Have you been wondering what your return on investment (ROI) would be from the Zillow Premier Agent program? Is it worth your time, money, and effort? The short answer: Yes, it is. Why? Zillow Premier Agents who use the platform effectively enjoy a typical ROI of 210%, according to agents with whom we’ve spoken.

But there’s a catch. Zillow Premier Agent isn’t perfect. Zillow Premier Agent (ZPA) is plagued with poor reviews from vocal agents and a reputation for customer service focused on selling rather than solving problems.

In addition, even the most successful agents need to have what we at The Close think of as the 3 Zillow Elements of Success: a competitive budget, a complete profile, and excellent follow-up skills (more on these later). If you’ve got all of these in place, you should check out ZPA’s rates in your ZIP code.

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To help you determine if you have those three elements solidly in place, we’ll provide more detail on each one, but before we do, let’s talk about what Zillow Premier Agent is, how it works, and, of course, how much it costs.

Zillow Premier Agent: What It Is & How It Works

Each month, more than 227 million unique visitors spend time on Zillow’s website looking at homes and searching for real estate agents. Zillow Premier Agent allows agents, teams, and brokers to purchase display ads across the Zillow network. Your ads will be shown to prospects in the specific ZIP codes you choose to target. 

When Zillow’s website visitors have questions about a property or want to set up a showing, prospects are presented with Zillow Premier Agents as their first option. The platform displays Zillow Premier Agent ads in key positions next to properties for sale, and boosts Zillow Premier Agents to the top of their agent directory. 

Listing Agent vs Premier Agent: What’s the Difference?

Listing Agent vs Premier Agent

Before we go any further, it’s important to point out the difference between being displayed as a Zillow listing agent vs a Zillow Premier Agent.

If you have an active profile on Zillow, you’ll be displayed as the listing agent for claimed listings regardless of your Premier status. However, if you haven’t claimed that listing or are not active on Zillow, you won’t have that opportunity. 

Premier agents, however, appear next to every listing they’ve got a share of in their chosen ZIP codes (plus any listings they have outside their chosen ZIP code), thus expanding their exposure significantly.

How Much Does Zillow Premier Agent Cost?

We don’t know. This isn’t a statement we take lightly at The Close since our mission is to provide the best answers to real estate questions—to your questions. But we want to be upfront with you, our readers, about the facts. Despite an exhaustive effort to clearly and succinctly give you an answer to what Zillow Premier Agent will cost, we have no clear, authoritative information. Here’s why: 

First, Zillow’s pricing depends on multiple factors, such as the typical sold price of a home, the number of real estate professionals competing for leads in a particular ZIP code, and the percentage of the available leads you want to capture, chief among them. Because these factors change depending on the agent, making accurate estimates is difficult. 

But it’s not impossible. The reality is, Zillow offers real-time estimates to prospective Zillow Premier Agents all the time. Despite our repeated attempts through multiple channels with a clear message that we have no agenda other than to inform our readers, Zillow has flat-out refused to give any insight, estimate, or information about their pricing. 

The Close works with a number of brands in the real estate industry, and, to be frank, this sort of avoid-and-obfuscate response to our repeated, direct, honest questions was frustrating and seemed to confirm the experiences of many of Zillow’s detractors. 

The company’s motivation seems clear: get someone on the phone and into “sales mode” before telling them how much something costs. This isn’t the way we operate, and we don’t believe it’s the best way to do business. 

It is the position of The Close that Zillow Premier Agent is a valuable service that should be considered as a paid lead generation option by the right agents. However, we don’t agree with the company’s approach to pricing transparency.

What Do Others Pay for Zillow Premier Agent? 

Because Zillow has refused to offer even estimates for different markets across the country, The Close asked agents with whom we’re connected about their pricing experiences. At the time of publication, we found these pricing estimates to be true from our informal poll:

  • Major Metro Markets: The typical price per month for agents turning a profit with Zillow Premier Agent starts at about $1,000 per month.
  • Outside of Major Metros: The typical price per month for agents turning a profit with Zillow Premier Agent is between $300 and $500 per month.

The Close Take: Is Zillow Premier Agent Worth the Cost?

Yes. Zillow Premier Agent is an investment real estate agents, teams, and brokers should consider—provided they have a large enough budget to be competitive in the markets they’re pursuing. In addition, you’ll need a robust Zillow profile complete with reviews as well as the follow-up skills to nurture long-term leads, as we mentioned earlier. 

The fact is, there is simply no other lead source on the internet that can offer the level of traffic, exposure, and opportunity as the Zillow Premier Agent program. 

Is Zillow or Zillow Premier Agent a perfect platform or even the right choice for every agent? No. Are they worth investigating and at least considering? Absolutely. 

A Closer Look: Some of the Non-lead Benefits of Zillow Premier Agent

Obtaining leads is the most significant benefit of using Zillow Premier Agent, but there is more to the program than just leads. Some of our favorite benefits of Zillow Premier Agent include:

  • Zillow Premier Agent reviews: Premier and non-Premier members can collect reviews on Zillow for free. However, Zillow positions Premier Agents on the site in a way that highlights their reviews and makes them more accessible, upping a Premier Agent’s social cred among users.

    Zillow Premier Agent Reviews consistently rank near the top of the list of reasons why consumers choose a particular real estate agent.
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  • Exposure on other Zillow platforms: In addition to Zillow’s flagship site, Zillow Premier Agents also have premium placement on Zillow’s network sites, including Trulia, StreetEasy, and RealEstate.com. Though the traffic on these sites is considerably lower than Zillow’s, they offer further exposure and more bang for your Zillow buck.
  • An IDX website with a custom domain name: Even though most agents considering Zillow Premier Agent already have a web presence, getting additional real estate (ahem) on the internet is never a bad thing.
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  • Featured placement on Zillow’s Agent Finder: Many consumers use Zillow to look at homes and find an agent. Zillow’s Agent Finder is so important that it has its own spot in Zillow’s top navigation, alongside the site’s Buy and Sell features. Premier Agents enjoy premium top-line profile placement in searches for the communities where they advertise.
  • Access the Zillow Premier Agent CRM: There are lots of real estate customer relationship managers (CRMs) out there, including Propertybase, LionDesk, and Follow Up Boss. The Zillow CRM isn’t going to blow you away with its form or functionality. Still, it’s designed to seamlessly integrate with the Zillow Premier Agent App and flawlessly transfer all your Zillow leads into its system, every time. So it’s worth checking out, if only for Zillow leads.
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Zillow Premier Agent Alternative: Zillow Flex

Zillow Flex Program

If you’re not feeling warm and fuzzy about paying Zillow a significant upfront fee for leads, the Zillow Flex program, available in some markets, allows real estate agents to get leads upfront at no cost. However, a referral fee comes due when a transaction closes, resulting in lower risk to the agent but a significantly higher cost per lead.

Is the higher cost per lead worth preserving your existing operating budget? Check out our article about Zillow Flex and decide for yourself.

3 Essential Elements Premier Agents Need to Successfully Convert Zillow Leads

The Zillow Premier Agent program clearly delivers significant benefits to its users, not everyone will be successful with ZPA. Remember earlier, when we noted that there are three key elements critical to your success as a Zillow Premier Agent? Let’s dive into those right now.

Zillow Alternatives

Zillow isn’t the only game in town when it comes to lead generation. If you’d like to try something different, consider one of the following:

  • BoldLeads: Offering exclusive leads, BoldLeads drives traffic by placing ads on social media and in Google search results. A part of the Propertybase ecosystem, BoldLeads integrates well with their customer relationship manager (CRM).
  • REDX: Real estate prospecting is a more hands-on, but often more affordable lead generation technique. REDX gives you the tools to reach out to potential sellers proactively rather than trying to entice them to reach out to you.
  • SmartZip: Predictive analytics is a new and exciting field in real estate lead generation, and SmartZip is leading the way. Using data analytics and a sophisticated algorithm, SmartZip predicts which homes in your community are likely to list for sale. 

    SmartZip often pinpoints homes before the owners have decided that this is the year they plan to sell. Use this tool to supercharge your real estate farming strategy or your postcard marketing campaigns.

Looking for more options? Check out 5 Smart Ways to Buy Real Estate Leads.

Frequently Asked Questions

Didn’t find what you were looking for in our guide? Not to worry, we’ve answered some of real estate agents’ most frequently asked questions about Zillow Premier Agent here:

Bringing It All Together

The landscape in real estate marketing is constantly evolving. There are always new players, new approaches, and new ideas, but Zillow has remained a visible and important part of this conversation.

Until Zillow’s dominance as the go-to consumer real estate source wanes, a presence in the Zillow Premier program is a valuable asset for any serious real estate agent. As long as you have an adequate budget to reach a critical mass, an impeccable profile, and the follow-up skills to convert your leads into clients, investment in Zillow Premier Agent is a no-brainer.

Ready to make the leap? Visit Zillow Premier Agent’s website to see what ZIP codes are available in your area and how this lead generation platform can fit into your marketing strategy for 2022.

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