Zillow and similar websites like it divide the real estate industry. Some agents swear these types of sites are very worst thing in the world, while for others, they’re their bread and butter. As our society, and the real estate industry in particular, become more and more dependent on doing things online, viewing and purchasing products virtually (yes, even houses these days), and, generally living digitally, tools like Zillow are becoming more important for both agents and clients.
They are especially critical in the current times we find ourselves in full of pandemics and social distancing and quarantining.
No matter how you feel about using Zillow as a real estate agent, it’s a force to be reckoned with in the industry. Close to 200 million unique visitors spend time on Zillow each and every month. These people are looking at houses, reading content, searching for real estate agents, seeing what homes around them are valued at, and looking for a place to call home for the next step in their lives.
Like other listing websites, in order for potential home buyers to view and access the properties they want to look at, they have to enter in some contact information like name, email, and phone number. And after they do that, on the other side of the screen (or across the country), companies and real estate agents are paying for that information. Essentially, Zillow uses its wide reach and exposure to translate its large audience into leads that agents, in theory at least, take and convert to sales.
Through the Premier Agent program, real estate agents can also have names, faces, and contact information posted alongside listings. Additionally, Premier Agents receive branding and exposure by appearing prominently where home shoppers are searching on Zillow and Trulia.
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While Zillow acts as a plentiful lead source for many, others feel that it creates a lose-lose situation for both leads and agents. This is because, according to some real estate professionals, Zillow takes a potential buyer who is very early in the home buying process and overwhelms them with agents trying to contact them. You just wanted to look at some photos, and now you have 20 people calling you trying to be your real estate agent. On the agent side, many feel that they are paying too much money just to be fighting against a torrent of other agents going after the same lead.
However you feel about Zillow, the fact of the matter is that it can be beneficial to those who use it effectively. And how do you use it effectively? By understanding how to consistently convert the leads you get from it.
At Smart Inside Sales, we emphasize that your sales calls need to revolve around actual conversations that are enjoyable and productive for both parties. This means that, especially as you get more experienced, you cannot rely solely on pre-programmed responses. When contacting Zillow leads who are early in the home buying process, this concept becomes even more important.
For this, we developed a technique to handle objections and to get to the heart of what the lead wants that goes beyond scripts, called the PPO Process. PPO stands for Perspective Process Outcome.
The lead’s perspective is their past experience, knowledge and speculation.
The prospect’s process is their own plan that they have for their situation. The process is typically what will lead to an objection. They have their plan and you are not a part of it in their mind, so they turn you down.
And finally, the outcome. This is the unique result or benefit the prospect believes their process will deliver for them.
Perspective, process, and outcome are the three things that make up any objection. The key here is to understand these three parts of the objection from the lead’s point of view, not just from your own. Below are the five most critical aspects of dealing with an objection once they tell you it:
Follow this process, understand where the lead’s objection is coming from (from their own point of view), and respond in a way that makes sense given their perspective and goal.
I’m not here to tell you whether or not real estate agents should use Zillow or not. If it works for you then use it, if it doesn’t work for you then don’t use it. But if you are going to give it try, it all comes down to being able to have effective sales conversations. Understanding the situation from their perspective and approaching the call from the angle of helping them solve a problem is critical for any lead, but especially leads that are earlier in the process, like the ones from Zillow.