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How To Beat Zillow Using Their Own Playbook

Jim Flanagan

Officially, I am the Broker of Record for Coldwell Banker Flanagan Realty, with offices in Toms River, Bayville and Manchester, NJ.  In actuality...

Officially, I am the Broker of Record for Coldwell Banker Flanagan Realty, with offices in Toms River, Bayville and Manchester, NJ.  In actuality...

Mar 10 5 minutes read

Did Zillow used to be your best friend and is now public enemy number one? In this episode of Real Estate Refined, we’re going to talk about how to beat Zillow with their own playbook. I’ll show you how to refine your approach and clue you into the weak spots of your competition.

Zillow’s Weak Spots

Zillow used to be a realtor’s best friend, a great source of leads and differentiation for agents. Today, Zillow has turned into more of a direct competitor, especially for realtors here in Ocean County, New Jersey. Even the concept of Zillow has changed; it used to be more of a real estate portal/advertising platform. Now, Zillow is more of a real estate brokerage all together.

To beat Zillow at their own game, we're going to go through the steps of refining your approach. I’m also going to give you the lowdown truth on this competitor as well as its biggest weak spots.

The first weak spot is that Zillow believes you, the local real estate agents, are replaceable. They don't think that buyers and sellers today want a local, knowledgeable real estate expert. They believe that they're willing to accept somebody in any city—like San Francisco, New York, or wherever Zillow is currently located—to service them in Ocean County, New Jersey.

Adjusting Your Approach

This is how you're going to refine your approach to beat Zillow with their biggest weakness. First, you're going to build your hyperlocal brand. I know we're all sick of that term, but you must become local and specific. You can no longer be the local real estate expert in Monmouth and Ocean counties. You must be the local real estate expert in Toms River. You must be the local real estate expert in Fayetteville. You must be the local real estate expert in Manchester.

I know what you're thinking; what if somebody wants to buy in Barnegat? They're not going to eliminate you just because you were choosing to be specific and local. It will, though, differentiate you from Zillow.

Zillow’s second-biggest weak spot is that it doesn’t know that Ocean County is broken down into three distinct and separate real estate markets. We have single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums, and adult communities. Zillow really doesn't know the difference. This is where you, as the local real estate expert, bring your knowledge and expertise to differentiate between you and Zillow.

Refining Your Band

So here's how you compete. You’ll refine your brand to become synonymous with the markets that you serve. Wherever you choose or select to service, you must become synonymous with those markets. Refining your brand could mean you become the Holiday City real estate expert, the Toms River real estate expert, the Leisure Village West real estate expert, the Sonata Bay real estate expert, the Puffin Glade real estate expert, and more.

There are so many niches and communities that you can become the local expert in. Your brand must be synonymous with those areas.

Beating Zillow

I hope this helped you understand how to set yourself apart from Zillow so you can beat this competition. If you have any questions, make sure to reach out to me and I’ll be happy to connect. You can also subscribe to my channel so you never miss an episode of Real Estate Refined, the one show that focuses on tips, tricks, and hacks for refining how real estate is bought, sold, and even marketed here in Ocean County, New Jersey.

We're always looking for talented driven real estate agents to join our team and refine their approach. I believe it's your real estate broker's job to create an environment in which you succeed, and that's exactly what we do here at Coldwell Banker Flanagan Realty. So if you're thinking about making a switch or just open to a conversation, please feel free to reach out to me directly.

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