The shuttering of Zillow Offers is a good lesson in reinvention for all agents. As consumer expectations change, real estate professionals need to adapt and create something that adds value to stay ahead of the competition.
As if we needed one more article about Zillow.
In all seriousness, Zillow’s announcement of the end of Zillow Offers is unfortunate for consumers, and it’s also not something agents should be celebrating.
Although I totally understand why agents would be jumping for joy about this announcement, that’s actually not a good thing. Zillow made the business decision to exit the homebuying business because it was overpaying for real estate.
Now, on the surface that might seem like a good thing for agents looking to knock out a competitor, but it’s actually a loss to consumers. I am sure agents are going to look at that comment and say it wasn’t sustainable even if it was good for consumers so who cares, and I am going to challenge you to come up with something that is sustainable and will be a win for sellers.
Each and every one of you could go get into relationships with investors, banking institutions, hard money lenders, etc., and could create your own version of what Zillow had to offer, even if the margins aren’t as favorable to the consumer as they would be by listing their homes through the traditional methods.
Each and everyone of us has an opportunity to offer something to our local market that will make the homeselling process faster, smoother, cheaper, whatever.
My question is: Will you spend your time celebrating a competitor being knocked out of the race, or will you make sure you own the next race?
Take a look at Ryan Young out of Cleveland, Ohio, with his FlashHouse iBuying program, or Tim Heyl out of Austin, Texas, with Homeward cash-offer program, or Mark Spain’s guaranteed-offer program, or even our Upraze homebuying app. These folks are definitely in a position to own their race.
Instead of turning this into an opportunity to show value to the consumer through someone else’s failure, maybe consider spending some time creating something that can benefit the consumer because it solves a problem, puts more money in their pocket or makes their life easier, just like those I mentioned above.
These are everyday real estate agents and brokers learning all they can about the consumers expectations and then creating something to match it.
I’m sorry but consumers don’t want your traditional homeselling experience any longer. So long as Zillow is killing it on search, providing a value to the consumer and driving traffic to their site, it is a tool (for now) that real estate agents need to to try and win with.
No, I’m not saying go out and buy a bunch of Zillow leads, though it could be profitable for you perhaps. All I am saying is use whatever agent-friendly features the platform offers such as a place for past sales, reviews, etc., and make it easy for consumers to find you there over your competitors because, so long as they are going there and Zillow allows it, it can be a very profitable venture for you.
Besides, if it’s not offered by Zillow, they will go get it elsewhere, so why can’t it be you next time around? Be the local solution, and it won’t matter what Zillow or any one of the others are up to.
Jeff Glover is the founder of Live Unreal Companies, the parent company of several real estate related businesses including the #1 home selling team in Michigan, real estate brokerages consisting of over 600 agents, a home buying mobile phone app and is also the #1 producing real estate coach in the country, selling over 100 homes annually in the last decade.