Unless you are new to real estate, you have heard of Zillow. Zillow is a real estate and rental marketplace that empowers consumers with everything they need to know before purchasing a home. It also connects homeowners with local professionals.
Zillow helps with the full lifecycle of owning and living in a home: buying, selling, renting, financing, remodeling and more. With an active database of more than 110 million homes, Zillow operates the most popular suite of mobile apps.
And now they’re a brokerage...
Starting in January 2021, Zillow Homes as the broker of record will present an iBuying solution to streamline the process for homeowners. Salaried agents and homeowners will work together through cash offers in areas such as Atlanta, Tuscon and Pheonix with the goal of expansion in the near future.
With these changes, how will the existing model for agents representing external brokerages pan out?
The Benefits and Limitations of Zillow
There are many benefits to using Zillow, which we’ll recap here (in case you’re not familiar).
Zillow gives potential homebuyers access to non-agent-represented properties and provides listing exposure to millions of consumers. The way it is set up visually promotes non-listing agents with listings that aren’t theirs. It may seem like the agent actually knows about the property. Often, the leads are low-quality for subscribing agents.
Despite its popularity, there are limitations to Zillow. Zillow has a property valuations tool, Zestimate, but it is often inaccurate. Unfortunately this can lead to confusion and can make an agent’s job harder.
For agents,there is a premier edition (Zillow Premier Agent), which allows agents to pay for more traffic to their listings. Premier Agents also have access to a WordPress website. The website allows agents to advertise their skills to a broad audience. The WordPress site (although helpful) does not integrate with MLS which can be very frustrating. Overall, Zillow is costly for the subscribing agent.
Zillow Is Missing One Big Thing…Community
Zillow has a variety of benefits and is popular for a reason. But it is missing an important aspect of buying and selling a home: community.
By being an agent who supports and builds up your community, you will begin to build trust with community members. Look for a platform that puts community above all else.
Benefits of a Community-Minded Platform Like Parkbench
- Become a Local Leader: By claiming your area and following the plan, you represent more than just your business. You can build your sphere of influence and increase the number of referrals, as well as become an important figure in your community.
- Establish Trust With Your Community: The relationship between an agent and a client needs to be just that: a mutual relationship.
- Be the Top of Mind for Potential Buyers: By doing the work of building up your community, you will place yourself at the top of mind for buyers. You want to be the first one that people in your community think of when to buy or sell a property.
- Be Exclusive: Parkbench only works with one agent per area. When you claim your area, you become the only one who is able to use the platform.