Zillow Long Form Leads Worth the Money?

06/24/2016
Featured Video Play Icon

Are Zillow Long Form Leads Worth the Money?  Today we air a Mortgage Shots video where we interview a loan originator that says NO.  Are you paying for these leads?  Are they worth it?

Comments

comments

Comments

42 thoughts on “Zillow Long Form Leads Worth the Money?”

  1. Rich Golze says:

    You are better off doing direct mail, working your 250 people you already know and past clients if you have them. Stop buying these leads unless you truly are a price leader which is hard to do in this internet lead environment when some of the zillow lenders are working on 25 basis point margins for the LO and holding 25-50 bps in their rate sheet.

  2. rich says:

    You are better off doing direct mail, working your 250 people you already know and past clients if you have them. Stop buying these leads unless you truly are a price leader which is hard to do in this internet lead environment when some of the zillow lenders are working on 25 basis point margins for the LO and holding 25-50 bps in their rate sheet

  3. Dan says:

    I have done the long form for a short while – didnt find it worth it, no viable leads. Partnered with Premier agents on zillow for over a year – not ONE lead turned into an app pr anything else.

  4. I am a Tx REALTOR. For 2015 I paid out to the big Z in the low $3Ks and my return was in the low $20Ks. I had no return for my 6 mnths of realtor.com, and I am now 6 mnths into smartzip with no returns. I also just signed up with homes.com and received about 3 leads in about 4 days but all have been tire kickers. I tried them a couple yrs ago with no return. Profitability I believe depends on your territory, your testimonials with some lead Gen sites, your responsiveness, etc. I keep the leads on campaigns and end up working with some of them months down the road.

  5. Ken says:

    I have been doing zillow long forms fir a year now. They are progressively costing more and more. Since they started doing the discounted off time leads, my lead costs have almost doubled. Lol. My ROI is becoming an issue with the rising lead costs. Our time is too precious and you can’t just break even!

  6. Ernie Behrle says:

    I'm in NC and the biggest complaint I have had about these lead systems is I really can't compete against the "mega" agents who can afford to spend thousands of dollars every month to remain at the top of the lead generation systems and for what I can afford, always wonder if I'm getting the filtered down crap. Like the person in the video, the majority of my leads come in the wee hours of the morning. Many of these that I am able to actually contact will tell me they were just looking and really are not serious at all. I do keep these people on a drip email system anyway. I also get leads from people looking strictly for rentals which I do not handle. I called my rep at Zillow and apparently there is no filter to stop those but they still count against me. Systems like Zillow seem to punish the independant agents like myself who just don't have the large budgets for self promotion. I still participate because it "only takes one" and have to admit that once or twice a year, it does works.

  7. John Cook says:

    Whatever happened to movetube.com?

  8. Mark says:

    I spent the same amount and I’m having similar success. I’ll close one lead. Many of the people I called were just looking around, not serious about finding a house. I may have one more to do, the customer contacted a Realtor on their own, so I may have lost it to the Realtor’s mortgage person. I would not recommend it.

  9. I spent 4600 buying these leads and made 4000, closed 3 smaller loans. It's not worth it.

  10. Sandra Glaser says:

    I am in NY. I spent $$ on Zillow and did get a few serious buyers and none of the sellers wanted to list their property (many of which were agents). There is no screening process for their so called leads. Many of them were bogus. I have gotten more leads by not paying, posting my listings and following up with the buyers who are interested in my listings.

  11. John Falto says:

    As a Realtor I have been on,off and on again with Zillow as a Premiere Agent and while from one point I applaud them for all the information they can provide, I do not approve of their tactics or style of doing business. I literally have spend thousands on zillow leads, and similar programs over the years but get the same type of lead. Either it is a renter and I do not do rentals, or it is for a prospect that is out of my area. My Z rep says that these cannot be avoided. Still get leads with either no phones or bogus addresses or people that are not serious. This I understand is part of the game, but as a small independent, my pockets are not as deep. My return on investment has been dismal but you get suckered in to a cycle that says "you have to be on Zillow". Well if that is the case, I just pay the smallest amount to be on it, and get my leads from other sources such as social media and direct mail (which to me is still the best place to put your money).

  12. As a realtor, I have gotten the best leads from Market Leader. They are not my favorite company and have had glitches with email but overall have got alot of sales from it. I hear Real Geeks is great but a bit pricy.

  13. Ken Miller says:

    Who was it, Pete Barnum I think that coined the phrase “a sucker is born every minute:!

    Just saw your interview with a mortgage broker who signed up and spent $14 -15 hundred dollars for leads that went nowhere! Poof, 40-50 names that have no basis in fact for being a qualified suspect, let alone a prospect. What am I missing here?

  14. Bill Balcer says:

    She said she spent $1500 and closed "NONE". Now thats stupid. And she put it on a credit card, so add in the interest too. Sounds like a really big waste of money to me. Send me $1500.00 and I'll give you nothing too :-) It's the same with the real estate leads. It's only a shot in the dark. You give they your listings and they sell the leads back to you for serious money. Zillow should be banned.

  15. Zillow plays "bait and switch" I believe something similar to a car salesman. better off just hitting the pavement and reqquestung referrals . I stopped zillow probably a year ago was on and off. Just another fast talking no results company.

  16. Ronald says:

    This young lady in the video is very professional and my heart goes out to her. I sincerely hope at least a couple of those “leads” pay off for her. To be upfront, I actually never paid any of these lead generating companies any money. It appears that lead generation companies in general cannot truly walk the talk because most of them if not all of them have never been in mortgage broker’s shoes or real estate agents shoes.

  17. Mike Didier says:

    Keep paying Zillow as they need to scrape up $130,000,000 to Move.com as Zillow has agreed to a settlement amount of $130 million in damages instead of going to trial. http://www.realtor.org/news-releases/2016/06/move-inc-zillow-lawsuit-settled

  18. Eric Lipp says:

    i did the zillow leads and it was a big waste of time and money. i wish it worked.

  19. i really appreciate this post, as i've been considering the long form and have been on the fence about. it's basically just expensive enough to make me feel like i'd be working for Zillow and not the other way around, which is why i haven't pulled the trigger. this post confirms my thoughts. thank you all…VERY MUCH.

  20. Ok, So I am going to try to be niice. Perhaps she was also trying to be nice. That is a classic rip off. $1500 with no credible leads that turned into a loan. Zillow = Rip Off. I tried Zillow with a Realtor and received nothing for a half year of what felt like throwing money out the window. Never again. Just say "No" to Drugs……and Zillow.

  21. I have been a zillow premier agent since March NOT ONE LEAD has been a sale . I do better on my own

  22. Moses Seuram says:

    You got it right, and frankly with upstream coming, I don't see any Realtor should even pay to showcase their listing on Realtor.com. I list Homes like a machine and 80% are sold with leads coming in from all over the internet thru listhub.
    If you do this business right you will do extremely well without all the Trash that is out there looking for your $$. If you have a good MLS platform I promise you that's the key in todays age. I am Past president for my board and NAR director and moving to State level now in the association. You are paying enough money to your 3 Realtor Associatiation and you need to look for your Rate of Returm from them with adding a dime to what you already paid. 23 Yrs of experince in NYC.

  23. Alan Van Zee says:

    I have used Zillow off and on again for years. I feel pretty dumb, but every time I get suckered into spending money with them, I get the same result – nothing. Why would I continue doing this? Every year or so I get solicited by Zillow to try their latest and greatest new vehicle for leads. First it was rate tables, then partnering (actually paying for) real estate agent pages, and then their latest and greatest, the long-form lead.

    My experience is similar to the woman interviewed. I did get lots of leads. I was able to reach a greater percentage than any other lead source I have ever purchased. But here’s the most important aspect: As the LO described, most of the leads were for people just entertaining the thought of homeownership. I complained loudly to not only my Zillow rep who gave the same the BS about “You must be an ambulance chaser and call these leads immediately”, but also to his boss.

    Maybe its’ that I have a very long relationship with Zillow, or have been rated 5-stars on their site for years, or that I have tons of 5-star reviews, but Zillow finally came clean and admitted that the long-form leads are very green leads. If they actually do qualify to buy, it will be a 9-18 month process before that leads turns into money in my pocket. There are so many things that can happen in 9 weeks, let alone 9 months, it would be interesting to see some data from idiots that play the “let’s keep Zillow rich” game for the long-term as to how many of these leads actually turned into deals.

    To sum up, PASS.

  24. Rip-off!!! $1,500 for 40 leads that did not pan out; you're better of setting up your own kiosk at a swapmeet for a tenth that cost which includes free lemonade, popcorn and cheap promo items with your name on it. The reality is – anyone buying leads, does not know how to prospect, selfmarket and is lazy. These ripoff companies recognize this and sell bogus opportunites that are anything but… I have been burned like this many years ago with various lead producing companies using industry jargon. If they had viable leads, they would sell for more. Here's a hing: Realtors sell their referrals for 25% to 30%… want to buy a clue?

  25. Kelly Salazar says:

    How do you begin a critical, unbiased video post about a lead company, with an AD FOR ANOTHER LEAD COMPANY!!!!! This is the most self-serving, BS interview I’ve ever seen.

    Let’s take a look at the Zillow Long Form Sales Pitch and then see if this lender was sold incorrectly or if she just doesn’t get it. I just had one of my originators sit through the pitch and am signing them up (I have 14 others who work this system properly and succeeding). We were told:

    40% – 60% Contact Rate = Check, she said “half” in her testimonial
    10% – 20% Application Rate = Not specific, but “Took a lot of apps who had low credit” implies she hit at least 4 (unless a lot = less than 4?)
    5% – 10% Conversion Rate = “I would have closed one but it fell through” This is probably Zillow’s fault… fool.
    90 – 180 day ramp up to see conversion rates = She quit after 40 contacts and wasn’t even on the program for more than a month, so…

    It sounds, very much to me, like this is another case of disappointment over not getting instant gratification. Wake up people, there’s no such thing as making your living by not putting in the WORK! Zillow provides me with leads that build my pipeline an enable me to have loans to close when the busy season ends… while you clowns sit here whining about how no one is giving you deals.

    Grow up.

  26. Steve Butera says:

    They are too expensive considering they are un-vetted.

  27. Ernie, I'm here in Raleigh, NC as well. There is a way to co-market with a mortgage company. You can pay X amount to be #1 in that zip code and from what I've seen that is between $1K and $1400 per month so divided by 2 for co-marketing would only be about 6 to 700 per month each. Let me know if you'd like to discuss.

  28. Donna Burgher says:

    That’s horrible, she’s getting her head ripped off. Realtors need to work for a company that supplies leads for them like EasyStreet or High Garden. Unbelivable that hard working agents fall for this stuff brokers should be providing leads for their buyers agents. Sellers need buyers agentsjust as much as they need listing agents . Why do most brokers short change their buyers agents.

  29. Honestly you are much better off taking $1,000 a month and hosting a monthly event, like a first time buyer's breakfast etc. Or, something in a neighborhood with a Realtor on a new listing and really do heavy marketing in the neighborhood for an open house. Anything but Zillow. The leads I get from them off my listings are very poor quality and few and far between. I do not pay for them or anyone else. I had been doing Realtor.com enhanced listings and that received some decent buyer leads but I've dropped that and have had no great effect on my business. If my buyer's reference Zillow I tell them I'm doing a Zillow intervention!
    I just got an offer turned down on a short sale and I know darn well the underwriter for the bank went on Zillow to get the (overpriced) value that they countered with their price, it matched that of Zillow's valuation perfectly. Fortunately the practice for loan underwriting seems to have gone away but I've had sales fall through a few years ago because the underwriter used the Zillow value to dispute the certified appraisal. They should be sued for the damages they have done with their Zestimates. They have no business putting these out to the public when the model they use is done by square footage only with no adjustments for anything. I'm doing a Zillow intervention right now for all my Realtor and mortgage friends! NO Zillow!! No! STOP sending them money. Don't engage them in conversation or they'll have you signed up as they have a really good dog and pony show. Just say your advertising budget is all spent for this year, REPEAT, my advertising budget is all spent for this year.

  30. Keep in mind a lot of those late night leads are people up partying by themselves and requesting info that at the time and 3 glasses of whatever seemed like a good idea. If they were sober they would not have posted the request and many will tell you they didn't post the request. Sound familiar?

  31. I'm a lender in Arizona and I have personally work with Zillow Long Form for the past 12 months. I have spent $32,000 and have closed 38 transactions from these leads. Out of the 38 transactions 25 of them had realtors they were already working with (this gave me 25 new job oppertunaties) and I was able to pass on 13 client to my realtor partners.

    You can't try something for a month and expect to close 2 or 3 loans, no it takes a lot of phones and text to land a deal. I like to say buying leads is like a deck of cards, you know there is 4 aces in the deck, you just don't know where they are at. We also know there is 4 kings, 4 queens 4 jacks and so on (don't forget there is 2 jokers also).

    Realtors keep in mind we are talking Zillow Long Form not Co-Marketing, they are 2 total different things.

  32. hi guys #boycott zillow! do your homework and learn to harvest your own leads from the internet! PM me and I will help you do it for free!

  33. When I first started with Zillow it was well worth the money. Over 2 years I made money. Along about the time the public became aware of their legal problems they got really bad. I couldn't get anyone to call me back and the leads that I got led me no where. Being a broker with a small business, I know how to work a lead and responded immediately when notified. I wouldn't get an answer to 90% of the calls or the emails. I cancelled and about 6 months later I signed up again still no leads that lead anywhere and when I called a got a very rude representative that I couldn't get her off the line after telling her I was closing my account and she got nastier and nastier. Even though we need leads this is no way to go about it. I think the only way is the old fashioned way of personal contact and hard work on your own.

  34. Tyler Baker says:

    As a Zillow Long Form customer, I'm happy to see that you guys are having bad experiences and discouraging people to sign up. It's been great for me. My return on investment is over 600%. It's expensive, but it pays off. At least for me.

  35. Tyler Baker says:

    I've been doing long from since December of 2015 and I am having pretty great success. Glad to see somebody else is, too. But if they want to discourage others from not using it, that's fine – More for me!

  36. For the love of leads – please use a lead management system to message, convert, and keep track of your investment… Just saying if you're going to spend $1,500 to buy leads shouldn't you invest $50 to make sure you optimized your return on them?

  37. Greg says:

    I currently use zillow long form. They tell you that you need at 3 months to make this work. They tell you you need to spend more than 1400 dollars. They were pretty accurate on the quality of leads they said would come. They said 4-5% closing ratio per 100 leads. If she took 20 apps she should have closed 1. Which she said she would have but she left the deal when she moved to another lender. So sounds to me zillow was correct on what to expect. Buying leads, and acquiring new customers is nothing new. It’s something to be used in addition to working your database and working in your circle of influence. It all comes down to how much you are willing to pay for a customer. That’s what mergers and acquisitions is all about. acquiring customers. Adding to your database. So if I’m going to spend $5,000 and acquire five customers and get a return on investment of $28,000. When speaking in terms of investment that is a great return on your investment.who can debate that? Now how you acquire that type of return is the quality of time that you are willing spend in following up on your leads. To make these leads work you have to call 10 to 15 times and never give up. But the problem is that it is very rare to find sales people willing to continue to call to continue to follow up to never give up and most people stop after 3 to 5 times. Whoever says buying leads is is not a great idea doesn’t understand how big businesses are ran. That’s what advertising is for that’s what branding is for. all these things that we spend money on is spending money to acquire a customer..that’s why people keep trying it out. There are companies that give low quality leads. Zillow is not one of them. and if you’re ever going to build your business to a degree which you can make it a passive business that you are not actually working in then you’re going to have to buy customers.

  38. Sean Goble says:

    I have not paid into the long form but I have had good success thru my profile on Zillow (which also copies to Trulia). I've worked very hard to collect client reviews thru there system and that in itself has been great! It allows the prospect to be comfortable with me before we’ve ever spoken. Ex: Met with a young couple two weeks ago who reached out & said they look forward to being a future review for me. I did not have to sell myself or company one bit; they were on board from the get go!

  39. The Rep at Zillow also says that comarketing on Zillow was never designed to be a lead generation platform. Especially for the mortgage side. He also said that comarketing with an agent on zillow is basically paying for the relationship. That by covering half of the bill, you are hoping they send you all their business. RESPA loophole at it's finest

  40. Greg says:

    Seems to me you have 2 different kinds of lenders. Those in business for themselves, those that operate like they are employed. Those that are in business know it’s a process of months, those employed want it now. Simply put, pay to get a return and don’t complain about the work. She may have said she was smart to print out her leads, but to be smart, she needed to CRM those leads.

  41. Alex says:

    Pretty much all I am seeing on the part of this LO is someone who didn’t get instant gratification with the leads that were coming in and didn’t have an automated CRM to continue to stay on top of her pipeline. If she tried a new program and bounced to another lender in the middle of that, she is obviously not a successful LO and is just bouncing around companies hoping to make it work out. How in this day and age people still print things up and keep notes in pen and paper for follow up is mind blowing.

  42. If they do, then they absolutely don’t realize the variation between a ring game plus a match.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Menu Title