When I see one of your listings on Zillow and click on contact agent, why don’t you respond?  Why is it always some random agent?

As with many things, there is a short answer and a long answer!  First, the short answer!  Zillow sells the “buyer leads” on all the homes posted on their website to Realtors who pay for the leads!  When you click “request a tour” or “contact agent” you will not get the listing agent.  This is also true for realtor.com and other aggregating websites.  If you scroll down you can see the listing agent’s name and office number, but there is no way to make direct contact with the listing agent.  Its easy enough to find my contact info – just google my name and it is readily available!

Now for the longer answer.  Zillow is a publicly traded company and as such must operate in a way to maximize returns for its shareholders.  Years ago I was able to purchase all of the leads on my listings, but Zillow has discontinued that model, determining that was not the most lucrative option for their shareholders.  However, the vast majority of people who click on “schedule a showing” or “contact agent” do not turn out to be serious buyers, so more often than not the agents that purchase these leads are agents who need business and are willing to gamble on the random nature of Zillow assigning them buyer prospects.  I am not one of those agents, nor are the majority of my successful colleagues.

My best advice to every real estate consumer out there is do NOT rely on Zillow as a means of scheduling your showings.  Why trust your largest investment to a randomly assigned agent? Do your research. Review agent websites.  Find a Realtor with the credentials that match what you are looking for in an agent.  And then contact that agent directly whenever you are interested in seeing a home!  If all else fails, find the listing agents name (far down on the right side column on Zillow) and then google the listing agent to find their cell number and contact the agent directly.  To reach me, just add me to your phone: 412-779-6060 – I’m always happy to take your real estate calls!

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