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Zillow Ends Free Rental Listings. What Now?
Will Zillow's price gouging ever end? Starting in January 2021, rental listings currently syndicated through MLSs will no longer feed directly into Zillow. Instead, agents and brokers wishing to publish a rental listing on the third-party platform will need to do so via Zillow Rental Manager, which is contract-based and starts at $9.99 a week. While the company claims the decision was made to "empower" its partners, in reality, the move is little more than a blatant cash grab. Revenue stemming from its main moneymaker, Zillow Premier Agent, has stagnated in recent years, and Zillow Offers, its direct home-buying platform, continues to lose thousands of dollars per transaction. Switching a free service to a paid one was the easiest way to satisfy pressure from
New Social Advertising Tool Lets Realtor Expand Her Reach from Coast to Coast
Realtor Ariana Loucas has long used social media as a tool for connecting with her sphere, but she was unhappy with her options for advertising on social networks. You see, Ariana operates in Washington, D.C., a market with a lot of relocating real estate consumers, but her social advertising options didn't let her cast as wide of a net as she needed. "They'd offer a 15 to 25 mile radius, and certainly not an option that could go coast-to-coast or globally," she says. That all changed recently when Ariana signed up for's new marketing program, Market Reach. "They've been able to put my listings in front of someone coming from Minnesota or currently in California who want to move to the DC area." In the interview below, Ariana shares the success she's had in reaching out of area real estate prospects. From video ads to impressing sellers during listing presentations, read on to find how you, too, can increase the reach of your business. Some use social media successfully to generate leads – others have tried it but did not keep it going. What's been your experience? I use social media and I actively communicate through it. I find it very effective so I haven't abandoned it as a business tool. But I did stop the ads as a lead source until recently. What is your social media lead source now? I started using®'s new program Market Reach. It's very easy to initiate. Also, I like that has already targeted the audience. is very good at just reaching the people who have been to their site so we know it's for a true audience of people looking at real estate. It's a much wider audience than what I could have done on my own. I'm casting a net for people interested in moving to the area where I'm working, even if they are coming from another city or state. I could only get so many people within my local area when I did the ads myself. They've been able to put my listings in front of someone coming from Minnesota or currently in California who want to move to the DC area. How does this compare to the ads you stopped doing? In the past I've tried making my own ads on social media and picking a range—it would give me so many miles out of where I'm located that I can advertise in. The same thing with follow-me ads that exist out there with various companies. They'd offer a 15 to 25 mile radius, and certainly not an option that could go coast-to-coast or globally in front of an audience that I can now do with the product. They are now combing the country and beyond to have those people that are searching for real estate matching exactly where I'm marketing. They're showing them the house or my video or the community; whatever it is that I have put into that slot or my audience. Why do you feel compelled to reach buyers coming from out of the area? I'm in a transient area with people moving in and out all the time all year long with military and federal government and contractors. This allows me to tell the seller that no matter where the person is moving from—whether they're being relocated here from Germany, whether they're being relocated here from Texas—I'm going to be one of the few agents that's going to be able to have their home front and center. Do you use this on listing presentations? Yes, I can tell my sellers that because I invest in the marketing specific to their home's location it really will give them more clicks, more views, and that all drives more foot traffic and tours to the home to generate offers. You mentioned that can assist in preparing and placing a video. Why use that particular form of content? In today's world, everyone is scrolling quickly through social media, whether it's Instagram or Facebook or Twitter. Images capture their attention. Moving images such as video will capture it even more. The eyes are drawn to those videos first, and they're going to produce more clicks and more interest. Plus the seller now gets to see how you market your listings. I use the video content. It helps me be able to talk about how many homes are on a market in a particular neighborhood or what the community offers for amenities and commute time and restaurants, and all of those things are part of this video they provide. It takes the guesswork out of it for me and simplifies it, and then I can get back to doing what it is I need to do—and that is to sell more homes. Learn more about Market Reach
2 Secrets to More Lead Conversions, Straight from a Top Team's Playbook
Lauren Bowen leads one of the most productive real estate teams at Robert Slack. She's increased conversion rates and productivity while the company nearly doubled in size. The secret to her team's success? They stalk their real estate leads... or, more accurately, they let their lead generation solution do it for them. Targeting the Most Likely Buyers Anyone who has spent any time on the internet has been "stalked" by an online ad. You visit a site once, and for days or weeks after, an ad from that site follows you around the web. This is called "ad retargeting," and marketers love this advertising strategy because it is so effective. The Lauren Bowen Team employs this strategy to great success via's Local Expert program. Local Expert users can create three types of ads: For Sale ads, Just Sold ads, and Branding ads. Those ads are then displayed to buyers in your chosen area on Once they leave the site, those same ads are displayed in their Facebook feed. "This not only helps bring a buyer to the house, it also shows the seller that we are putting it in front of numerous buyers for them," Lauren says. Tip: Because Local Expert offers detailed campaign analytics, you can impress your sellers by telling them exactly how many people have seen their home's ad. Dialing Up Lead Volume for a Higher Conversion Ratio Lauren's team may have stumbled on another secret to improved conversion rates when, thanks to the success of their program, they decided to increase their volume of leads. This lead to a curious phenomenon. The team's number of lead conversions not only increased—as expected with more overall leads coming in—but their conversion ratio increased as well. That means the team is converting a higher percentage of leads than they were at their previous lead volume. "We've almost doubled our conversion ratio with the same leads," says Lauren. See Lauren THIS THURSDAY at Inman Connect NY Want to hear more real estate lead wisdom from Lauren? On Thursday, she'll be sharing her expertise during a panel discussion on the Team Track at Inman Connect New York. Check out her panel, Lead Distribution: Who Gets What?, on January