Gene Riemenschneider, Turning Houses into Homes (Home Point Real Estate)

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Chris and Dick Dovorany
Homes for Sale in Naples, Bonita Springs and Estero, Florida - Naples, FL
Broker/Associate at Premiere Plus Realty

Why do you care?  None of them are correct.  It's an industry joke.

Jul 09, 2015 04:42 AM
Spirit Messingham
Tierra Antigua Realty - Tucson, AZ
Third Generation Full-Time Realtor® 520 471-6900

I dont.  I dont care either.  It is nothing more than a "Guestimate" and smart home shoppers know this.  I can manipulate a listing I have on, if you are a premier agent you can add it yourself manually and by doing such, add value when you input it.  Again, I dont care what says what a property is worth anymore than I care what they say my car is worth.  It is a ballpark guess, at best.

Jul 09, 2015 05:24 AM
Kona Home Team (LUVA LLC) Lance Owens (RB-24133)
Kona Home Team (luva llc) - Kailua-Kona, HI
2024 Real Estate Expert - Hawaii Island
  • I dont mean to be MEAN, but Zestimate is a joke.
  • You need to get your clients off of that and let them know why Zillow doesnt sell homes, show them what an expert you are and explain the benefits of using a Realtor. 
Jul 09, 2015 06:04 AM
Raymond E. Camp
Ontario, NY

That is why we educate are buyers and sellers and keep them away from Z & T!

Jul 09, 2015 05:40 AM
Jim Paulson
Progressive Realty (Boise Idaho) - Boise, ID

You can go to the listing on Zillow after you sign in and then click on "Add agent comment" under the their "Zestimate details".  I agree their data is not accurate; but perception is reality until you give them the right perspective.

Jul 10, 2015 01:58 AM
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

Thanks all.  Most of you stopped by to tell me how much you hate Zillow.  Woopee I hate it too.  However, they are a fact of life.  Now I try to educate my buyers away from the site.  But how many potential buyers or clients see the home on zillow and might not call me or their agent because they think it is over priced?  You may hate it but they are the 400 lbs Gorrilla in the room and if you are not using them or trying to use them you are not helping your client sell the house.  Bury your ego Sell the house.  And yes they may damage our business model  Sadly my clients do not hire me to protect my business model.  They hire me to sell their home.
Hate to knock the Z too much as Jay Thompson is a class guy.  

Jul 09, 2015 09:23 AM
Jay Thompson
Zillow - Seattle, WA

Jay T from Zillow Group here. 

I assume from the listings on your Zillow profile you're referring to the listing on Rio Grande that's off by about 13% and not the listing on Rotherham that's off by 2%?

There are a couple of things you can do, Gene:

1) Ensure the information in the public records is correct. The agent or the homeowner can both change incorrect info on Zillow, but it's always best to change it at the source of the data.

2) Add an agent comment in the Zestimate Details section of the listing. There you can provide your opinion of whether the Zestimate is high or low. Some have used this section to include what an appraisal says. Some list features and improvements that the Zestimate can't pick up. Others mention comps. Point being, there is space for you to discuss why the Zestimate is off.

To be honest though, I'd be more concerned about losing potential buyers because there are only four photos. Our consumer surveys, focus group and analytics tell us that many consumers using Zillow are far more focused on the photos than anything else, including the Zestimate. They almost exclusively focus on photos, which is likely true of any listing site, not just Zillow. Many consumers understand that an estimate can be off, but they are less tolerant when it comes to property photos.

Jul 09, 2015 08:49 AM
Lyn Sims
Schaumburg, IL
Real Estate Broker Retired

Gene:  Who cares. It's not an appraisal or anything that's remotely accurate or effects your listing.

All of us have the same problem.

Jul 09, 2015 06:58 AM
Kathleen Luiten
Resort and Second-Home Specialist - Princeville, HI
Kauai Luxury Ocean Home Sales

I don't. My clients rarely mention a Z or T value for properties. They know those sources are often way off.

Jul 09, 2015 06:45 AM
Jack Lewitz
Exit Strategy Realty - Evanston, IL

Your energy should be focused on market data that you have access to and knowledge about because you are the expert . Real estate is a a local business's and zillow stats can be wrong . If zillow was so good  then they should open up a real estate office and sell real estate. They don't and you do so don't rely on their stats 

Jul 09, 2015 06:36 AM
Theresa Akin

I tell them I will give them a more uptodate CMA. I do buyer's and seller's CMAs. There are many homes out in cyberspace not even on market anymore.

Jul 10, 2015 04:31 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

I don't believe that is possible to do and it's a losing battle to fight with Zillow on issues like this.

Jul 09, 2015 09:47 PM
Mike McCann Nebraska Land Broker
Mike McCann - Broker, Mach1 Realty Farm & Commercial Land Broker-Auctioneer Serving Nebraska - Kearney, NE
Farm & Commercial Property For Sale 308-627-3700

They are one of the biggest jokes of the Internet!  A total disservice to all who own real estate. I can sell my house for 60K more than they have it showing on their inaccurate site.

Jul 09, 2015 01:46 PM
Dolores "Dee" Mauriello
Keller Willaims - Wayne, NJ
Realtor, Homes For Sale Wayne NJ

I have a client that before he listed with me had posted the home as a FSBO on Zillow. He told me that he increased his zestimate by simply increasing the square footage of the home.

When you think about it square footage is very suggestive and differs depending if you are measuring the usable space or the exterior perimeter of the house. Square footage could also be increase with finished basements attics, etc. 

Jul 09, 2015 12:51 PM
Noah Seidenberg
Coldwell Banker - Evanston, IL
Chicagoland and Suburbs (800) 858-7917

ZTR is a joke. I ignore what they have to say just like they ignore us.

Jul 09, 2015 12:48 PM
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH@Properties - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Gene, I wouldn't even bother.  Zillow still has not master the art of whatever they're trying to do here is DC.  They are a joke.

Jul 09, 2015 12:30 PM
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

I tell everyone to ignore NON-professional sights and I move on to proven facts

Jul 09, 2015 12:22 PM
Joni Bailey
101 Main St. Realty - Huntsville, TX
Your Huntsville / Lake Livingston Area REALTOR®

I show the buyer how I believe Zillow's computer (not even a live person) comes up with the number. In rural areas, it can be way off! The I show them real sales data. Besides, most buyers are watching more than you think they are. And they are on to Zillow!

Jul 09, 2015 11:32 AM
Amanda Christiansen
Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843 - Fort Wayne, IN
Christiansen Group Realty

Zillow SUCKS.  

Jul 09, 2015 10:07 AM
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

The Zestimate is not a valuation model although to a certain extent it brought on the new wave of AVM. It is also not about precision, since big data is not about being exact, it is about correlations. It is also a data point entry and here is where Zillow gets kudos. They can track your likes and get you to enter information and then they can pull data on credit and habits like with experian who sells them the information which better allows then to design programs for REALTORS® to spend money on, and maybe have a prediction tool for when a consumer will apply for a loan to sell advertising to lenders. The be careful what you wish for is that REALTORS® in droves are supllying Zillow with fresh sold data thinking that gets them ranked higher for leads which tightens the Zestimate which is getting a less margin of error by the month. Understand that this is a media company not a real estate company who brilliantly understands the use of big data.

Jul 09, 2015 09:00 AM
Frank Rubi
Frank Rubi Real Estate, LLC - Metairie, LA

I would not spend the time to help Zillow. I feel they will drop off all of our radars. I tell my customer to go to my site or

Jul 09, 2015 08:51 AM
Janine Elkhoury
RE/MAX Legacy - Woburn Real Estate - Woburn, MA
Woburn Real Estate Agent

Have your client claim their house and then click on update zestimate.  Fill in all the improvments done to the house. Make sure all the details are correct such as air condition, floors, rooms etc.. 

Good luck 


Jul 09, 2015 06:44 AM
Joy Baker
RE/MAX Insight - Salem, NH
So NH RE & Short Sale Specialist

If you have a moment, I recently wrote a blog post about Fannie Mae's Collateral Underwriter Tool but in it I detailed out a very telling experience I recently had with two of my listings and Zillow's Zestimates.  Here's the link if you are so inclined.

Jul 09, 2015 06:10 AM
Thomas McCombs
Century 21 HomeStar - Akron, OH

Zillow has a lot of followers. They understand that it may not be accurate, but they follow it anyway.

We just have to use it as an opportunity to show how expert we are in our markets, and why our expertise has value. It is something that we can talk about.

Jul 09, 2015 06:10 AM
Annette Lawrence , Palm Harbor, FL 727-420-4041
ReMax Realtec Group - Palm Harbor, FL
Making FLORIDA Real Estate EZ

Gene, check on the homes in your area that sold 2 months ago and you will see that 'Z' is still incorrect.

You need to keep your listings away from the dark side.

Two years from now all your information will be available to anybody to support their fsbo effort and you are left out entirely. 

Your MLS, your broker, your franchise have colluded to completely undermine the real estate professional. Keep your listings away from the dark side.

The answer to your question is to pump up the values of the other houses on the street. Be bold, it's an advertising site not a real estate web site so don't give it more relevance than it is worth. 

Jul 09, 2015 05:59 AM
John DL Arendsen
CREST "BACKYARD' HOMES, ON THE LEVEL General & Manufactured Home Contractor, TAG Real Estate Sales & Investments - Leucadia, CA
Crest Backyard Homes "ADU" dealer & RE Developer

Gene Riemenschneider I've been round and round with Z on this issue since they began. As I understand it unless it's your own home I don't think there's much you can do. 

My home has always been listed well below the area's market value and I've told them this for years but it only falls on deaf ears. They could care less. 

Jul 09, 2015 05:51 AM
Kimo Jarrett
Cyber Properties - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

The only reason for Z's existence is to make money using whatever factors designed to steer consumers to their sites. Inflated valuations based upon BPO's or simply inaccurate valuations have been the norm and not the reality IMO. Personally, I'm not a fan of Z, so, as many have already stated, who cares? If Z cared about their business model, they would have paid a fee to the listing Agent/Broker for using their IP on their sites.

Jul 09, 2015 06:05 PM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

make sure all the facts are right.  I added a bath, hardwood flooring and that type of thing and one of mine popped up about $20,000.  

Jul 09, 2015 12:59 PM