#JustAskRuth - Are your feeling conflicted about ZILLOW? You either love Zillow or you stay constantly frustrated, blaming them for any slowing in your business. In light of WHO they are, and WHO they are becoming, how should we relate to Zillow's influence?
"ZILLOW IS the real estate industry"...as Brad Inman would say, following his interview with CEO Rich Barton at Inman Connect. "Like Google is to search, Facebook is to social and Amazon is to e-commerce, Zillow is to real estate. Here to stay, powerful - a company the you interact with, like it or not."
If you're in a real estate related industry, and you're not engaging new people or past clients in the ibuyer conversation and providing that option, you will be left behind! Be honest, in every way you personally behave as a consumer for anything you buy, that is how your future clients behave today and have been for years!
Let's look at the facts and realize, they just figured out how to respond to what the home seller / home buyer consumer needed and wanted before any of us did!
1. In 2006, Zillow was born - providing what consumers wanted - free information about the product they wanted to buy.
2. Zillow's listing status and home prices were not dependable but they have gotten better as they've been able to penetrate the data within in the country's MLS organizations.
Remember this, even when you're car shopping, you're not getting the actual price of the vehicle or necessarily, the TRUTH about the vehicle's history and condition. But we start our shopping process online, knowing that when we're ready, we will go to the actual product distributor (car dealership) and get the truth and right price by speaking with a specialist. DUH! That's what we DO! Zillow just beat us to the punch in gaining consumer eyeballs.
Let's look at the future:
1. Zillow, the homeowner, will soon become the largest buyer and seller of homes in most markets in the U.S.
2 Zillow, the lead generator, will be represented by agents where they are needed.
3. Zillow , the broker, will leverage its consumer audience to drive business to its Premier Agents generating enormous commission income from referral fees.
4. Zillow, the conglomerate, will dominate both the mortgage and the title industry at some point through their ancillary services growth with the support of Washington political influence and New York money.
Believe me, as an employee of the largest title insurer in the country, I'm not excited about any brokerage jumping into the title industry, but here's how I see it...there is enough business to go around - enough money - enough opportunity. It's ours to lose, so let's not sit still. Let's participate in the consumer direct relationship and BE the CONSULTANT we look for when we're out shopping! BE THE CONSUMER in your mindset towards your past and future clients, and you'll be just fine!
If you'd like to see my iBUYER / iSELLER script...JUST ASK!