In our research and through the dozens of reviews we’ve done on top loan officers in Seattle (which we are continuing to write and update) we have noticed an ongoing trend with real estate review sites. Most consumers are writing reviews on Zillow, why’s that? For the purpose of this topic, we’ll be specifically looking at real estate sites that offer reviews and we won’t be looking at websites like Yelp that provide generic, business reviews.
Zillow, Trulia, and Redfin share in different revenue models, which drives different mortgage and real estate professionals to each site. Redfin is a real estate company where they employ realtors. They have direct access to many (but not all) MLS feeds. They mainly make their money from comissions from homes they list for sale.
Alternatively Zillow and Trulia (which is owned by Zillow) are not real estate companies, they are technology and lead generation companies. Mortgage professionals and real estate professionals go to Zillow for leads. Zillow makes their money by selling leads. Most loan officers and many non-Redfin realtors already have a business relationship established with Zillow. The business relationship is already established around purchasing leads.
Market Share and Popularity
Amongst the real estate review sites, Zillow is a much more popular company and this means more eyeballs are on Zillow. According to Zacks, in 2016, Zillow had roughly 140.1 million active monthly users and Redfin had 16.2 million active monthly users. Loan officers and real estate agents will usually choose Zillow as a site for review cause more consumers and people looking to purchase homes will see either reviews.
Zillow also allows realtors and loan officers to respond to reviews. The Redfin reviews page is too plain and non-interactive to seem appealing to consumers and loan officers.
Single Review Source
Loan officers also tend to concentrate their reviews to a single site, this makes it easier for people looking to purchase a house to see their reviews. Alternatively, many loan officers us review aggregation services such as Birdeye to take their reviews from a variety of sites and put them all in one location.
Real Estate Review Sites Overview
Amongst all the real estate review sites, Zillow claims the #1 spot for a couple reasons. One, it has the largest market share and crushed other real estate websites in terms of monthly active users. Secondly, most loan officers are already using Zillow for leads. Thirdly, Zillow has a much more intuitve user interface compared to Redfin.