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Zillow called out for aggressive sales tactics? Uh oh

In Zillow’s announcement of two new products today here on AGBeat, a few comments over Zillow sales tactics caught our eye…

Tina says, “I like the Zillow’s site. Unlike many RE peeps, I don’t view Zillow as the “enemy”. I think Zillow has captured what the consumer wants as far as information goes. Too many brokerages fail to meet that need. That being said, I despise Zillow’s telemarketing sales strategy aimed at the real estate industry. Zillow is an online business; and, as an agent-customer, I should be able to conduct business with them online, NOT via telephone. Zillow, your constant sales calls are annoying and soooo 1985. Fix it.”

Steve rounds it off with, “I agree with Tina. I got a call from Zillow and because I wasn’t interested in giving them a Pro Account, he said, “I’m sorry, I confused you for someone that wants to increase their business”. Well excuse me, insulting the customer never works. Well Zillow, you are still pulling my 20 listings to your site via IDX. And guess what? I’m still getting calls from buyers surfing your site, without me giving you a DIME! I think I’ll take the Non Premium Service please and you can keep insulting other agents.”

Sara Bonnert with Zillow steps in …

We have a feeling Zillow’s not the only company the real estate industry could complain about…

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Written By

Edna is the nosy neighbor who is poking her nose in everyone's business. She's listening with a cup at someone's back door, going through neighbors' trash, and peeking at passerbys from behind the curtain- and she's hopped up on coffee, so be kind to her, lest she points her binoculars in your direction.



  1. Renee Burrows

    October 8, 2011 at 8:03 pm

    I get the calls too. "Hey, we just had a zip code open up in your area, call us back but you have to hurry!"

    Please. I capture my own leads back. I don't need a stinkin sense of urgency sales tactics that ARE so 1985!

  2. Jason Sandquist

    October 8, 2011 at 8:05 pm

    I'll throw Loopnet into the ring. As soon as they get notified that someone has logged in the site to update their profile, someone on the sales team is promptly notified that said person who logs in doesn't have a paying account. You are then added to their weekly call sheet I suppose (as they are relentless but I know your little San Fran area code :-)). You get a phone call AND a follow up canned email.

    Keeping them honest…

  3. Fred Glick

    October 8, 2011 at 8:14 pm

    And let's not leave our high pressure friends from Trulia off this list.

    At sundown on the eve of Yom Kippur, I get a call from a 415 area where the genius on the other line did not do any call prep.

    If he did, we would have looked that clock, added 3 hours, looked at my last name and shoudl have then thought to wait until Monday to call.

  4. Don Corson

    October 8, 2011 at 8:54 pm

    I think Zillow would do it better w/ some well-crafted sales copy, emailed on an occasional basis, with some video testimonials from agents that are "crushing it" (their words, not mine). Not that it would work on me any more than the phone calls, but it would be more well-received.

  5. Doug Slotkin

    October 12, 2011 at 11:34 am

    Hello All,

    My name is Doug Slotkin and I lead the Inside Sales efforts at Zillow.

    We train our sales reps to be respectful of agents at all times and from the interaction described by Steve, we failed to do so. Steve – I am sorry we talked to you that way. No Excuses….

    I have given feedback and coaching to the rep on how important it is to respect an agent's wishes and not be confrontational on our approach.

    What we should have said was "Would you be interested in increasing the # of opportunities beyond the current flow of Zillow contacts you're getting?"

    Tina – we use a contact management system so that we don't call too often but because you are a Zillow Premier agent, we do try to check in every couple of months to give updates on new features and offer help in utilizing them. Thank you for your business, Tina, and I hope we are contributing positively to your bottom line.

    I show the last time we reached out to you was in May, based on our CRM. Have you gotten any calls since then? If you would prefer we don't call you, please let me know and I will make sure we respect your wishes.

    I would be happy to address any questions on the topic – my email is


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