Huge Disadvantage When Marketing Properties as ‘Do Not Display Address’

Why not display an address when marketing a property? The two big reasons I’ve heard are:

1) Use it as a marketing tactic to generate more calls

2) To protect privacy, or fear of theft.

Now, there is data to support that you will get more contacts if you show the address.

Zillow analysts found that properties on Zillow that display an address receive 6 TIMES more page views than properties that hid the address. Further, properties with the address displayed also received 6 TIMES the inquiries.

Why is this? 3 main reasons:

1)    Map search – Today, almost every real estate site has some kind of map search, as well as a list search. On Zillow, if we are told not to display the address (NDA), then the home’s location on the map will appear in a general area for that home’s ZIP code – it will not appear in the exact location. We all know one street can vary widely from the next street and having the location – especially if it’s a desirable location – will help the seller.

2) Mobile real estate search – Many mobile applications have GPS-enabled search to answer the question “what’s for sale in the area I am in right now” (such as the Zillow iPhone App or Zillow Android App). Without being able to map properties exactly, NDA properties are missing out on the huge opportunity of mobile exposure. This one will continue to grow in importance.

3) Search engines – We all know that search engines are important website visitors that can’t be ignored. There are huge opportunities for specific addresses to be found in search results, and the likelihood grows as people become more specific in their searches – even searching for actual addresses. Again, if the address isn’t displayed, Google can’t see it, and can’t serve it.

All three of these significantly contribute to the amount of traffic a listing will receive if the address is displayed versus if it is not. The exposure loss can be huge. And with less page views, there are less inquiries, as the data shows.

In pulling the numbers, one thing that did surprise me was that the percentage of times someone did send an inquiry was actually the same whether an address was displayed or not. So this finding contradicts the idea that hiding the address generates more responses. My guess is that the people who do reach out to find out where the property is located must counteract those who are annoyed by the lack of data or discount the property altogether because the location is hidden.