Zillow Is Launching Its Own Brokerage
People have been expecting Zillow to launch its own brokerage for some time because it would be a natural expansion. After all, it is no longer just an information site. Instead, Zillow now covers so much of the real estate transaction that its own brokerage would be the last piece needed for it to achieve comprehensive coverage, thus providing it with a degree of dominance that would get most businesses drooling. On top of this, it should be mentioned that Zillow has been buying brokerage licenses for months and months.
For a while, Zillow denied that it was going to launch its own brokerage even though it was buying brokerage licenses, which to be fair, was sometimes required by local jurisdictions because of its existing services. However, there is now confirmation that clients using Zillow Offers will be able to work with licensed agents of Zillow’s in-house brokerage Zillow Homes starting in January of 2021. The option will be available in a small number of markets at the start, but it seems safe to say that it will become available in more and more markets as it becomes better and better established.
Why Is This Such a Huge Concern?
Agents should pay close attention to this because Zillow’s in-house brokerage promises to become a formidable competitor. After all, it will be backed by the full extent of Zillow’s resources, which happens to include the enormous amount of data that has been collected through the rest of its services. Something that can provide interested parties with a huge advantage in modern times.
Furthermore, people tend to be lovers of convenience, meaning that the notion of a one-stop solution for every single one of their real estate needs can be very appealing on its own. Combined, these factors mean that agents should be working on their online presence, seeing as how a 2018 study made it very clear that the overwhelming majority of consumers will research their purchases on the Internet before making them. In other words, the Internet is the single most important means of lead generation, thus making an indispensable marketing tool in modern times.
What Can You Do About This?
Here are some of the steps that agents should be running over in their minds:
Choose a Niche
For starters, agents need to have a clear idea of what kinds of clients that they are aiming at, which is important because that should inform every single aspect of their marketing. It is very common for interested individuals to choose a particular niche rather than something as general as either residential real estate or commercial real estate, thus enabling them to stand out while reducing the number of direct competitors. Specialization matters a lot to potential clients, so it is worth pursuing.
Build Up Their Personal Brand
People tend to be skeptical of marketing. As a result, interested parties have to build up a brand, which can make for a positive impression in potential clients that will make it much easier to persuade them. One of the easiest ways for agents to build up a personal brand is by engaging with people through social media sites and the rest of their online presence. For instance, a regular succession of interesting, informative, and otherwise beneficial blog posts can do a great deal to establish a reputation for real estate-related expertise and experience.
Follow Up on Potential Clients
Agents should be prepared to follow up on potential clients because that has a higher chance of turning them into paying clients than one-time marketing. However, interested parties need to be careful not to overdo it because that can be very alienating.
Implement Word-of-Mouth Marketing
Speaking of which, agents should also encourage their clients to speak about their experiences. This is useful for convincing said individuals’ friends, family members, and other acquaintances to consider the agent’s services because the word of a trusted person will always be more persuasive than that of a business looking to profit. Word-of-mouth marketing can be particularly useful for agents working on their personal brand because they are very visibly an individual in a way that a corporation is not and can never be.
Pursue Continuous Improvement
Agents don’t have the kind of resources that multinational corporations do, so it is understandable that they don’t engage in the same kind of data collection and data analysis. However, they should still be collecting information on which of their marketing campaigns work and which of their marketing campaigns don’t work so that they can refine their approach over time. In this as in other things, continuous improvement can do a lot to make them more and more effective over time.