I received my copy of Realtor magazine recently. As I read the letter's on the Reader's Feedback page, one letter really got my attention. It was titled, "Overcoming Bad Data.' This Realtor is voicing the same frustrations I have about having to defend my data against Zillows!! As if our jobs are not difficult enough these days, I have to give my customers a 'talking to' about who Zillow is and who Realtor.com is and the Multiple Listing Service...it's unbelievable but we are in a position to have to defend where and how WE get our data from.
The consumer hears and sees 'MLS' but they really don't know what it is and how it works OR who is presenting these numbers to the public about sales. Consumer doesn't know that Realtor.com is EVERY SINGLE REAL ESTATE COMPANY IN THE UNITED STATES WHO BELONGS TO THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS and has a listing it goes on Realtor.com and that it 'IS' the MLS Nationwide.
As this Realtor so clearly points out in their letter, 'why should I be forced to discredit Zillow's data before I present mine?" Having to have a discussion with the customer about Zillow shouldn't even be a part of the presentation.
I can only wish and hope other Realtors will see this also and stop using and paying Zillow. Realtor's who pay and support Zillow add to the problem.
What problem you might ask? Almost every listing appointment I go on, the consumer is aware of Zillow and they use it, 'cause they like the pretty pictures'..... Customers send me an MLS# they got from Zillow...no listing exists or ever existed...it could've been a SOLD from 2 yrs ago...
I have to stop what I'm doing to let the customer know this AFTER I try to locate the listing...much work and so unnessary, but, if I don't get back to the customer and then explain the data source, they think I'm withholding a property......... Why would I do that but that's what they think. I had to let a customer know that I'd like to sell it to them but it DOES NOT EXIST AND ZILLOW'S DATA IS MESSED UP BECAUSE THEY DON'T GET THEIR INFORMATION FROM THE MLS.
I have to spend time re-educating the customer about the source of the sales information and having to look like I'm bad mouthing Zillow in order to get the customer to use Realtor.com or my IDX for searches. I even send automatic searches to my customers and they STILL will go to Zillow thinking I'm not telling them the truth! UGGGGGH...takes weeks to convince the customer the searches they receive in their INBOX are the real listings.
Eventually, I win! This is my wish, 'every Realtor or agent who reads this to immediately abandon Zillow.'
Happy house hunting!
PALM BEACH INLET