Your Listings on Zillow: How to Triple Your Views & Capture More Leads
While a great profile can be a powerful (and free) lead magnet, there is another even more powerful way to generate leads on Zillow: your listings. After all, the entire reason Zillow exists is to allow homebuyers to browse homes for sale.
In this chapter, we’ll go over how Zillow manages and presents listings to homebuyers in 2017, and how you can effectively leverage your listings to maximize lead generation.
Here’s what you’ll learn in this section of the course:
- How Listings are Presented on Zillow in 2017
- How to Take Advantage of Zillow’s Listing Sorting to Get More Views
- A Well Written Description & Home Features Increase Conversions
- Show, Don’t Tell: Your Most Important Lead Magnet on Zillow
- Uploading Pictures to Zillow: Best Practices
- New for 2017: Video Walkthroughs Can Triple the Number of Views Your Listing Gets
Are a new agent and don’t have listings just yet? Start with chapter 1 of our Zillow course, which covers how buyers and sellers are using Zillow to find agents.
There are four ways that visitors can search for and sort through listings on Zillow:
- How new the home is to the market (Default)
- Cost of the home
- Homes for you – Personalized search
- More – Additional search criteria
Next, we’ll go over how to take advantage of the way listings are sorted to get more views.
How to Take Advantage of Zillow’s Listing Sorting to Get More Views
Since Zillow sorts listings by newness as a default, how can you make sure that your listing doesn’t sink to the end of the search results after being listed for a few months? Simple. While a brand new listing will always rank higher than an older one, every time you change pricing or add an open house, your listing will rise higher in the search results. Even better, if the homebuyer is signed up for Zillow email alerts, they will get a notification email every time you drop the price or add an open house.
Lowering the Asking Price for More Views
While lowering your asking price once a week is probably not a great strategy, you can and should make incremental adjustments in pricing a few times over the length of your listings. If your listing has been on the market for a month, try dropping the price by something negligible like $99 to bump your listing back onto the first page of search results.
Leveraging Open Houses for More Views
While dropping the price too many times might make people question the value of your listing, holding regular open houses won’t. In order to maximize exposure on Zillow, you need to remember to add your open houses to Zillow a few days before they’re scheduled. For example, if you have a regular open house on Sunday, add the open house date to Zillow on Thursday as many home shoppers plan their weekend’s viewings early. Adding an open house to a listing will help keep your listing high in the search results as well as notify homebuyers who are signed up for email notifications.
A Well Written Description & Home Features Increase Conversions
While the vast majority of homebuyers are jumping straight to the pictures when checking out a new listing, most will read your listing description at some point before calling you. That means taking the time to write a great listing description can help convert site visitors to calls, emails, or open house attendees. While a simple, concise listing description will work for 99% of listings on the market, here are a few tips to make sure yours converts.
Don’t Just List Features
Many agents are guilty of just listing the features of a listing in bullet points. This is not only boring, but will do very little to get you more leads. Worse, those features will be far more useful elsewhere on your listing (in the home details section), as we’ll talk about in a minute.
Write A Concise & Enticing Review of the Home’s Highlights
Instead of a list of features, write a quick description of highlights of the home peppered with lots of superlatives. That means instead of “wood floors” write something like “warm hand scraped cherry wood flooring.” Instead of “big master bedroom,” write “Graciously proportioned master suite with room for sitting area”.
Show, Don’t Tell: Your Most Important Lead Magnet on Zillow
Okay, a drastically underpriced listing in a hot area might get you more leads, but sadly most of the listings you get are not going to be immediate slam dunks. If they were, people would eventually stop hiring you as you wouldn’t be getting top dollar for your clients.
Instead, for almost every listing you have, your listing pictures are going to be your stickiest lead magnet on Zillow. Here’s how to leverage your listing pictures to maximize calls, emails, and open house attendance.
Hire a Professional
While many agents feel like they can get away with taking their own listing photos, unless you happen to be a professional photographer, there are exactly zero situations where this will save you money. Yes, you will need to spend $150-$350 out of your own pocket to hire a professional real estate photographer, but there are two VERY compelling reasons why this is one of the best investments you can make in your real estate career.
Uploading Pictures to Zillow: Best Practices
Since photos are the best lead magnet on Zillow, choosing the right pictures to add to your listing and knowing how they’ll appear on the site is important. Here are a few tips to make sure your pictures get you as many leads as possible.
Don’t Overdo It
Since agents are allowed to upload an unlimited number of pictures on Zillow, many agents assume more is better than less. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. Uploading too many pictures, especially multiple shots of the same room, not only adds nothing to your listing, they make you listing look sloppy and unfocused.
Instead, include the following pictures:
- One great shot for each room in the house
- A “hero” shot of the exterior and backyard
- A drone picture of the entire property if needed. For more on the do’s and don’ts of using drones for real estate photography, check out our guide here.
- If you have a historic or unique home, detail shots of woodwork, cornices, or other enticing features are a great addition.
Just remember to not overdo it. A typical 3,000 square foot home doesn’t need 50 pictures on Zillow especially when ten of them are of the living room! 10-15 images are more than enough.
What Is & Isn’t Allowed on Zillow
Okay, you now have 10 great shots of your listing ready to upload to Zillow. Now what? Before you start uploading them, you need to understand Zillow’s rules for listing photography.
- Brokerage or team watermarks are not allowed on listing pictures. The ONLY watermark allowed on Zillow is from your MLS
- Name/phone numbers are not allowed on listing pictures
- Descriptive text is not allowed on listing pictures
Size Matters: Make Sure the Pictures You Upload Are the Right Size.
This is a big one. We’ve all seen multi-million dollar listings with beautiful, professionally shot photos that are stretched out, pixelated, or blurry. I hate to say it, but in 2017, this is simply not acceptable. There is no excuse for bad listing photography!
When you get your listing pictures back from your photographer, ask for them in 960×629 pixels at 72 DPI or larger. These are the default dimensions that Zillow uses for all listing photos. If your images are larger, Zillow will automatically reduce them to fit these dimensions. This is generally not a problem. However if they’re smaller that 960×629 at 72 DPI, Zillow will scale them up, leading to pixelated, blurry, and sometimes distorted images. Here’s a quick rundown on how to resize images.
Take a look at the two listing pictures below. The first picture was uploaded at a size smaller than 960×629, while the second picture was uploaded at 960×629 or larger.
Understanding how listings are sorted on Zillow can help you get more views and more leads. Well written listing descriptions, putting home features in the right section, professional photography, and video walkthroughs can also help get more views and more leads.