The internet real estate giant Zillow announced some big changes for agents back in April. These changes are now starting to go into effect. If you’ve been confused about how the new system will affect you, this post can help you weigh the pros and cons of the newest version of Premier Agent. These changes will affect leads from Zillow and Trulia for now. Zillow.com has said that RealEstate.com and StreetEasy will also eventually use the new system.
Here’s what you need to know:
Zillow has announced these changes will solve some common problems from both the agent and buyer sides of interactions. Agents were frustrated in the past because of time wasted on bogus or low quality leads. Zillow’s new Premier Agent hopes to solve these issues by screening leads before they call you. This screening process will determine whether a caller is actually interested in buying or simply wanting to ask questions out of curiosity.
Agents who are tired of fielding questions from buyers who aren’t actually hoping to buy will be relieved to know that leads will complete a pre-screening process before ever receiving a call. According to Zillow, Validated Leads will be those who are actively looking to buy or sell, not already working with a real estate agent, and ready connect with an agent. The Premier Agent service can be pricey and many agents felt that the service was not worth the price.
This brings us to the next portion of the changes, which will depend on you answering your phone. Some leads were frustrated that they were unable to immediately contact an agent and had to wait for returned calls for hours or days. Zillow hopes to fix that issue, but agents need to keep a few things in mind.
The new system will automatically go to the next agent in line if you don’t answer your phone. Calls will come to your phone from (206) 539-0456 to begin the process of speaking with a lead. In the past, a lead could leave a voicemail for the agent. You, as the agent, were given time to return the call at your leisure. But with the new system, agents who don’t answer will be passed over. When you make a connection with a potential buyer, your contact information will be all the client sees on every listing on the website.
This policy is in response to clients’ demands for immediate contacts from agents. They simply don’t want to wait around for a return call about a home they found. If you’re an agent, it’s now IMPERATIVE that you answer your phone when you see a Zillow call. You no longer have the luxury of waiting to return a call on your own terms. Zillow believes this will be a good change for both clients and agents, but it may take some time to adapt to.
Agents have voiced concerns that the changes will make it impossible for clients who specifically request them to get in contact. This is not the case. If a buyer has specifically requested you, they won’t be turned over to another agent and you will be able to return their call if you miss it. The website has assured agents that specifically requested agents are actually rare. Many times if a buyer knows they want to work with a specific agent, they won’t contact them through Zillow and will contact them on their own.
There are several pros and cons to weigh concerning the latest version of the Premier Agent Program. Some agents are thrilled to see these changes take place, while some are apprehensive. Having a better understanding of the new system in place will give you a chance to use it to your advantage as the changes take place. As with any marketing tool, it’s important to keep up with the latest version of the tools you’re using to ensure you utilize them in the best way possible.