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Zillow Leads: Reviews, Pros & Cons, Better Alternatives

Zillow Leads promises realtors that they’ll obtain qualified leads at an affordable price. But is it the best option? We’ll look at the program, its pros and cons, and discuss better alternatives that realtors should consider before making their final decision.
Zillow Leads promises realtors that they’ll obtain qualified leads at an affordable price. But is it the best option? We’ll look at the program, its pros and cons, and discuss better alternatives that realtors should consider before making their final decision.

One of the most important aspects of a real estate agent’s career is lead generation. If you’re not generating leads, you’re not making sales.

Unfortunately, this is also one of the most time-consuming things you’ll ever do as a real estate agent.

To help with this process, many companies have developed lead generation programs that agents can buy into. In exchange for your money, you’re promised leads and exposure.

Zillow’s Premiere Agent program is one of the most popular lead generation programs available. But what does the program offer? And how much does it cost? Here’s what you should know.

Zillow Leads Program Overview

Essentially, Zillow’s Premiere Agent program allows you to buy into a certain percentage of a market. Let’s say you want to buy into a zip code near you, and you want to purchase 10% of that market.

Zillow will quote you a monthly cost for 10% of the zip code you chose, if it’s available. For your monthly fee, you’re guaranteed a certain amount of leads. You’re also guaranteed to have your profile show up next to a certain number of listings in that zip code.

The idea is that by increasing your exposure and guaranteeing leads, Zillow is saving you time hunting down your own leads. But what are the pros and cons? And does the program really work?

Benefits of Using Zillow Leads

Most agents who review Zillow’s Premiere Agent program say that while it’s expensive, it does what it says it will do. While there are some caveats to this, agents consistently express their appreciation for the high levels of customer service they obtain from Zillow’s staff.

Another perk is that as a Premiere Agent you get a personal mentor who helps you through the process, is there for you when you have questions, and knows your goals. You’ll always talk to the same person, and that level of dedicated attention is something many realtors praise.

However, for all the customer service and mentorships Zillow provides, there are many drawbacks to the program, as well.

Drawbacks of Using Zillow Leads

Unfortunately, there are many drawbacks of using Zillow’s Premiere Agent program. For one thing, the cost can be incredibly high.

The reason for this is that the price you pay is directly proportional to how expensive your market is. So, if you’re buying 10% of 90210, you’re going to be paying a lot more than someone who’s buying 10% of a market in the middle of Iowa.

One agent who reviewed this program said that he was once quoted $2,000 a month for 13% of a particular zip code.

Not only are you paying a lot of money, you have no control over the leads you’ll get. And frankly, neither does Zillow. Agents have reported getting “leads” that amounted to nothing more than someone filling out the wrong form, someone thinking they were emailing their agent, and similar errors.

What’s more, you’re not the only agent in that zip code unless you buy 100% of it, which is nearly impossible to do in most popular zip codes. That means you’re paying for exposure on a certain number of listings, but other agents are showing up on those listings, too.

While the customer service is great and many agents do get the leads they were promised, it’s an incredibly expensive way to go about lead generation, especially since most agents only experience a 3-5% conversion rate on average.

Other Considerations

It’s important to remember that lead generation programs are meant to be a supplement to your marketing and manual lead generation activities. Also, if you’re a new agent, you might want to spend some time getting to know your business before you buy leads. After all, leads aren’t going to do you any good if you don’t know how to convert them.

A Better Alternative

Rather than paying for the promise of leads, Clever provides agents an alternative that only requires you to pay when your lead converts.

Clever provides Partner Agents with high-quality buyer and seller leads with no up-front costs, saving you time and energy on marketing and client acquisition. Our leads are highly vetted, so they’re far more likely to end in a sale than less-qualified leads.

All you’re required to do is pay Clever a referral fee if and when the deal actually closes, which ensures a high ROI. You’ll never spend money on leads that don’t close.

Clever sends participating agents a steady stream of individually vetted buyer and seller leads, requires no up-front costs, and can generate leads for you while you spend your time doing what you do best — serving your clients.

Contact Clever today to find out more information about becoming a Partner Agent.

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Ben Mizes

Ben Mizes is the co-founder and CEO of Clever Real Estate, the free online service that connects you with top agents to save thousands on commission. He's an active real estate investor with 22 units in St. Louis and a licensed agent in Missouri. Ben enjoys writing about real estate, investing, personal finance, and financial freedom. He's a serial entrepreneur, having run several successful startups before Clever Real Estate. Ben's writing has been featured in Yahoo Finance, Realtor News, CNBC, and BiggerPockets.

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