Changes to Zillow Distribution

The Zillow Rental Network (including Trulia and Hotpads) has recently started charging per-listing fees for online rental listings in select states. HERO PM has been distributing your listings to Zillow since Day 1, but this change was unexpected and has an impact on our members.

We recently provided a survey to better understand how you feel about this change and what you’d like us to do about it. Based on this, we’re making changes, and you will need to take action if you’d like to continue to have your listings distributed to Zillow.

What’s Changing?

In HERO PM, Zillow is now classified as a “Paid” export partner, indicating clearly that Zillow may or will charge you to publish your listings. We continue to provide your listings to Zillow at no charge, so there is nothing to pay HERO, it’s only payment to Zillow that’s affected (many of you have already been contacted by Zillow to let you know they will no longer publish your listings without payment).

As with all paid export partners, you need to individually opt-in each listing that you want exported. This gives you the opportunity to be selective about what you get charged for, only opting-in the listings where the owner has agreed to pay the extra charge, or you are absorbing the charge yourself.

What Do I Need to Do?

Starting immediately, each of your listings will have the Zillow option in the “Partner Site Placement” section toward the bottom of the listing, when editing. If you have a listing that you wish to opt-in, select the Zillow option.

We will continue to export all listings to Zillow, as we always have, through the end of the July. On August 1st, our feed will switch, and only listings opted-in will be exported. Over the next 2 weeks, as you edit listings, be sure to opt them in to Zillow if you want them to continue to be exported.

If you don’t want anything exported to Zillow after August 1st, simply do nothing. Don’t opt any listings in, and on August 1st, they’ll drop out of the Zillow feed.

If you’d like to remove Zillow as an option entirely, go to Configuration > RP Preferences > Listing Export Partners, uncheck Zillow, and save.

How Will I Know if a Listing Has Been Exported to Zillow?

In each listing there is a button labeled “Quick Notes/History”. Select this, then select the button labeled “Export History”. This will display a list of all the places where your listing has been sent. If your listing was included in the nightly Zillow feed, you can see that here.

Is There a Better Way?

Zillow’s change appears to be unilateral in states where they’re charging, and Zillow is ending their era of the free ride for everyone.

HERO Harmony, our new cloud-based software, includes all of the features of legacy HERO PM, plus accounting and CRM. In this software, we are exploring and negotiating some innovative and unique listing distribution and export options that the industry has not yet seen. For the time being, this Zillow change may be painful, but we’ve been in the industry long enough to know that the only certainty is change, and we’ll continue to be ahead of the curve in our new software as the changes come.

Understanding Harmony: Smoke Out the Socialite

With so many of the people we do business with having a social media presence, it makes sense for us to be able to find people by social media contact when other contact methods fail.

In Harmony, each person has a profile with 4 structured fields for phone contacts and 3 structured fields for email contacts, as well as a selection of their preferred messaging format and contact preferences. Additionally, each person has an unlimited section of “More Contact Methods”.

In More Contact Methods, you can specify any other possible contacts for this person. Indicate the contact (like a handle, ID, URL, etc.) and description, and select the type. Built-in types include social media apps like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. You can also select Website, Email, or Phone in case the structured fields are not enough (or you discover someone has a phone number or email that they did not provide you with on their application, but did provide via a work request or caller ID). You can also select Other for any other type of contact not defined. For each contact, you can also specify the source to track it back and determine how reliable the contact is.

With all of these contacts, it’s easy to find the person who may prove difficult to reach with the phone and email information they initially provided.