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Zillow Leads: What Is the Typical Cost vs. Outcome?

Zillow promises real estate agents that they’ll obtain qualified leads at an affordable cost. But what’s the true cost of their program? And what are the outcomes that most realtors see? Here’s what you should know.
Zillow promises real estate agents that they’ll obtain qualified leads at an affordable cost. But what’s the true cost of their program? And what are the outcomes that most realtors see? Here’s what you should know.

Generating leads is one of the most time-consuming things you’ll do as a real estate agent. But it’s also one of the most important. While client referrals come in handy, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to rely solely on their referrals to keep your business afloat. This is particularly true for newer agents.

There are many programs available to generate more leads. Zillow’s Premier Agent is just one program that offers to provide a steady stream of leads for a price. And sometimes that price is steep.

So is it worth it? Let’s take a look.

Zillow’s Lead Program Overview

Zillow’s Premier Agent program allows agents to buy into a certain percentage of a local market. Depending on the amount of the zip code you buy into, you’ll pay anywhere from $200 a month up to thousands a month.

In exchange for the monthly rates, you’re promised your profile will show up next to a guaranteed number of listings per month and that you’ll receive a guaranteed number of leads per month.

Unfortunately for agents in higher-priced markets, the amount you pay is proportional to the price of the market you’re in.

It’s also worth noting that while you’ve paid for a percentage of a market, others have done the same, so you’re not the only agent showing up on those listings. That means you have to factor in that while you’ll obtain the exposure you were promised, some people will call one of the other agents on the listing.

Costs of Using Zillow Leads

The cost of Zillow’s Premier Agent program can be steep. If you’re buying 13% of a market share in Hollywood, you’ll be paying a lot more than someone who buys 13% of a market in rural New Hampshire.

That’s because the amount you’ll pay depends on how expensive the market you’re targeting is. So, if you’re in an expensive market you’ll pay more than someone who’s in a less expensive market.

From the reviews that exist and the commentaries that real estate agents have posted on social media, it seems that the average real estate agent spends anywhere from $200 to $700 per month on the Premier Agent program.

That adds up to anywhere from $2,400 to $8,400 a year in lead generation.

Typical Outcomes of Zillow Leads

Some review sites claim that there’s a 267% ROI to be had for any agent who buys into the Zillow Premier Agent program.

However, individual reviews from agents who have actually used the program vary dramatically. While some say they highly recommend the service and have obtained high-quality leads, others say their leads amounted to people filling out the wrong form or thinking they’d sent an email to another agent.

The more telling outcome, though, is that many agents say they often have to spend extra time asking customer service to send additional leads because of the poor quality of the ones they receive.

Overall, while many agents are happy with the program and state that Zillow’s customer service is great, most agree that you’re spending a lot of money for few leads that aren’t vetted or filtered in any way. What’s more, you pay whether or not you convert a single lead.

A Better Alternative

Paying hundreds or thousands of dollars a month for exposure and a promise can seem shallow, and many agents wonder if there’s a better way. Fortunately, there is.

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

As a Partner Agent, you’d only pay a referral fee when the deal 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, and can generate leads for you while you spend your time doing what you do best — serving your clients.

Get in touch with Clever today to find out more information about becoming a Partner Agent.


Luke Babich

Luke Babich is the co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Clever Real Estate, the free online service that connects you with top agents to save money on commission. He's an active real estate investor and licensed agent in St. Louis, with 22 units currently. Luke graduated from Stanford University and subsequently ran a historic data-driven campaign for University City City Council. Luke's writing has been featured in Homeland Security Today, Mashvisor, Payments Journal, and Bigger Pockets.

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