If you’re a real estate marketer, then you’re no stranger to world of Zillow and its marketing practices. They are highlighted in this new article from the Miami-Herald, “Real estate industry bands together against Zillow policy they hate“:Miami-Herald
“Welcome to what some call the ‘pay-to-play’ world of Zillow, which charges agents a premium to be named on listings that are not their own. “
The article starts with the story of a real estate consultant who puts her mother’s home for sale in Buffalo, only to find four other agents called the “listing agent” on the Zillow listing. She was at the bottom of the list.
This “pay-to-play” strategy forces agents to pay for ad space on their own listing, or they’ll be de-emphasized on the page. That’s why the real estate industry loathes how Zillow handles agent advertising:
“It can be a crapshoot. More than once, I have heard from buyers who thought they were contacting the listing agent … but (actually) called someone else.”Agent Myrl Jeffcoat of GreatWest Realty in Sacramento, California
It’s also why the industry doubled-down on Homesnap, which is the opposite of sites like Zillow. Homesnap follow Fair Display Guidelines, which means only the listing broker and agent can be on the page. No one else can pay to advertise on other agents’ listings, and all the questions about a listing go directly to the listing agent.