Zillow took another step in its industry outreach efforts yesterday with the announcement of zPro for Brokers, a beta program that incentivizes brokerages to directly partner with the syndication site.
Operating on a five-point program, zPro currently boasts 15 brokerages from across the country as users, including Prudential Rubloff, with improved listing accuracy and enhanced visibility as its main features.
The five points, as listed on a Zillow press release for the program, are:
- Prominently Displayed Listing Agents: Agents with zPro brokerages are automatically displayed first and at the top of the page on listings, along with their photos and links to their profiles.
- Weekly Detailed Broker Reporting: Partner brokers receive weekly reports, including listings views, search views, number of contacts and contact open rates.
- Broker Listing Feed Trumps Other Sources: MLS-sourced listings feeds from partner brokerages will trump all other sources of data, making them the definitive source for accurate listings.
- Lead Follow-up and Contact Management System: Agents at zPro brokerages receive contact notifications through email with follow-up reminders via text message and phone, driving higher engagement.
- Broker Directs Contact Destinations: zPro brokers choose to send contacts directly to listing agents or to their corporate customer relationship managements systems.
Michael Pierson, the president and chairman of Prudential Rubloff, told Chicago Agent that he and the Rubloff team view zPro as a big advantage for their agents, particularly from an exposure standpoint.
“We were very pleased to have been selected to participate in Zillow’s zPro beta program,” Pierson said. “Now, when a consumer views a Prudential Rubloff listing on Zillow, they will be able to see the listing agent’s information immediately to the right of the property photo, rather than reading all the way down to the bottom where they might miss it! As the listing agent is most knowledgeable about the property and therefore best able to speak to its attributes, we view this as an important advantage for our agents and their clients.”
zPro, though, is hardly the first industry initiative to come from Zillow in the last few months; in addition to the hiring of MLS veteran Bob Bemis as vice president of industry relations, Zillow has also launched a new outreach effort with some of the nation’s largest MLSs in an effort to establish direct feeds between them and Zillow’s listings.
Katie Curnutte, the company’s director of communications, said Zillow’s communications with MLSs and brokerages have been done in tandem, and all are part of a wider effort to better incorporate real estate professionals within Zillow’s business model.
“This is us opening up dialogue between brokerages and MLSs,” Curnutte said, adding that the very concept for zPro evolved out of those very discussions.
Initially, Zillow had planned to incorporate 10 brokerages in zPro’s beta stages, but Curnutte said brokerage interest was so strong that it increased the sample size to 15, with brokerages from California, New Jersey, Georgia, Arizona and Zillow’s native Washington taking part, among other areas.
Curnutte emphasized that the program is still in beta, so it’s difficult to say when it will be fully functional; she still encouraged brokerages to contact Zillow, though, and see about participating in the free beta testing. She also said that once the program completes its beta phase and goes public, it will still be free.