One thing is for sure, Realtors are always bombarded with offers from Trulia or Zillow to become a member. There are free and paid services but is joining them right for you? If so, should you just have a free membership or should you join a pay service?
Why would you want to join one of these sites in the first place? Many buyers and sellers visit these sites first to search for homes for sale or see how much they can get for their home if they are thinking of selling. It’s marketing. You are marketing yourself where the buyers and sellers are.
First off, yes, definitely join each site as a free member. This will do a couple of positive things for you. First, any listings you have will be listed as yours and will share your contact info if a lead wishes to contact you, usually be email. Be aware that other paid members may be listed along with yours. That’s a paid service each site offers. Second, you and your contact information will be listed on those sites so if someone is looking to contact you, they can find you there. Third, Trulia and Zillow rank high in search engines. If you are registered with either site, chances are when a client or potential client looks you up, these links will appear in the search results. It adds to your online presence.
Let’s break down what each offer and you decide if it works for you.
Trulia is what they call a 3rd party aggregator. They don’t necessarily get an idx feed like you would on an agent website or do they belong to your local board of Realtors so they can get MLS data like you and I do. They are not a Real Estate Broker. Trulia is a company that collects real estate information, then collects leads and sells the leads to Real Estate Agents and Brokers.
Trulia has 4 level plans: Free, Plus, Deluxe and Elite.
Free: The free plan is that free. It lets you join Trulia and create a profile that will contain your information, contact info and a picture. This is a great choice if you are just looking to add your info so that your listings will be shown with your contact information. Also when you are searched in search engines like Google a link will appear with your contact info on Trulia.
Plus: It is $39.99 a month.
Lead Boost – Get extra access to leads in selected markets. You can specify up to 20 locations to target.
Lead Insight – Easily identify serious buyers with additional lead info. Details may include move timeframe, pre-approval status and if the buyer is already working with an agent.
Lead Alerts – Receive a text message or phone call when you receive a lead. Listen to messages, calls, and manage leads all in one place using your personal Trulia phone number.
Pro Membership Badge – Stand out everywhere you appear on Trulia with a Pro membership badge.
Featured Listings – Easily make contact with buyers via an open lead form displayed at the top of your listing. You get 3 Featured Listings.
Deluxe: It is $99.99 a month.
It offers all of the above plus adds Lead Boost x2 and 10 Featured Listings. You also receive Listing Boost – Receive an additional boost in search results and get a contact info bar added to your listings on the search results page.
Elite: It is $199.99 a month.
It offer everything in Plus and Deluxe plus adds Lead Boost x5 and 20 Featured Listings. You also receive Ad-free Featured Listings – Gain exclusivity on your listings. Other agent or broker advertising is removed.
Zillow is what they call a 3rd party aggregator. They don’t necessarily get an idx feed like you would on an agent website or do they belong to your local board of Realtors so they can get MLS data like you and I do. They are not a Real Estate Broker. Zillow is a company that collects real estate information, then collects leads and sells the leads to Real Estate Agents and Brokers. Zillow has been busy aquiring other companies, some that do have access to idx feeds like Diverse Solutions who they bought late last year. Zillow has gotten better at providing accurate data because of this.
Zillow offer 3 ways to become a Premier Zillow Agent: Premier Silver, Premier Gold, Premier Platinum.
Primier Silver: It is $10 a month.
Premier Agent Website – Get a mobile enabled website that you can share with your clients. Customize it, add MLS listings, get a free domain and much more.
CRM Tools – Manage your contacts from an easy to use tool. Add notes, search, prioritize, import and export contacts.
Priority Support – Get priority assistance from customer service.
Premier Gold: It is $49 a month.
It offers everything in the Premier Silver plus:
Your Photo on the Listings – Add a photo or logo to your listings to promote your personal brand.
Client Listing Report – Subscribe clients to a weekly report that will show them the activity of their home on Zillow.
Premier Platinum: It varies in price depending on area and zipcode. Call.
It offers everything in Premier Silver plus Premier Gold plus:
Buyer’s Agent List – You appear as the agent to contact for listings in your specified area.
Branding in your Area – It highlights a listing or yourself in your specified area.
Bottomline line is depending on your budget and what your marketing plan is, being where the buyers and sellers are is a smart idea. You need to think of both your real life farm and sphere of influence in addition to your online farm and online exposure. Paying for leads is nothing new. At least sign up for free and if you like what you see, create a budget and look into what company and plan is right for you. There are other smaller websites out there like Realtor.com, Homes.com and many more. Most offer a similar service. You must learn about each one and see if it is a fit for you.
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