You may remember, Zillow’s early positioning: Find the value of any home, without giving up your contact information (or some close iteration of that).
Every home owner, buyer and seller wanted to know what houses are worth. But they most certainly were not willing to give up their contact details to a real estate agent to find out. Yet, in 2006, that’s precisely the only way they could get an estimate for the value of a home. Until Zillow unlocked that data previously only available to real estate and mortgage professionals behind paywalls.
The number of people interested in home values grew exponentially when provided on their terms.
Where am I going with this?
Fast forward to today. There is a major consumer pain point lurking out there.
Owners, buyers, and sellers ALL have specific questions they’d like answered by trusted, skilled, and knowledgeable real estate professionals. But they most certainly do NOT want to give up their email address or phone number to get them answered. Everyone in this industry knows lead generation is largely spent sorting through bogus or crappy leads. In fact, just yesterday Zillow’s Greg Schwartz was quoted saying “Traditionally, close to 50 percent of such numbers on rental sites ‘lead to dead ends’.” I don’t know the exact percentages, but the same dynamic exists in the residential sales space.
Yet, giving up an email address or phone number is largely the only route to getting a personal answer now. (Or they can resort to Zillow Advice, Trulia Voices, or some other Q&A to ask something publicly in the hopes of an answer).
That is…until someone changes the game, and provides a trusted environment to interact with professionals on the consumers terms.
Inquire about any property and get trusted answers from professionals, without giving up your contact information.
An anonymous, yet secure way to communicate, and give the consumer control over when they expose their contact information.
Real estate lead generation 2.0.
There is zero doubt this is coming. As I’ve said before, at the end of the day, the consumer always wins when you think about the consumer technology space. And being able to get personalized answers without giving up an email or phone number is what the consumer wants. Like it or not, they don’t want to submit a form, talk to you for 5 minutes or trade 2 emails, only to be put on your email newsletter for eternity on some sort of crappy drip campaign. An anonymous, yet trusted & personalized, way to ask questions and get responses will significantly increase the number of buyers who will engage — giving real estate agents a way to engage and earn trust earlier in the buying process.
The question, is who is going to capitalize with the first mover advantage?
I happen to have a very, very good idea for the right mobile app to deliver this consumer experience. In fact, most of it is already fully designed. If you are a brokerage, franchise, or startup/vendor interested in bringing it to market quickly, schedule a call with me.