Welcome to the first episode of Insights with Zillow!
Chris Lapp from Zillow’s Corporate Partnership Team shares the history of Zillow and how it has developed to what it is today. Chris takes time to explain the recent shift from Zillow 1.0 to 2.0 and how the company is continually evolving to meet the needs of both consumers and agents. Chris also discusses recent changes that have come as a result of COVID-19, and how customer priorities and behavior have shifted.. Last, Chris provides advice for agents on how to build successful Zillow profiles and how that simple action could increase the number of potential clients you reach.
Please check out Zillow’s complimentary 3D virtual tour app here! https://www.zillow.com/z/3d-home/
D.J. Paris 0:00
This episode of Keeping it real is brought to you by zillow.com Hey podcast listeners. Are you looking for ways to boost your business and expand your network? I want to encourage you to check out what advertising options are available to you on zillow.com. If you haven’t checked out Zillow in a while or maybe never have before, please send an email to keeping it real at Zillow group.com That’s keeping it real at Zillow, group.com and one of Zelos team members will be in touch with you to see the options available in your market as well as learn about their new products and tools to help your business grow. Again, that email address is keeping it real at Zillow group.com And now on to the show.
Okay, today on the show, this is a very exciting day for our podcast. We’re really super pleased to announce a new series called insights with Zillow. Now we believe Zillow is at the forefront of the home buying and selling process here in the digital age. For example, currently, Zillow is averaging 190 million unique visitors to their website every single month, that reaches incredible. And they have become experts at buyer and seller behavior because of the sheer volume of users on their website. And this means they have insights based on hard data, not just theory. And they’re going to talk about some of those insights here on our show. And we couldn’t be more proud to have Zillow as our guest today representing Zillow is Chris lap from the corporate partnership team. And I’ve personally known Chris for several years. He’s a fantastic resource to listen to, and also to help agents take some of these Zillow insights to increase their overall real estate business. But let me tell you a little bit about Chris before we get started. So Chris lap has been a with Zillow for four years and serves as corporate partnership manager. In this role, Chris works with some of the largest and most strategic real estate brokerages around the country to drive partnership opportunities with Zillow. Chris has a doctorate degree in the field of communication, and has years of experience coaching agents and brokers nationwide to implement best practices and strategies for online lead conversion. Welcome to keeping it real, Chris, this is our first episode of insights with Zillow, thank you so much for joining us,
Chris Lapp 2:31
DJ, it is an absolute privilege to be invited and join you all today and the listeners and I’ve loved listening to the keeping it real podcast. So yeah, absolute pleasure to be here with you today. We’re excited.
D.J. Paris 2:44
Well, I have to tell the listeners that this really has gone a few years in the making. So Chris is on the west coast. And Zillow has East Coast offices as well. And so several years ago, Zillow was kind enough to, to invite me out to to see their facility in New York City in Manhattan, which I never get invited to anything. So this is like a big, big deal for me. And I loved it. I had a wonderful time there. And I actually ran into somebody who I had known on from Zillow, who I worked with years before, but we had sort of forgotten that we knew each other. And I said, Hey, by the way, I do this podcast and I think we were just a couple years in and and I said it would be really fun to have you on the show. He’s like, That’s a great idea. And then through, you know, just getting busy, we both sort of dropped the ball on it, we kind of forgot. And then you and I met. And then we’ve been talking about doing this for a long time. And I’m so so honored to have you on here because you guys are obviously the king of just understanding what buyers and sellers want online. And then obviously providing insights to to the agents that we have listening. So this is several years in the making. It’s a really big deal for us. So thank you again.
Chris Lapp 3:54
It is and I wish I could be at the Zillow tower downtown Seattle and the gorgeous views of the city but alas you have me because of COVID times in my office at home so it is what is this?
D.J. Paris 4:08
This is my office at work and there is nothing fancy or special about it. And normally and this is embarrassing because Chris at Chris actually looks nice for what people visit viewing they can see this item in a like a short sleeve shirt Chris Chris is more dressed up so I promise to be more professional and future future episodes. I’m still not used to doing video. So like the idea of me getting on video still awkward. But what I would love to do first is to just talk about Zelos growth, you know, how they started, why they started and sort of where they’ve come to today. And and we all know as as agents that Zillow touches. I don’t know what percentage of real estate transactions out there but it’s got to be a lot of them if not most. So we know just how powerful Zillow is but I’d love to find out sort of how Zillow started.
Chris Lapp 4:59
Sure well You know, for most of us, Zillow is just one of those household names, right? We all kind of know it. But, you know, many of us don’t know the backstory of kind of how it got started. So as a little bit of history, Zillow was officially founded in 2006. And the founders, Rich Barton and Lloyd Frank, they had left Microsoft years prior. And they had successfully built Expedia, which, you know, a good thing to have on a resume. And, you know, they were looking for their next adventure. And you know, what was next and it was a few years ago, and then all hemp company, all hands meeting, that they shared the story of how they came up with the idea of Zillow. And it was truly fascinating. So they shared that they had locked themselves in and high rise office tower, downtown Seattle. And you know, were whiteboarding their next idea for what they could do. And if I recall correctly, one of them was actually looking at finding a home at the time and found that, you know, there was no easy way to access, you know, information for the public, public records of homes in the areas. And they just found the whole process just difficult. And as they were kind of pacing around the office, you know, they have these big huge windows looking out over the city. And one of them I can’t remember who it was, it was Richard Lloyd, they looked out over the sweeping view of the Seattle skyline, and saw Queen Anne Hill neighborhood. It’s a big hill, just north of the city, and they have gorgeous, beautiful homes on it. And one of them remarked, you know, they said, I’ve always wanted to know what the homes on Queen Anne are worth. Right. And, as I’m sure all of us at one time, you know, walking through different neighborhoods, you know, taking a stroll, right, we kind of wonder what’s going on with these houses. And it was that curiosity and that that kind of sparked the flame that eventually became what we know today, Zillow. So some of us have, you know, many people have asked, they said, Okay, well, how did he come up with a name? Right? What’s up with Zillow? Right, right. You know, and some people say, okay, you know, it rhymes with pillow. And so you know, you think of home, you know, you think of laying your head on your pillow. Some also think it comes from the Dr. Seuss book, you know, I have two kids. So, there’s a book that there’s a Wocket in my pocket. And if you read kids, read the kids, you’re gonna know that there’s a zillo on the pillow. Oh, okay. But honestly, there’s never been like a clear story laid out for how the name came about. So, you know, I guess, I guess, in some ways, we’ll never know. But I will say this, though, you know, the early years of Zillow looked much different than it does today, right? I mean, early, early on Zillow didn’t have listings. Instead, it was simply a place to come look up the public information on homes. And as time went on, we started adding listings and the Zestimate, right, the all famous zest Sure. And consumers absolutely fell in love with having this information at their fingertips. It’s something they didn’t know they wanted until they saw it. And then they realized, Oh, my goodness, this is exactly what I want. And traffic to the site grew rapidly. And, you know, as traffic grew, we eventually launched advertising where agents could advertise and receive connections, right from prospective buyers. So, you know, that’s kind of how it started. Ultimately, just kind of giving that 30,000 foot view. I’m missing, obviously, a lot of important details, but it kind of gives you a sense of where Zillow began, and in a lot of ways that will give you a kind of a sense of where it’s going moving forward, right. The initial platform that we grew, we kind of internally we called Zillow 1.0 And now we’re moving into what we’re calling Zillow. 2.0. And, you know, I’m thinking that’s something obviously, you and I are going to kind of hit on a little bit more in our conversation. But yeah, just to give you a little bit of the background, that’s how Zillow began a Zillow on my pillow. Who would have thought?
D.J. Paris 9:23
Well, and it’s interesting, too, because I think the Zestimate was really the main differentiator between other websites that were aggregating listing data. That was really something that that I don’t recall any other site having. Maybe they did, I don’t remember but it certainly didn’t take off the way Zestimate has and, and you know, I was talking about this with our agents. This morning. I was doing a training and I was saying a really this this is a really very app to what you were just mentioning, which was I was talking about that I get a postcard every month in the mail from a really sick As a real estate agent in Chicago, who targets the building I live in, I live in a high rise, and every month and it’s so brilliant. It’s exactly really what Zillow does. But what he does is he sends a postcard and it says, Here are the homes that have sold in the building in the last couple of months. And here’s what’s currently on the market in the building. So instantly, without asking, I could just go to my, you know, once a month, I get it in my mailbox, I can see exactly approximately what my place is worth, and what other places are worth or at least what’s on the market. And, and you know, that’s that’s somebody proactively sending it to me. But if, if I was out of that, not in the industry, I wouldn’t be going to Zillow for that information. And I do go to Zillow for that information even today, right because you’re so well connected to the MLS, MLS services. And it’s it’s wonderful to be able to get that data which used to be under lock and key that was behind the paywall of the agent. And I’ve always thought that this has freed up agent’s time to be able to focus on, you know, servicing their clients much better instead of just providing this hard data that now is so easily available. I think it’s such a wonderful thing for agents.
Chris Lapp 11:07
Yeah, no, absolutely 100% Something that I use, I use all the time, right? I say going on walks in the evening, and I want to I want to learn about a house that I’m walking past right. So in many ways, it’s just become part of the fabric of our culture in America. Yeah.
D.J. Paris 11:23
Well, I’d love to also hear Zillow as a platform. We know how it would supports buyers and sellers. We know that that everyone who is interested in buying or selling a home or maybe not everyone, but almost everyone is going to go to visit Zillow and learn more. But also this is something that you know, our audience is mostly agents and we want to talk about how Zillow helps agents. So well, I wanted specifically asked, you know, as a platform, why is Why is Zillow, something agents should really be engaged with?
Chris Lapp 11:52
Right? Well, you know, I think a good starting point for that, for an agent is the consumer. Right? Yeah. So for a plethora of reasons consumers love Zillow, right? I mean, we’ve established that, you know, latest statistics, you mentioned, we have over 190 million unique visitors to our sites. So we want to put them every month unique visitors, right? So to put that in perspective, there’s give or take 360 million people combined US, Canada. So you have over 50% of the total population of North America that visits the Zillow site at least once every month. So by far, it’s the most visited site in the industry. And you know, specifically for agents, and really an NSA any industry, right, but, but especially one that revolves around advertising, agents want to ensure they’re getting in front of as many consumers as possible, you know, and especially now in a COVID world, where the virtual front door has never been as important as it is now. I mean, it’s huge. And I know that so many of us are tired or fatigued of hearing about COVID Every day, but the reality is COVID has fundamentally changed the industry, right? Whether we like it or not. And it’s shifted a lot of our priorities around and you know, as we all know, the idea of home has never been as important as it is now. And I, you know, I can say even internally at Zillow, COVID has shifted around some of our initiatives, right. So, for instance, improving our 3d Home app that was on the list, but it was not at the very top of the list, right. And we had to quickly pivot to shift and make it top priority because the 3d home tool app, that’s one of the most powerful tools that we can equip agents with to help the consumer, because that’s how consumers are now viewing homes. That’s their first impression. Is that 3d Home Tour.
D.J. Paris 13:45
Yeah, I’ve been interviewing top agents, especially I interviewed a lot of them during the stay at home order that most of the country was facing. And I was shocked, but not totally surprised. Shocked and and not surprised at the same time, how many of these top agents were selling homes sight unseen, that were really just walking people through a virtual tour, or maybe the agent was going to the location if they were allowed to and, and doing a FaceTime sort of thing with the client. But but we interviewed a gentleman from what from Palm Beach who closed a $3 million home, a client never had visited the property a $3 million property, he was even surprised. But that is the that is the new normal. It’s not going to be the vast majority of sales are not going to go that way. Hopefully, because people are going to be more free to move about. We hope as things get better, but it certainly is happening. And so Zillow was a great tool and you were having a 3d option to be able to visit those is crucial right now.
Chris Lapp 14:51
Yeah, absolutely crucial. You know, I would say to agents that if you have listings on Zillow, and you don’t have a 3d home tour, download the three homes The map that we have, and there’s simple steps, you can take the 3d home tour, you can shoot it on your phone. I mean, it’s a very basic thing that is really, you know, helping gain traction right now, especially during COVID times. And for
D.J. Paris 15:14
all of our listeners, we will provide a link to that app so you can explore that and, and use that in your listings. I would also you know, we talked earlier, you know, you mentioned Zillow has a very loyal customer base, when it comes to people using your platform in the app. Can you talk a little bit more about the the loyal the consumer base there?
Chris Lapp 15:35
Yeah. So you know, in our q2, company, all hands meeting, there was a fascinating little stat that we gave. So get this in May, more people googled the word Zillow than the term real estate. Wow. And I know that that’s an silly stat. But really, ultimately, what it does is it illustrates that agents have such a great opportunity to benefit and capitalize on the loyal customer base that Zillow has spent so much time, energy and resources growing over the last 10 plus years, right? So so really, more than anything, this is an opportunity for agents to partner with something that we already have the traffic, it’s already there, right? So partner with us find ways to engage with us, so that some of that traffic can flow to you.
D.J. Paris 16:30
Earlier today, I had an agent who came in to or who was talking to me who one of our agents and she said, Hey, do you know any agents in the Phoenix Arizona area? I am in downtown Chicago. I have visited Phoenix many times. But I do not know even one agent. We’re a small family owned local company in Chicago. We’re not a franchised firm. We’re not. We’re not in that, in that area. We’re just here locally. And so I said, you know, I don’t I said you have two options. I said, we have 700 realtors in our firm. So we have a private Facebook group posts what you’re looking for, maybe somebody knows somebody in Phoenix. And I said, and assuming nobody does know anyone, go to Zillow, and look at the reviews of all the top agents and you will get a sense and it is how my parents found their agent in North Myrtle Beach. When they sold their property. They said you know anyone I said, I don’t know anyone in North Myrtle Beach. And they use Zillow. And so he you know, agents are even using it for referrals, because it is such a trusted source that and we know that consumers the loyalty to the consumer, the consumers are writing reviews on the agents. And so you know, that’s also another great reason why agents should be really, really involved in their own their own profile on Zillow to make sure that they’re represented effectively by their customers.
Chris Lapp 17:54
Yep, yep. 100% that’s going to be it’s so important to engage and have a vital vibrant profile on Zillow. Yep.
D.J. Paris 18:04
And we can definitely talk more about that in in future episodes of how to do that and why it’s important. But from your vantage point, you know, has has Zillow developed it, how has Zillow developed rather in the past several years to better serve agents and consumers before you answer. I just want to say that I actually sat through a presentation about a year ago when Zillow 2.0 was was in its infancy, I believe, and I got to see some of the slides, they came just Cago I was I was they were kind enough to invite me and I was really, really impressed. But we’d love to hear from you sort of what’s changed, what is changing and how they’re better serving the agent community and also the consumers.
Chris Lapp 18:46
Yeah, so this is really where the shift from Zillow 1.0 to Zillow 2.0 that I mentioned earlier, that’s really where this comes into play. Right? So, you know, in many ways, we’re moving away from trying to partner with every single agent. And we’re starting to put more of an emphasis on partnering with the best agents. Yeah. So, you know, we have built out an entirely new program that solely focuses on finding the best agents on Zillow. Those who delight consumers who reached out about a property that they viewed on our sites, and we call this many agents have heard about it, but we call it best of Zillow. Right, yeah. And best of Zillow. This is anonymous surveys completed by consumers who get connected with an agent on Zillow who happens to be advertising with us. So this is how the scoring system works. And I think it’s pretty important that people understand this. So if an agent has an average score of 90 or above, that’s what we consider the best of Zillow. Think like world class service, top 10% agent. And if an agent becomes best of Zillow, they get a badge a special badge we put right on their profile While so that consumers can see that, and we recognize them for their superior service. The score of 86 is what we consider a kind of middle of the road or average. And something that doesn’t get mentioned much, but it’s something that we’re definitely committed to is what internally we call the worst of Zillow. And these are the agents who after a three month grace period still cannot meet the minimum average score of a 73. So 73 or lower for three months, we part ways their money is not good with us. So, you know, as an illustration of Zillow 2.0 we really consider the best of Zillow, one of the most important recent developments, right? I mean, think about it this way. Zillow has a massive and loyal consumer base. But if those consumers reach out to agents who are not providing them a delightful experience, the consumer is often going to blame Zillow. Oh, sure. And for us, you know, the consumer, we’ve really, you know, planted our flag and said the consumer is our true north. And we’re going to do everything that we can to ensure that they have a great and delightful experience on Zillow. So again, that’s just an example of the shift of Zillow, one point out to Zillow 2.0, we’re really, we’re really putting an emphasis on the consumers experience on our sites.
D.J. Paris 21:29
Yeah, it doesn’t help Zillow or the consumer to match them up with an agent that has repeatedly shown that they are not meeting your standards, based on those those surveys. And it doesn’t help anyone. So it’s in everyone’s best interest to find the best of the best. And the good news is, is anybody can achieve that. As long as as an individual business owner, which I believe most agents are, or should think of themselves as, as they are running a business. And, you know, for example, I know, we do anonymous surveys here at our own company, two, and we say, please tell us, what are we doing? Well, what are we not doing? Well, and, and it is so important for us to get that data, because quite honestly, we believe, you know, we’re doing a great job in a particular subset of running our business. And we’re supporting agents correctly and giving them the right training. And then we find out we are, wow, we are really missing this one thing. And we didn’t know about it. And it’s what the data we use to improve. So this is obviously something Zillow wants, wants to partner with, with agents that are going to take care of their customers. Right, which makes perfect sense.
Chris Lapp 22:41
And think of it this way, right? I mean, I mean, look, we all have blind spots, right? None of us are perfect. And the reality is feedback, if we allow it to be can be an incredible gift for us, right. And sometimes in these surveys, you know, agents have blind spots, they’re not able to see that those are illuminated in the surveys, and the agents can make shifts to become better, right? So in a lot of ways, this is a great gift of feedback that we’re offering the industry of saying, Look, this is someone’s experience. I mean, you can argue all day, whether you know, it was this or that or the other, but you can’t argue someone’s experience. Right. And that was their experience. And in a lot of ways, again, great feedback to make agents better and better.
D.J. Paris 23:27
And, you know, we know that Zillow, of course, offers paid advertising or lead generation programs, sure. But what are the things agents can do for free, that would possibly help their business or that Zillow would be able to help them with their business?
Chris Lapp 23:43
Right. So three, three things I want you to consider have the listeners consider is free profiles, reviews on those profiles, and past sales. So if you visit zillow.com, and you look at the banner at the top of the page, you’re gonna see a link titled agent finder. And if you click that, anyone can search for an agent, those pain as well as those not paying for advertising. And they can search for an agent right there on the agent finder tool. And here’s the great part about it, is that agents are not ranked in the agent finder by how much money they spend with us, right? Instead, agents are listed in the order of sales and reviews that they have on their profile in a particular zip code that the consumer is searching. So this means that you can get leads in your Zillow inbox, with spending $0. And also, if you’re the listing agent, and you have a strong profile, and it’s connected to your listing, I mean, people are getting leads in their inboxes every day and they’re not spending a dime on Zillow. Yeah, that’s
D.J. Paris 24:49
very true. I have I try I mean, I talked to top agents every week on this podcast, some of them spend money with Zillow, others don’t but They all talk about how important it is to have that profile to have a number of reviews, showcasing your talents to ask for them in an unbiased way for your clients and just how critical and every person I’ve ever interviewed says every one of my clients goes to Zillow. And they probably are also going there to check you out as well. And see, you know what other clients have said. I mean, we think of this too, with, with all of you know, at our company with our reviews on Google, Facebook, Yelp, you know, reviews are just so important and Zillow is that hub. Obviously, there’s other review sites as well like some of the ones I just mentioned. But Zillow is probably the number one spot for real estate reviews. So can you talk a little bit about how real estate reviews or how consumer reviews work on Zillow, and how agents can get more of those?
Chris Lapp 25:51
Yeah, so let me just clarify something, there’s a difference between the anonymous customer satisfaction surveys, and those are only sent out to those who are paying advertisers with us. And then profile reviews, which with any agent paying or non paying can request a client to write. So specifically discussing profile reviews that any agent can request the client to write a couple of things, we’ve found that agents who ask for a Zillow review from their client early, and set the expectations up front about just how important those reviews are to them. Those are the agents that tend to get the most reviews. And, you know, another point to note about reviews, and this is something that most agents don’t take advantage of is that as an agent, you are actually given the opportunity to publicly respond to reviews on your agent profile page. So most agents don’t know that. But it’s very similar to Yelp, right. So when you search a restaurant, right, you scroll down, you read some of the reviews, and you see on some of them that the actual the restaurant actually responded to the consumer. Right? on Zillow, you get the same opportunity. And think of this as free advertising space that many agents never utilize. So, you know, some agents have actually gotten really smart and creative with this space. Like, for example, right? If a reviewer says something nice, but kind of generic, right, like, thank you so much for helping us buy this home, it was a great experience. And it’s great, but it’s not saying much to you know, someone who could be looking to work with them, right. So being able to respond with something to the effect of, you know, hey, thanks so much for your kind words, I’m glad it was able to utilize my expertise by creatively building an offer that got you into your dream home. Right there, you’ve highlighted your expertise. And you’ve done so by utilizing the free space on your Zillow profile. And it’s something that can help set you apart from other agents. And let’s be honest, being able to see the agent respond and engage with somebody who read review, it gives you more of a sense of the agent’s personality. And it can be a great, a great selling point,
D.J. Paris 28:08
we do this as well. So the vast majority of our company reviews for for consumers actually come through Google. Because as we’re a brokerage, we’re not individual agents, although our agents get all their reviews on Zillow. And as we’re able to reply Yelp is does the same thing. And we’re able to reply, and what it does is it number one humanizes the company to say, Oh, they’re not this, this this faceless, nameless thing, they are actually monitoring this, and especially if someone had a less than positive experience, which absolutely of course happens. And we’re able to respond in a way that is is compassionate, empathic, you know, non argumentative, but validating, Hey, I am sorry, we let you down here. But, you know, please let us know how we can correct and fix and we’ll learn from this. And even if you haven’t a review, that’s not ideal. You can still go in and and and have a thoughtful response that people are going to see and say, Well, you know, like, nobody’s perfect, of course, and who knows who was right or wrong. But but this was a you can see the personality of the person who responds and how they handle adversity. And I think that’s really important as well to be able to get the sense of do I want to work with that person or not? It’s like, well, it looks like that one client didn’t have the best experience. But boy, that agent wrote a pretty thoughtful response.
Chris Lapp 29:29
Right. And we’ve seen that a lot. And in fact, I have heard countless stories of people reaching out to somebody who, you know, the agent was, you know, all upset because they had a bad review. But they actually reached out the consumer reached out to an agent because of that bad review and the way that the agent responded, right? I think the initial gut response is to, you know, knee jerk responses to want to defend ourselves. But you know, sometimes falling on our swords and you know, and being gracious about it. it, I think can really actually lead people to want to work with you. You know, in fact, you have to think of it this way. I know this sounds funny, but you know, everyone wants that perfect. 5.0 sure rating, right five out of five stars. But let’s be honest, if you see two restaurants, one restaurant has five, you know, five stars, and the other one has 4.87 stars. You’re gonna look at the five point star and go something seems odd about this, right? Yeah, everybody have a perfect experience, right? And all of a sudden you see a 4.78 or, and you’re going, oh, I want to go there really bad. Right. Right.
D.J. Paris 30:34
So let’s see, it seems more legitimate. Yeah,
Chris Lapp 30:37
yeah, it seems more legitimate. Exactly right. So everyone recognizes that not everybody is going to like you, and not everyone’s gonna have a perfect experience with everybody. But again, it’s all in how you engage in how you respond. What are
D.J. Paris 30:49
some other tips for agents for building their profiles on Zillow if you have any ideas of things they can do.
Chris Lapp 30:57
So something that I have seen happen fairly frequently, it’s you really want to make sure that a your profile has a picture, right have made sure my profile is a picture and make sure your email address associated with your MLS is connected to your Zillow profile, right that way that you can ensure your profile is connecting to your listings on Zillow. Sometimes an agent will have a great profile, but their MLS email address is not connected to their profile. So listing agents show the default shadow avatar that we have on Zillow instead of being connected to an actual profile. So you really want to make sure all your email addresses, I think you can have up to five email addresses linked to your Zillow profile, you want to make sure all of those email addresses are connected to your Zillow profile. So you can make sure you’re connected to all your listings, and make sure that your past sales are added. And really, and if you find that some of your past sales are not added, you want to go through, you know, audit your past sales on your profile, you can add them from the beginning of time. And just make sure that they’re all there. And if they’re not, you know, you can go ahead and add them manually, you want to make sure that you’re getting all the credit for your hard work.
D.J. Paris 32:14
Yeah, and I apologize, I want to I’m gonna go back for seven, just to reviews for one moment, because I just remembered something I wanted to mention. So back to reviews for just a sec for everyone out there who is a dot loop user. And that is probably a vast majority of our listeners. Because we use dot loop at our company, most firms use it as an E signature platform, you may be using DocuSign dot loop is is another option. We we that’s we’ve been dot loop users forever, but there’s a really cool integration with dot loop and Zillow for specifically getting reviews. So if you’re not familiar, go just when you log into to dot loop, you’ll see there’s a thing that says add your Zillow profile, ask for Zillow reviews. And you can do it right from the loop itself, which is so cool. And most, probably most of our agents don’t even know you could do that. So if you’re a dot loop user, definitely check that out too. Great way to get reviews. So do I’m sorry. Yeah,
Chris Lapp 33:08
absolutely. No, thanks, DJ. Great point. Yep. But
D.J. Paris 33:10
I do want to talk about the advertising programs because obviously agents know that Zillow has advertising. Can you talk just give us a high level overview of what those options are?
Chris Lapp 33:21
Yeah, so think three main buckets for agents. Okay, so two buckets are going to be invitation only, and one is join on your own. So to start with to join on your own, we have Zillow premier agent, which gives agents the opportunity to pay for advertising. And as they close deals at the highest rates and provide that best consumer experience. They have the possibility of being invited to participate in either one of the two remaining buckets and that would be Zillow, flex, select partners, or Zillow offers. So to start with Zillow, flex select partners. This is the advertising program we have we’ve done several different iterations of it in different areas. But this is the program where instead of paying upfront for connections, agents pay when they close. And as many people know that last bucket, the Zillow offers bucket that’s going to focus on our eye buyer program and seller leads. So you know, we’ve had people ask us, you know, why flex select and offers or invite only programs. And think of it this way? You know, Amazon is never going to make someone a preferred vendor without first selling their product and making sure the product and the availability to deliver it were both excellent, right? And so for those in these programs, they have really shown their remarkable ability to close online connections and provide that world class service. So, you know, for those wondering how they can work to potentially be considered for one of those programs. You know, my best recommendation would be to join Zillow premier agent and start showing what you can Do start showing that great conversion rate, as well as that world class service.
D.J. Paris 35:06
And in the FLEX program for those that are invited in is a, a non upfront pay service. It is a Zillow, you compensate Zillow when the transaction closes a certain percentage of the transaction, which, which is a very fair proposition, considering you guys are generating the lead and passing that through to the best agents who you think will provide the best service to those consumers.
Chris Lapp 35:33
Yeah, correct. Yeah.
D.J. Paris 35:35
I would also love to see you mentioned the third bucket, the eye buyer bucket. Can we talk a little bit about that, and we because I buyer programs, they’ve been in the news for many years now. You know, agents have varying responses to them emotionally, some like it, some don’t like it. But everyone’s probably not as well versed as they should be. So I just love would love to know more about how that program works.
Chris Lapp 36:01
Yeah. So I mean, we are in this unique era of American history and American culture. And as we all know, we are in an on demand digital world, right. And consumers expect everything to happen quickly. And they expect it to happen at their convenience. And again, for us, the consumer is the North Star, right? And so we’re saying how can we engage and help the consumer, you know, think of Amazon Prime delivery, I know, especially during COVID times I’ve used Amazon Prime, like every day, and products are, you know, showing up at your doorstep within two hours of purchasing them on your phone. Right. And I know it might sound funny, but whether we like it or not, these consumer expectations, they don’t stop at the shores of real estate. Right? I mean, these this is the culture in which we live in, right. This is just what people want. And home sellers want to sell on their schedules. That’s what we’re finding and buyers expect that same seamless shopping experience, and they want it now. And Zillow really believes that companies who can provide that high quality on demand experience for consumers are the ones that will succeed. And the company that can pull it together in a delightful, joyous end to end experience from selling to buying, financing and doing it all from your phone. Those are really the ones that we think will win. So when it comes to AI buying, we think that brand trust gives us a huge advantage, right? I mean, Zillow is already that starting point for most American home shoppers. And no matter how someone ends up selling their home, consumers know that Zillow can help. So, you know, with regards to AI bind, we find that, you know, 64% of sellers are also simultaneously looking to buy. And you know, sellers love the speed, they love the transparency, of working with the brand they trust. And agents and brokers have made those valuable connections to those seller leads that we have. So, you know, with regards to I bind, I guess you could say in a word. Zillow offers the businesses doing great. You know, as as a as a stat in 2019. We sold. I think there’s 4300 homes just north of that. And we purchased just north of 6500 homes. So the program continues to grow. And yeah, we’re currently active. And I think, if I’m not mistaken, 24 markets across the country.
D.J. Paris 38:26
That’s, that’s amazing. So if I understand correctly, if if you end up selling a home for an eight for an eye buyer, or for a client that uses the eye buyer program, then it’s possible that you will pass that lead on when they’re purchasing a property to somebody who is in that invite only best of Zillow category.
Chris Lapp 38:47
Yeah, correct. Absolutely. Yep. Those providing that best consumer experience.
D.J. Paris 38:53
That’s, that’s amazing. So you’re in 24 markets. Plan, is that going to continue to expand? Obviously, I, you know, I imagine it is expanding. Do you anticipate being in more states by the end of the year more markets by the end of the year? Or?
Chris Lapp 39:09
Yeah, I mean, that’s the goal. So yeah.
D.J. Paris 39:14
And then how can that program and I think we just talked about it, but as far as it benefiting the local agent, is that the case that you’ll be able to make that connection on that consumers next purchase is that that’s the benefit? Exactly.
Chris Lapp 39:25
Yep. Yep, you’re exactly right. Boy, I
D.J. Paris 39:28
would love to. First of all, I would love to get a free lead, based on my success with my previous clients. I mean, it’s it’s really a remarkable opportunity. Is there any as we’re wrapping up any other ass aspects of Zillow that agents should know about before we sort of close out?
Chris Lapp 39:46
Sure. Well, look, DJ, thanks so much for bringing me on. I’ll say that right. This has been an absolute pleasure and privilege. I look forward to joining you more. But but to close, you know, I really want to emphasize what I mentioned earlier. All right, Zillow is transitioning from Zillow 1.0 to Zillow 2.0. And this means that more than ever before, we’re focusing on partnering with that high converting customer focused agent who can deliver that world class experience, be those top converters and scale their business with high connection volumes from our site. So I guess I’ll leave the listeners with this, that for those who are interested to learn more about what opportunities are available in your market specifically, we have created a special email link for the keeping it real podcast listeners to reach out to, and this is the way that you can virtually raise your hand and say, you know, I’m interested to see what opportunities are in my area. So you can go ahead and email keeping it real at Zillow. group.com. Again, that’s keeping it real at Zillow, group.com. You know, maybe you advertise with us in the past, maybe not, but it never ever hurts to see what’s possible for you in your area, and to learn about the advances in our products. So, again, DJ, thanks so much for having me, I look forward to coming back soon and sharing more of our learnings with with you and your audience.
D.J. Paris 41:16
Yeah, we want to remind everyone to learn more about Zillow and to see what advertising opportunities may exist. And I will tell you, I have seen some of the customized reporting that they can do to show you what opportunities exist, you will be absolutely shocked because they can break it down by zip code by area. And really, they can say you know, there’s a lot of leads coming into this one particular area, and we don’t have a lot of coverage there. And so you know, they’re able to do it’s really, really cool. So I encourage everyone who’s listening, just to check it out. So email, keeping it real at Zillow group.com. To learn more, of course, download the app which which we’ll be posting a link to for the 3d virtual tour. Also, make sure your profile is connected to your to the same email as your MLS. And if you’re a dotloop user, ask for reviews, you’ll see that integration there or call your dot loop customer rep and they’ll show you how to do that. And just you know, make sure your profile is up and adamant. And what I really want to encourage all of our listeners as we’re wrapping up to please do is to email us your Zillow questions, let us know what you want Chris to cover in future episodes. So the easiest way to do that well I guess you could email it to the keeping it real Zillow group.com, although that might overwhelm Chris’s team. So feel free to email us directly so that they actually even easier way to do it. Visit our website which is keeping it real pod.com We have a contact form. You can find us there shoot us a question whatever you want to know more about Zillow. Let us let us know what you want to talk about in future episodes. And also please follow us on Facebook. That’s all you can also send us comments there. But it’s facebook.com forward slash keeping it real pod. All right, Chris, I will let you get back to your to your busy, busy day out in Seattle. And we thank you again this has really been a huge honor for us to have you on the show and to have you represent Zillow, which is you know, we’re such big fans of that thank you and we look forward to seeing you on the next episode. On behalf of the audience. Chris we say thanks and on behalf of Chris and myself we want to thank the audience for listening or watching this episode A please tell a friend think of one other agent that is looking to go to the next level and could benefit from having heard this great interview with Chris from Zillow, send them a link to the show and and help them take their business to the next level. And Chris we’ll see you on the on the next episode and thanks again.
Chris Lapp 43:41
Awesome. Thanks so much DJ absolute pleasure.
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