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Debe Maxwell, CRS
Savvy + Company (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC

I work 100% on a repeat and referral basis, Cathy so, the paid leads dilemma is not something I have experienced. I don't believe I would continue paying if there are no leads.

Spend your money on 'romancing' your clients - show them you care about them and they'll send you referrals - and they don't even charge you for it! Break bread with them, take them out for coffee, sponsor client events and don't forget everyone loves to be acknowledged on their birthdays! 

May 22, 2023 03:24 PM
Candice A. Donofrio
Next Wave RE Investments LLC Bullhead City AZ Commercial RE Broker - Fort Mohave, AZ
928-201-4BHC (4242) call/text

This group takes a dim view of 'paying' LOL

I have never paid for a lead outside of a referral in 23 years . . . build your brand, free yourself from lead gen except your own! 



May 22, 2023 03:23 PM
Anna "Banana" Kruchten
HomeSmart Real Estate - Phoenix, AZ

Cathy, never once did I pay Z (or any other leads services) for anything nor did I use them for anything.  Building  a referral based business is the best way to create a sustainable business model  -  Build Trust and your clients will come back time after time and refer their family and business associates to you as well.  I also think local networking as well as networking here on, offers great value in many, many ways towards building a referral base.

May 22, 2023 03:10 PM
Shayne Stone
HomeSmart - Fulshear, TX
"Your Rock Solid Choice Realtor" RETIRED

I never used Zillow as a lead generator. But from what I discovered doing some research last year. Is most agents never replied to leads anyway (over 73% of 30+agent sampled). So, why bother paying for leads...


PS - check your SPAM / Junk Folder!!!

May 22, 2023 04:01 PM
J.R. Schloemer
Kentucky Select Properties - Louisville, KY

I'm not paying Zillow. Not going to pay them. I think working your own sphere and social circles would be the best investment you can make in yourself and your business. Pick up that phone and start calling your associates and working your contacts is my idea. Take up tennis, or golf, or volunteer on a board. Those things will help.

May 22, 2023 03:55 PM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

I cancelled my Zillow lead subscription a long time ago.

So, go figure! I recently got an unsponsored Zillow seller lead. I have met the guy and he seems for real. If this deal happens, I will not pay Z anything.

May 22, 2023 09:04 PM
John Meussner
Mortgages in AZ, CA, CO, DE, FL, GA, IN, MD, MN, MT, NC, NJ, NV, OK, OR, PA, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WI - Fair Oaks, CA
#MortgageMadeEasy Fair Oaks, CA 484-680-4852

I'd start with asking them what you're being charged for if you're not getting any leads.  If every agent out there stopped paying Z for a year, Z would go away.  What a glorious day that would be.

May 22, 2023 05:09 PM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, KW Diversified - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Sorry to hear that Z is not working for you, I have never tried it and find the best leads are those you gain with social media and referrals.

May 22, 2023 09:47 PM
Fred Griffin Florida Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

 Hi, Cathy Carchedi 


   When Realtor dot come came out, I attended a sales pitch of the "Max Pigman" tour (yes, that is his real name, and I believe that he is still with either Move or  After hearing the presentation, I spent $2500 to be exclusive agent for one of the best zip codes in Tallahassee. 

     I was only contacted by a few "leads".   Not one of them panned out.  I did not renew, I took it as a $2500 lesson in where not to spend money.


      Many agents pay Zillow / Trulia Premier Agent, many agents pay to be a Redfin Agent, many agents buy leads from other sources.   Maybe it works for them, but I suspect that the only people seeing a profit are Zillow, Redfin, and

    Others have answered your question with, "Spend the money building your SOI".   I concur.


   BTW, slightly off topic.  Do you have two (2) ActiveRain profiles?  



May 22, 2023 05:35 PM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate Services

I have paid for leads from Z or anywhere else.  Nor would I ever pay for leads. I know some people do and they make it work for them. It has just never been my thing to hunt and chase. 

Find a niche and work it with your online presence.  If you build it, they will come.  

All the best to you. 

May 22, 2023 05:02 PM
Alan May
Jameson Sotheby's International Realty - Evanston, IL
Hot enough for ya?

You know, at one point, in a galaxy far, far away, I tried paying for some zillow leads because I had some colleagues who kept claiming that they were making bank paying big money to zillow... so I gave it a try.

I would have done better by purchasing some high quality cigars and setting them on fire.  At least I would have gotten some enjoyment out of my money.

May 22, 2023 04:26 PM
Buzz Mackintosh
Mackintosh REALTORS - Frederick, MD
“Experience, reliable, leadership”

I have always worked my SOI and referrals from networking with other agents. Never have paid for Z leads. Many of our agents seem to have success with Opcity and those leads you compete for and only pay a referral fee. 

May 23, 2023 04:09 AM
Lyn Sims
Schaumburg, IL
Real Estate Broker Retired

"no leads lately" .... not only you have said that. Hate to be harsh but you are setting your wallet on fire everyday you are with them.

Where is your ROI?

May 23, 2023 05:40 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Paid leads is not something I do or have done in donkey's years. As for paying Zillow... no way, no how! Work on generating leads from your own SOI and client data base... a much better investment of money.

May 23, 2023 04:47 AM
Brenda Mayette
Miranda Real Estate Group, Inc. - Glenville, NY
Getting results w/ knowledge & know-how!

I'm not paying Zillow to buy back what I've already paid for.  I also don't want buyer leads in this ultra-seller's market. SO... my idea for you is to take that money and invest it in the relationships that you already have.  It's a LOT more fun to do business that way. 

May 23, 2023 04:43 AM
Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Hi Cathy - I'll just say if you're paying for something and not getting anything for your money, it might be time to better use your funds!

May 23, 2023 04:38 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

I haven't heard of anyone around me lately paying Zillow for leads.  They were worthless years ago, and cannot imagine that has changed.

May 23, 2023 06:19 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Oswego, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Never paid for leads, but I never paid for any service that did not deliver results. If you have not had excellent results in the past, drop them like a hot potato!

May 23, 2023 04:51 AM
Carla Freund
Keller Williams Preferred Realty - Raleigh, NC
NC Real Estate Transition & Relocation 919-602-848

I paid for leads before they were big. In the early days they were good. What I saw is they were selling the same leads over and over. Not just one company but several of them. Leads also expect you to drop everything and meet them without pre-approvals and without meeting first. It just isn't safe. I now work primarily be referral like Debe said. Some of the best clients I got early on were from Open Houses. I don't do those anymore either but I would if I needed to build my business. Find what works and don't spend all your money on leads. You'll end up with nothing left over for yourself.

May 23, 2023 05:46 AM
Gary Frimann, CRS, GRI, SRES
Eagle Ridge Realty / Signature Homes & Estates - Gilroy, CA
REALTOR and Broker

I can't comment as I've never worked with Zillow (or any other lead source for that matter)

May 23, 2023 08:24 AM
Don Baker
Lane Realty - Eatonton, GA
Lake Sinclair Specialist

My Broker did the early years of zillow when there were 2 agents in our zip code for $54/month.  Now there are 10 agents at $3000/mo   We stopped in 2014 when our organic leads were much better

May 23, 2023 07:16 AM
Peter Mohylsky, Destin BeachPro
PMI. Destin - Miramar Beach, FL
Call me at 850-517-7098

I don't have any recent experience with them but my past experience was not positive.  Interesting that there are no leads of any shape from them.  folks still have free time and like to browse

May 23, 2023 06:04 AM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Sorry but would not pay Zillow for leads and seems most people here are saying the same.


May 23, 2023 08:31 AM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Zillow is a business and as such is interested in THEIR business model which includes you but is not for you. Only you can make what you need and want to happen HAPPEN! The Real Estate pie is always in a state of change. Sure, everyone wants a slice, but in return for what? Perhaps it's time to evaluate?

May 23, 2023 07:11 AM
Toby Barnett
KW North Sound - Marysville, WA
Toby Barnett

Haven't paid for Zillow leads in a long while and decided to spend advertising funds and time focusing on creating videos, shorts, blog posts, organizing the website and relocation information. As result, our organic lead generation has increased.

Jun 11, 2023 10:21 AM
Dr. Paula McDonald
Beam & Branch Realty - Granbury, TX
Granbury, TX 936-203-0279

I quit using Z years ago when the baited and switched me one too many times. I don't trust these leads and agree with Debe Maxwell that the referral leads are the best.

Jun 06, 2023 06:23 AM
Adam Feinberg
Elegran - Manhattan, NY
NYC Condo, Co-op, and Townhouse Advisor

I started in this business with Zillow Premier agent- and it worked well as a catalyst to start from zero, but it was expensive. These days, most of my business is referral, but I do get some leads from my firm and some from Streeteasy (a Zillow company focused on NYC) - via the Building Experts program (no up front fee- only a success fee at closing) in buildings where I have sold in the past, I will show up on the page as a building expert. It's a love/hate relationship with them- but I can offer that those leads have dried up recently (they will be back eventually)- as it's a reflection of the larger market- debt ceiling talks, recession possibilities, interest rate increase impacts and seasonality.

May 24, 2023 12:52 PM
Jeff Pearl
Samson Properties / LIC in VA - Lovettsville, VA
Full Service Full Time Realtor

Cancel Zillow, send me half of what you've been paying them, and i won't send you any leads either, but I'll save you money!

May 24, 2023 10:42 AM
Chrissi Chapman Topoleski
Coldwell Banker Realty - Woodbridge, VA
Helping agents live an exceptional life!

Check out the buyer activity in your market- it is way down in my area, and as a result buyer leads are also dramatically reduced. You could talk to a lender to see if they will offset the cost of advertising with you if you aren't already. And of course, can increase your Zillow budget to get in front of more people. The best advice is to create a plan to source your own leads- make opportunities by finding listings and working your sphere. 

May 24, 2023 07:49 AM