Are Zillow and Trulia Home Prices and House Values a Bummer?

As a Realtor who has been born into a time when computers rule the industry (at the young age of 40 I might add) there has hardly been a day that I haven’t had some interaction with a client who was quoting Zillow, Trullia or one of the other major consumer real estate sites.

For a Realtor it is great to find our customers engaging in the process and educating themselves.  Unfortunately the sources that the average consumer use deal less than accurate information.

Finally real estate professionals are starting to fight back!  Agencies like Keller Williams Realty have been educating their agents and teaching them to not use the client lead information from sources like Zillow and Trullia as an attempt to take back the power that these behemoth sites have usurped from the industry.

Just recently Crye-Leike Real Estate Services said it stopped providing information about homes its agents represent in three Arkansas markets — Little Rock, Hot Springs and Jonesboro — to the national portals.

“Crye-Leike feels that this is in the best interest of its customers, agents, the brokerage and the public in general,” Crye-Leike Chief Information Officer Gurtej Sodhi told Inman News. Crye-Leike has approximately 3,000 listings in the three markets, he said.  And they haven’t looked back.

Real estate sites like Zillow, Trullia and work as media companies that generate revenue by selling advertising on the Web site.  They are selling advertising to agents selling homes as well as placing agent profiles on pages, regardless of an agents experience or quality.

The second half of their business model is selling names, numbers and email addresses to potential Renters, Buyers and Sellers as a lead source to Real Estate Agents.

The information that is gathered by these sites isn’t checked, is rarely updated and their estimates are commonly off by as much as 20% sometimes.

As a Realtor, bad information can effect business from simple issues like having to explain to a client that the home they would like to make an offer on had sold 3 years before and is not for sale to more complex issues.

In many cases, clients think their home is worth more or that they can offer to purchase a home for far less than the true market value.

So until sites like Zillow, Trullia and others begin paying for the same information that Realtors pay for, it is my advise that you ask a Real Estate Professional for an appointment and begin to put together your Real Estate Team.



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