Zillow VS Zip Realty

Two interesting but very contrasting announcements were revealed by prominent real estate companies last week. The question is who’s lead should you follow with your real estate investing business?

Of course the best answer is that you shouldn’t be following anyone. You should be carving out your own niche and style with your real estate investing business, providing that you are building it on solid principals and systems.

However, it is always important to watch what other players are doing and what new trends are emerging. So what are Zillow and Zip Realty up to now? Zillow just announced a new service called ‘Zillow Special Offers’ which allows premium advertising partners to post special incentives and discounts for home buyers. These include items like gift cards and $3,000 off closing costs. However, in sharp contrast, Zip Realty who built its brand on discounts is now doing away with them. According to Zip Realty, after a lot of research and testing it has found that discounts are now longer a major deciding factor in who home buyers decide to work with.

So what do home buyers want? According to Zip Realty’s research buyers are now choosing companies to work with who are leading technology and who are providing great, local customer service. So what does this mean for your real estate investing business? Well if you want to attract more buyers it certainly suggests that you ought to be focusing more on technology, mobile marketing and your Internet presence. Discounts and giveaways may be great for grabbing attention but clearly aren’t a replacement for a great customer experience.

Look at the numbers. Instead of a $3,000 discount on the homes you are flipping how much would it cost to totally blow away your clients with awesome customer service? You could probably provide each buyer with a dedicated rep 24/7 throughout the buying process for far less than $3,000. Then add to the equation the repeat business and referrals your real estate investing company can generate by wowing each and every customer instead of giving away discounts and slashing your spreads. The choice is yours but make sure you have thought through the math before you make a decision…