Real Estate Technology Tips: Zillow

Yesterday, ReeceNichols had the opportunity to listen and learn from Sam Herrara at Zillow, as well as Nobu Hata, Director of Digital Engagement for the National Association of Realtors.

Before we address the technology part of it, I found it very interesting that both speakers reiterated the importance of personal “touches”. This can be a phone call, a handwritten note, an act of kindness, charitable donations on a client’s behalf,

Below, please find my summary of the event in regard to Zillow; hopefully you have a couple (or more) takeaways. Next post will have key takeaways from Nobu.


Zillow continues to be the leading, #1 real estate related advertising website. What are some things a real estate professional can do to maximize the benefit of Zillow for their clients?

  1. Add Agent Comments on all your listings – Zillow is the first to admit, its Zestimate at times is not very Zaccurate (Sam’s word).

Find your listings on Zillow and make agent comments. In this case, a listing is on the market for just over $1Million dollars for an almost 8000 sq ft custom home. The Zestimate shows $528,057. The listing agent can click “Add agent comment” and address why the property is closer to $1M than $528,000.

zillow agent comments1

A computer algorithm used for the Zestimate can’t walk through a property, see a property, or know of a property’s attributes of value. It’s a real estate professionals job to communicate properly to sellers and buyers.

  1. Set up your free Zillow profile.

The benefits:

  • You can automatically link your listings once you set it up
  • Gives you an opportunity to be first in the contact form
  • Consumer reviews and past sales show credibility

How to set up your Zillow profile:

  1. and Sign in (upper right corner)
  2. Register as an industry professional with all your contact info and digits
  3. Edit: photo, resume, About Me, etc.
  4. Manage your listings, upload past sales, reviews, etc.

Ratings & Reviews: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

No one wants a bad review, but heh, it happens. It may not even be a fault of yours, but sometimes things don’t go as planned, but…

88% of online consumers check reviews

32% trust them as a recommendation

Per BrightLocal study in 2014.

Here are some tips in regard to reviews and recommendations:

  • Anyone can provide a recommendation. A past client is certainly a plus, but anyone on your COI that is providing referrals can also complete a recommendation or review.
  • Once you get your profile set up, click “Request a Review”. At this point, you can determine if you will be sending one person or multiple.
  • Prepare yourself for the one star review. Not everyone will give you 5 stars. I hope so, but even the best any field have challenges at some point.
  • Set expectations and let your clients know that you will like a review once a deal is done. Send them the request early.
  • Make the process simple. If a client is hard up for something to say, walk through some of the value you brought to the deal. A client doesn’t have to write War and Peace as a review. Sometimes simple and direct is the best.
  • Keep it personal. I don’t recommend sending a bulk email, blind copying all 250 on your COI list. Send a personal email, then make a personal phone call (yes you can still talk in to your web searching device), and then send a handwritten thank you once the review/reco is done.
  • Respond to negative reviews ASAP.
  • Keep testimonials (or bestimonials as I refer to them) top of mind at all times. If you say it, they may doubt you. If they say it, it has to be true. Get it.
  • If you didn’t get a review or testimonial, it’s another reason to call and reconnect.
  • If your broker is using a survey company after every deal, offer to copy and paste from there in to an email for your client to easily copy and paste in to Zillow.

The average agent takes 2 hours to respond to an internet lead. The lead is dead after an average of 15 minutes. At some point, quit getting ready to get ready and contact them already!

Have questions or want further coaching, please contact me: