LAS VEGAS — Seattle-based Zillow Group kicked off its second annual Premier Agent Forum in Las Vegas today, unveiling both a new app for real estate agents and a virtual assistant program to help agents close more deals when they advertise with the real estate juggernaut.
Speaking to over a thousand of his company’s Premier Agents, Zillow Group CEO Spencer Rascoff highlighted the challenge that real estate agents face because of smartphones, and how the company’s new tools will help.
“The consumer is not going to have a different expectation in real estate than they have in buying groceries or booking a car,” said Rascoff. “You need processes and technology to help meet the consumer’s expectation.”
Zillow’s new Premier Agent App gives agents new capabilities to interact with potential home buyers and home sellers, including alerts and a quick-response toolbar for responding to Zillow and Trulia inquiries via email, text and phone.
“The Premier Agent App will give agents richer, more detailed information on the contacts they receive from all their advertising efforts across Zillow and Trulia along with enhanced contact management tools that will allow them to respond more quickly from wherever they happen to be,” said Greg Schwartz, Zillow Group chief business officer.
The app also gives agents the ability to see what the consumer was searching for on Zillow and brings together a quick view of information about the house and neighborhood. It also offers the ability to track and record phone interactions with home buyers.
Zillow is also making a significant investment in manpower to help their advertisers via a new program called Premier Agent Assist. Premier Agent Assist offers assistance with online leads provided by a virtual team of Zillow employees.
“Whenever we get an email lead from Zillow or Trulia, it goes in to a call center that we operate with Zillow Group employees,” said Schwartz. “We guarantee a response in 90 seconds or less, ask them qualifying questions and then transfer the hot lead to the agent.”
The move to provide virtual assistants is an interesting one for the tech-centric media company, demonstrating just how far they are willing to go to improve lead conversion ratios for their advertisers.
“When we started Zillow, I never imagined that we’d be staffing up call centers, but that’s what our advertisers need,” Rascoff said. “We are in a unique position to combine technology and manpower to help our Premier Agents close more deals, and we can do it at scale.”
Editor’s note: Kevin Lisota is a member of the Zillow Group Agent Advisory Board.