him who said I was the one who was wrong. My zillow rep said he would investigate.
    Finally The two zillow reps connected and gave a strange explanation that they were selling exposure on different positions, which is something they didn’t understand. I told them it was deceptive business practices and wanted to speak to a manager. In the middle of this now. This company is corrupt.

    Dan November 10, 2015 5:02 am Reply
    • I experienced the same

      Dana Stone November 18, 2015 7:07 am Reply
      • Ah Zillow Land constructed by a Harvard Grad with an Economics degree to get 40%+ of your commission. Interesting we are seeing the RE model change from the standard RE Brokerages to Flat Fee Brokers so we can afford to spend thousands on Zillow. What you are seeing is the model of RE Agents who now belong to a team and you pay the Team Leader a percentage or a referral fee. Either way you are now working for less than minimum wage. I think once RE Agents realize their ROI with Zillow is less than adequate as a buyers or seller source, Zillow stock will drop. Remember most sales people are sociopaths are driven by the greed of the almighty dollar. Stop and do the Math, Z doesn’t really pan out for a decent ROI. All it does is keep you busy trying to find a valid lead. Z is Lookie Losers Haven! Maybe 1 out of twenty contacts are viable. That’s a lot time spent weeding out the good from the losers. The easiest person to con is a con, don’t be fooled Z is over priced! After seven years of advertising with Z I quit after they insisted I need to double my monthly for half the views! I passed!

        Tere Rice December 2, 2015 10:35 am Reply
      • These are not Super Agents these are TEAMS!!!

        Tere Rice December 2, 2015 10:36 am Reply
    • WHAT IS AN IMPRESSION? Please define what a Impression is? What a waste of money Wake Up RE Agents the Emperor has no clothes on. The Wizard has no power to send you Viable Buyers with an “Impression”!

      Tere Rice December 2, 2015 10:39 am Reply
  • There is no evidence that publishing your listings on an unregulated site actually benefits the seller. In fact there is evidence that shows the contrary.

    The largest unregulated site claims 80 million visitors per month. Seeing how approx 400,000 homes sell per month, that means about .5% yes a half of a percent of the visitors are buyers.

    So there is evidence that homes can take longer to sell, simply because the agents that are responding to the calls don’t know anything about the property, their goal is to move them off that property. Those agents are called the carousel of incompetence.

    Here is a survey done by a brokerage

    When our surveyors asked if the agent was the listing agent:

    1) “No. I am not.” 21%
    2) “Yes.” 45%
    3) “Why do you want to talk to the listing agent?
    They only work for the seller.” (or some permutation of this) 32%
    4) Other Responses/Unclear Responses 3%

    Troubling that 45% of the agents on the Unregulated Sites choose to lie to consumers, huh?

    So in my not so humble position to actually put a seller’s property in that situation would be more of a violation of your fiduciary duty.

    Rob Aubrey November 10, 2015 5:25 am Reply
  • This discussion is going on in virtually every industry. Whether it’s Expedia.com, Uber, Amazon.com or Google – technology has changed the way that consumers buy things. The long-held notion among real estate agents that the details regarding our clients’ properties are confidential and to be shared only with prospects that may buy directly from us is foreign to the consumer. We are at war with our own clients if we insist on putting our interests ahead of theirs in this manner. If NAR had not been afraid to undermine co-op brokers they would have built Realtor.com like Zillow, but instead they built it to accomodate the real estate establishment who wanted to pull the ladder up behind them and retain control over the money stream. Other forces, spurred by the advancement of technology have responded to consumer demand while our industry, as a whole has not. Every agent can afford Zillow or any other online real estate portal including Realtor.com. The income produced by online lead generation coupled with diligent follow-up is several multiples of the amount that “super agents” invest, so why would you not add this to your business if you have the time?

    Tim Young November 10, 2015 5:36 am Reply
  • I have been advertising mortgage rates on Zillow since they were a start-up and the clicks / leads were free. After they went to a pay-per-click model the ROI was good and the clicks were cheap. After the raised the cost of the clicks the ROI was still good and my spend was $30-35K per year. Recently they changed from per-click to a per-lead model with a “good” lead costing close to $200 each. On this new model Zillow can suck $2K from your account in a matter of hours and the leads are the same leads I was paying $14 per click for. No ROI there. The way I see it my spend would have to go to $150k per year for the same results. Not willing to give so much of my money to them. My spend has gone elswhere and my results and ROI are just as good. I personally know two other mortgage brokers who cancelled their spend with Zillow. I think they want to go after the big spenders and squeeze out the little guy. It should not take long for the big spenders to figure out their ROI is not working. My two cents.

    ASB November 10, 2015 8:30 am Reply
  • Wow, I’m seeing a lot of Zillow hate. I don’t really see the issue here. Zillow has used their marketing expertise to drive the consumer to their site. You post your listings to get eyes on the property…. and your face in front of the buying and selling public. You pay an advertising cost to do this. I’m not seeing the evil. You could just have easily posted your listing in a newspaper or print media….and have a buyer end up calling a different agent. Look…If it works and you make money….continue. If it doesn’t….then stop using them. And do your own ROI. It’s not rocket science.

    Larry November 10, 2015 8:33 am Reply
  • I only have one question for everyone….What happened to doing a good job for your client and getting a referral or two off of every deal ????…Remember “Word of Mouth advertising” is always best….I have never lost a referral to someone else and they are more receptive to do what you ask them to do to get their transaction completed quickly and move on to the next referral…and then after time you become part of their family….Waste of Money

    DENNIS MASON November 10, 2015 8:47 am Reply
  • No one has mentioned “the video” that you do with your client. The one that’s on the first page of your Zillow zip code site. If it’s on there, I missed it. My Zillow Rep sold me an expensive amount of “impressions”. I purchased the heavy amount in order to get a video produced that had my client give her thought’s on what it was like working with me. I bought the maximum amount of “impressions” to insure I WOULD BE THE ONLY AGENT to have this video for the ENTORE ZIP CODE. THIS IS WHAT THE ZILLOW REP. TOLD ME.
    Yesterday, I read something fm “the Zillow Team” that the video’s would be “rotated?” Did anyone get that same impression? I’m waiting to hear back from the Zillow Rep. It would help if an agent could tell me this first hand. If this turns out to be true, this video rotation with other agents, then I’m going to stop paying Zillow and bring it to small claims court. I have spent thousands and have received a few lousy leads. It’s been a month trying to get the video “right”. I just received the final product. I have been paying for it since the “get-go”. 1)Please tell me if you know anything about this video ROTATION? Thanks! 2) Buying % of the zip code impressions and a few mo.’s later ….it’s less because Zillow has “restructured” so you are essentially buying the same thing you purchased to begin with. Your experience’s with these issues please!

    Nancy Elliott November 11, 2015 6:13 am Reply
  • Please take off. Need corrections sent too early

    Nancy Elliott November 11, 2015 6:18 am Reply
  • Has anyone heard about the” Zillow Agent Video” being “rotated” with other agent video’s IF YOU BOUGHT IT WITH EXCLUSIVITY?
    I was told by my Rep. that if I purchased more “impressions” in my zip code, I would be the ONLY ZILLOW AGENT( IN MY ZIP CODE ) TO HAVE A VIDEO.
    Yesterday I read something from Zillow that pretty much said the opposite. I purchased the maximum amount of “impressions” according to my Rep. To keep this from happening. *I need clarification from another agent.* I texted my rep. last night with the above question an asked for an immediate response. Haven’t heard back as yet. Any one with expertise on these 2 subjects? Need ASAP!

    To be completely candid with my fellow agents…. I have gotten nothing but bum leads from Zillow since I started with them several mo.’s ago and I’m spending in the thousands.
    I only signed up for this gig for “protection”. I hope I didn’t make a costly mistake by believing a Rep. from Zillow. If so? Small claims court is in my immediate future.

    I am now finding that they seem to have “restructured” the zip code. They are now selling parts of the zip code, that I have previously purchased to newer prospects? I hope I’m wrong. Your thoughts?

    Nancy November 11, 2015 7:08 am Reply
  • SUPER AGENTS my A$$ these are Teams or Brokers paying $6k a month or more! Who then turn over the leads to agents for a high referral fee! That sweet spot for agents gets smaller as Z’s money appetite grows!

    Tere Rice December 2, 2015 10:41 am Reply
  • my Zillow results are awful and they direct leads on my listings to other Agents and I pay over $700 monthly. wonder when a class action suit will be filed

    darrell March 22, 2017 4:08 am Reply

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