The Best of 2013 for Real Estate Pros

2013 2014Without a doubt, 2013 was a busy year inside the halls of Zillow! There were acquisitions, a new TV advertising campaign, tremendous traffic and audience growth, new products introduced, older products were updated, and more.

Why all this activity and effort? Two main reasons:

  • consumers, as in potential home buyers, sellers, renters, landlords and investors who want it and …
  • YOU, the real estate professional, who needs to be in front of those consumers.

Audience Growth

In the Internet advertising and marketing space, traffic matters. Sure, it’s not all about traffic. A website needs a great user interface, it needs to rank well in search engines, it needs compelling content and great calls to action. A website needs a lot of things.

But if no one visits the site, all of the above becomes moot.

In the 11 months from January 2012 through November 2012, Zillow had 373 million unique users.

That same 11-month period in 2013 brought more than 544 million unique users.

That’s 171 million more uniques in 2013 than there were in 2012. That is a 46 percent increase year-over-year (Source: Company metrics).

A 46 percent increase in traffic. One hundred and 71 million more people potentially seeing you, your listings, and what you have to offer.

How does traffic growth like that happen? As they say, it takes a village, but for us, it means approximately 800 Zillow employees dedicated to the cause.

It takes advertising — like Zillow’s latest TV commercial, “Long Distance.” We are committed to advertising in order to continue the pursuit of audience growth.

It takes keeping up with new operating systems, as in Zillow’s iOS 7 mobile app, which was featured on-stage at Apple’s iOS 7 announcement, and was subsequently featured in Apple’s app store.

It takes new user-demanded features, like being able to search multiple school areas simultaneously.

Why worry about audience growth?

Because we want to give you more and better contacts.

Product Enhancement

Time doesn’t really march on. Time runs by, fast. If you’re standing still, or resting on your laurels, someone, somewhere, is going to blow right by you and never look back.

Constant innovation and improvement isn’t just a good thing to have, it is critical to success in the Internet advertising and marketing world.

Some of the new products and enhancements rolled out in 2013 include:

Zillow co-marketing. You can “partner” with up to five of your preferred lenders to share marketing and advertising costs on Zillow. This is not a “lead gen” or referral product, it simply provides the “back end” to facilitate shared payments between you and one to five lenders.

Agentfolio (currently available in select areas). Ever had a husband and wife, parents and children, or some other such combination of clients all working in unison — or not — trying to buy a home? It can be a mess, starting with email. The wife sends you a potential listing and says, “I LOVE THIS ONE” and at the exact same time, the husband responds to the same listing with the comment, “Let’s skip this one — it’s a waste of space.”

Oops.

Enter Agentfolio. Agentfolio is a “buyer collaboration” tool and it makes working with those multiple-buyer situations a snap.

Contact forwarding and drip campaigns. Here is what is probably an all-too-familiar scenario: You have online advertising established. You’re getting contacts from your target areas, but maybe the prices are all over the map. Rather than just ignore those contacts from lower price ranges than you typically work, you wish you could just forward them to that agent in your office that is gung-ho and ready to rock that price range. But, it’s a pain to do this. You’ve got to copy/paste a bunch of stuff, if you even remember to do it.

Why not put tasks like that on auto-pilot? Contacts in certain price ranges, or locations, or even based on the time of day can now be automagically sent to whoever you designate. It takes seconds to set up, and automates your contact forwarding. Nice!

Why worry about product enhancement?

Because we want to give you choices, new tools, and increase your efficiency.

Real Estate Pro Community

With the rapidly changing pace of real estate and technology, keeping up isn’t always easy! Sometimes it seems like if you just stop to take a breath that something is going to zip right by, never to be seen again.

Hence the need for continuous education. Here are a few of the things we’ve rolled out or enhanced this year to help with the daunting task of continual education.

Zillow Summits. Introduced this year, Summits are intimate gatherings that last only a few hours, but are jam-packed with goodness and information. You’ll get an overview from a Zillow exec, info on the local market from an expert in Zillow’s economics group, insight from an agent/broker best practice panel and the chance to talk to customer and tech support. And more! Stay tuned for the 2014 Zillow Summit schedule, which will be released soon!

Zillow for Pros Blog, Facebook page and Twitter account. Chock-full of timely information, charts, stats and links, you can get your education on any, or all, of these places. This very blog contains in-depth articles on all things real estate. Are we missing something? Leave a comment and we’ll see about getting it on the editorial calendar. Looking for quick tidbits and links? Follow Zillow for Pros on Twitter. And be sure to Like and stop by the Facebook page on a regular basis. In addition to sharing knowledge, the Facebook page is the central hub for announcements like new Summit cities, new products and even contests!

Zillow Academy. Zillow Academy is the online home of all things Zillow training. But wait, it’s not just Zillow-centric training. There are plenty of webinars and videos that cover topics like websites, lead generation, contact conversion, agent best practices and more. There are live classes each week, and many recorded webinars for you to take at your own pace.

Why worry about building a pro community?

Simple. Because we want to help you learn, and provide you ways to collaborate with fellow professionals.

Bring on 2014!

As you can see, it’s been a busy year at Zillow, but that doesn’t mean we’re slowing down in 2014. As a matter of fact, we’ve got big things planned, and no doubt there will be things happening that we haven’t even thought up yet. So get ready for 2014!

For you, now is the time to take a close look at everything Zillow has to offer. Whether you choose to become a Zillow Premier Agent at some level, use our free market data, participate on the Zillow for Pros blog or Facebook Page or take advantage of free training at Zillow Academy, your options for involvement are many. I promise you that there will be a post just like this at the end of 2104 that highlights everything that will be accomplished next year, too. Jump in now so you don’t miss the goodness that is sure to follow!

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