Zillow is a real estate syndication website.
They do not, as of yet, for the most part, offer real estate representation services where they are bonded and insured on a local level.
I don't know if the ultimate intention of Zillow is to become a shoulder to shoulder brokerages like REMAX and Century 21. If they are gunning for that type of positioning we will be able to look back and blame the agents for them making it.
Agents spend millions of dollars to have their names displayed by zip code as the local real estate experts on Zillow and Trulia.
A New Agent, one with zero experience, only needs money to make this happen. To start getting leads and to start having clients referred to them.
The problem is that they have no standing in the local real estate market. Zillow does not care, they do have reviews for each of the real estate agents, but are not really interested but serving the highest bidder.
I get emails from them, we had been a past advertiser and were paying for leads at one point in the past. The folks we were bothering "following up with" seemed put off and bothered.
Then I put the shoe on my own foot, would I want to be called because I was merely looking at real estate and homes for sale?
No - that is a huge negative, I would not want to be called.
I suppose a nice email as a way of introduction would have been okay, but that is not how those who saw my personal information responded. It was all about let's get you closed so I can make my next car payment :) Personal experience and training have a lot to do with it, but to obtain leads, as some websites, through trickery or device - I'm not a fan.
Not a lot of multiple listing services are fans of Zillow and the other real estate syndication websites. This is because they are viewed as competitors and thought of this business model before they did, probably.
Jealously rears its ugly head, but when has it not?
Zillow from a real estate sellers perspective
Zillow in Santa Clarita CA has a large presence online. If you google most local real estate terms you will see that Zillow's foothold is quite extensive. They are within the online results at the top of the ads with a vast PPC budget (pay per click). They are also rendering organically within the on-page search results for Santa Clarita real estate and other local keyword phrases.
We have a lot of real estate sellers that come to us via referral and because of past dealings. Our online strategy is to provide great local real estate content. Stories and how our clients in real estate have overcome adversity within a real estate transaction is extremely prevalent in helping our clients.
Some clients don't mind Zillow's estimation of the value of their real estate. And with all fairness, I have been to view them without having to give up who I am. Maybe being a bit web savvy has something to do with that, I don't know.
I do know that in some cases the estimates of a home's value does not translate in familiarity with a specific local market.
Rumor is they have no interest in becoming a local brokerage. They make much more coin having real estate agents pay them for the leads being generated from those agent's listings.
FYI - by "listing" I am referring to the real estate that the home seller has signed a contract with a real estate agent under a real estate brokerage, to sell their home for them. That home is advertised and marketed were part of that is having the home entered into the local Multiple Listing Service(MLS).
When the said agent enters the real estate listing into the MLS. There is a disclaimer within the real estate contract where a home seller can exclude their real estate listing from being viewed on websites like Zillow, Trulia and the like.
Why prevent a home from being listed on Zillow?
Some sellers don't appreciate how Zillow displays what their home is worth. In some cases, their estimates of value are far off of the mark. In most cases, their data does not take into account the specific market dynamics that a local Realtor will be familiar with.
Zillow may show a Santa Clarita home worth, according to them, at $500,000.00. When the agent does specific tract inquiry and runs the past 180 days of MLS data and corresponding closings, seeing that home includes an additional bedroom that is not being seen reflective on the title due to it being an option when the home was new, the online estimate is going to be inaccurate related to listing price.
The true value is what a good Realtor will want to market most real estate listings at. This being said, an additional bedroom in the Santa Clarita Valley, in the present market will add 35k to 40k to the value of the home being sold. In a two-story home, a downstairs bedroom/suite can support an even higher appraised value - 40-60k in some cases depending on location.
It could be the home is located within close proximity to a local school. This may be a bonus for some home buyers, but a detriment to others who leave for work during drop off times and get home during pick up times. The blocking of their driveway and unreasonable parents will cause them to regret buying that home. That noticeable fact would also impact future sales of the same home, where the online estimates of value will be skewed.
Some of our sellers ask if their home will sell just as fast if it's limited to the MLS advertising only. I have yet to be wrong when answering this question. While Zillow is HUGE, there are enough local MLS related websites owned and operated by real estate agents where it won't be missed when people are searching.
Other metrics are not available by having this study conducted. They can provide page views of a particular real estate listing. They can also probably provide how many of their leads actually turn into someone using the agent paying for leads in their home buying/selling process. Having the dots connected has yet to be done, as far as I have been able to see.
As stated, before Zillow and the other real estate syndication websites, the MLS and the local Realtor's Website was fine for public consumption of real estate listings.
Remember Blogs by the Local Real Estate experts? That is what you are reading now. I take my home seller's listings and populate them within this very website. If you google Santa Clarita real estate and are plugged into the Local Google Mainframe where your GPS is active, you will be me, Santa Clarita real estate, being top in the Google Local Business results.
I have always found the numbers of real estate listings for sale in the Santa Clarita Cities as interesting when rendering within the search results on Zillow.
Here is an example. This was search results as of 8.20.2018 - 0833hrs:
1036 homes for sale in Santa Clarita CA. To give the benefit of the doubt, the Santa Clarita Valley consists of 6 cities - I'll go ahead and throw in Acton and Agua Dulce - some consider these two cities as a part of the SCV core cities, I'm all for that.
I chose from active real estate status. These are homes that are not within the contract with home buyers. Sound fair?
My site via the actual Multiple Listing Service has 714 active properties for sale. Interesting to say the least? I show real estate listings to home buyers on a daily basis. I know the new inventory and I know exactly how many units are added each and every morning and throughout any given day. It's my job and when something hits the market for sale, depending on the activity in the local market, it may require a fast viewing by my interested home buyers. I search with the actual Multiple listing services, as my fellow agents do, we don't go to Zillow to search for homes.
This is a search I conducted on my website, which is connected to the Multiple Listing Service - the Southland Regional Association of Realtors - the SRAR. BTW, my Santa Clarita real estate site is not a syndication website. It's authorized by the Board of Realtors to supply all the real estate listings for where the board has authority. This is going to be within most of Southern California.
By the way, I cannot just take real estate listings from online and advertise them. My site has to have the proper permissions. I have to be a member, in good standing of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). I have to be a member in good standing of the California Association of Realtors (CAR). I also have to be a member of our local Board of Realtors, the Southland Regional Association of Realtors (SRAR). Also, my brokerage has to share those same memberships and all the above has to vet my real estate website in being true, accurate and having the proper and legal permissions to provide listing data to my Real Estate clients. (whew)
Where we provide for home buyers and sellers and a lion's share of our real estate business, is covered 100% - that includes the Greater Los Angeles areas and where our offices are Headquartered in the Santa Clarita Valley cities.
As you can see - with the cities listed, I ran the same search and had fewer homes for sale. Often I get sent real estate listings from Zillow and other real estate syndication websites by my clients. I tell them to send what they don't find on my system to me so I can figure out what is happening.
Preview - coming soon - listings not for actual sale yet
At no fault of their own, or maybe not much fault, Zillow's different rendering of homes that are currently for sale probably includes those which are also under contract. Real live boots on the ground realtor will tell you that homes are already monitored by the local systems and if they "fall out" them will re-enter the MLS database as "active".
Something that is also able to be published on Zillow is the "coming soon" real estate listings. The Pre-marketing of specific homes for sale by those agents who are representing home sellers.
I know when a new listing hits the market via the syndication publication from the multiple listing services, it is quite prevalent. I'd hate to have any real estate listing where I'm representing the home seller to present a watered down real estate listing because a glimpse was given before the wedding itself.
As can be seen, the coming soon or pre marketed listing can also be a home that has no intention of being sold. It could be a test or a real estate agent wanting to advertise themselves and get potential home buyers inquiring. While Zillow has required a real estate agent to be one of their "paying" agents in order to advertise a coming soon listing, some of those agents may not be using that service correctly.
I remember when Zillow started. Agents were so angry. The viewed Zillow as the system that was "stealing" their seller's listings, publicising them and selling those leads to other agents.
Some agents have not given up on their Zillow Hate. Whether Zillow is here to stay, we shall see. I do know they have great online placement and a massive advertising budget.
To compete, I write. I share experiences and speak about the local real estate market. I have buyers in my car multiple times per week. I sit down in seller's homes and have in-depth conversations about the market and their expectations. I know my business and I'm proud to be a Realtor that is sought out by Santa Clarita home buyers and sellers.
I'm Connor and I'm thankful for you taking the time to read an article about Zillow in Valencia CA. I'll be here when you are ready - BE well.