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Zillow’s House Tour Highlights, and Winning the Consumer

I’ve long thought brokerages (or franchises) should place a manually created CMA on every listing in their “farm”. Publicly.

Read this post from 2015 about a public marketplace for CMAs.

You may have seen Zillow is testing “Home Tour Highlights” (Inman story). This is the first step to doing exactly that. Once ZG get agents leaving comments on listings they’ve visited in person — it wouldn’t be a stretch to imagine ZG asking agents to leave public CMAs on those same properties.

Smart, Zillow. Smart…

Here’s the industry counter (no need to do this nationally). Create a real CMA, involving a real agent, for every home in a specific subdivision within your farm. Put that into a spreadsheet. Hack together Google maps and some pushpins. Then send a postcard to every owner in that subdivision (or knock on their door). The message is “Want to know what a real agent believes your house is worth?” Send it. Gauge reaction. Repeat.

Will the industry counter quick enough to deliver the consumer win on their own before Zillow delivers another massive win to the consumer? I’ll leave you to think on that one.

Happy holidays.

 

About Drew Meyers

Founder of Geek Estate Blog / Geek Estate Labs. Zillow Alum. Travel addict & co-founder of Horizon. Social entrepreneurship & microfinance advocate. Fan of Red Hot Chili Peppers and Kiva.

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  • Devin Beverage

    Love it, Drew.

    My thoughts:
    I think that on one hand, this could make it simple for the feckless “buy-the-listing” agents to win over the seller once they have an anchor value you’ve set (“Oh nonsense, I’m confident I can sell it for $20k more!”)

    On the other hand, it could really come from a place of value to position one the local market expert. “I’ve done home value analyses on literally every home in the neighborhood.” <– that just SOUNDS good!

    I have tried something like this, but not publishing the CMAs publically, just getting them straight to the homeowners. Mixed results, but I haven't been doing it that long.

    On a side note, inaccurate public records can throw a monkey wrench in the whole thing, bringing out the edge-cases like people furious you said their home was just a 2 bedroom 1 bathroom and $200,000 undervalued, as well as the homes that are either significantly better or worse in condition than you assumed for the purposes of your CMA.

    If you have any additional tips to avoid some of the above obstacles I'd love to hear them, as I'm still working on this strategy myself and may pursue a method more like what you've proposed.

    • “On a side note, inaccurate public records can throw a monkey wrench in the whole thing, bringing out the edge-cases like people furious you said their home was just a 2 bedroom 1 bathroom and $200,000 undervalued, as well as the homes that are either significantly better or worse in condition than you assumed for the purposes of your CMA.”

      You could use zillow and check the facts a 2nd time? Their data is better than public records since agents/home owners have often times edited the data.

      “I’ve done home value analyses on literally every home in the neighborhood.”

      I know, I don’t get why more agents/brokers don’t realize that and do something about it.

      If you do something more with this strategy, would love to hear/see what you end up doing.

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