Casanova Brooks
Casanova Brooks

Licensed Agent

Realtor.com vs Zillow Leads: Which Are Better for Real Estate Agents


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Real estate agents are always looking for the next best lead generation tool to increase their number of listings and sales volume.

Undoubtedly, Realtor.com and Zillow are among the common platforms for generating leads every real estate agent would want to try.

If you’ve been in the real estate industry for quite some time now, for sure, you’re familiar with both. But how do the platforms’ lead services differ from each other?

In this post, we’re going to compare Realtor.com vs Zillow leads services in detail to help you see which one you should invest in to grow your real estate business in 2021.

So let’s dive in!

What is Realtor.com's lead service?

Realtor.com vs Zillow Leads-Connections Plus

Realtor.com is one of the most popular real estate sites in the United States, with nearly 18 million monthly visitors.

Through its Connections Plus service, Realtor.com provides real estate agents with leads from homebuyers actively looking to purchase their dream home.

This makes the whole buying-selling process less complicated for both parties.

The question is, is it the right leads service for you or your business? Let’s learn more about this platform to get insights.

How do Realtor.com Leads Work?

Realtor.com gathers all relevant information from interested homebuyers who submit queries on their site. It then sends out all these leads through its Connections Plus program to real estate agents in a given area.

The first agent to contact a lead has a higher chance of working with that client. But if you want to get exclusivity of a particular zip code, you may pay an extra fee, and all the leads from that area are yours.

You also have the option to sign either a one-year contract or a six-month contract, depending on your goals and how much you’re willing to invest.

What are the benefits of Realtor.com leads?

The Connections Plus program offers plenty of benefits to all real estate agents who sign up for it. Aside from getting new leads, you can also benefit from the platform’s popularity in terms of reach potential.

And since you’ll be working closely with leads within your preferred location, you have a great chance of becoming a highly recognized estate agent in that area.

Other specific benefits you can enjoy with Connections Plus include the following:

  • A mobile app version of the program that lets you view, track, and organize your leads anywhere and anytime you want to
  • Personalized texts and emails are sent automatically to leads to gather relevant information from them
  • Automatic responses via texts or emails sent to existing clients
  • Allows tracking and organization of leads from up to 150 sources that you can share with other agents if you wish to
  • Offers exclusive and non-exclusive leads to choose from depending on your budget

How much are Realtor.com leads?

The average cost of using Realtor.com to generate leads varies depending on the zip code you choose and the type of leads you want to get.

If you have a larger budget, you may opt to get exclusive leads. This means you get all the leads from your area, and you’re the only agent they can contact. The average monthly cost of exclusive leads is $1,000.

Non-exclusive leads, on the other hand, start at $200 per month, and these are ideal for agents with a low budget or the new ones who are just starting in their careers.

Non-exclusive leads are sent out to all agents in a particular zip code, and winning clients will be on a first-come, first-serve basis.

What is Zillow's lead generation system?

Realtor.com vs Zillow Leads-Zillow Premier Agent

Zillow Premier Agent is an online advertising platform that allows businesses to generate leads through ads. The system offers the latest in technology, tools, and analytics to provide real-time lead generation data.

Currently, Zillow has approximately 36 million monthly visitors searching for homes all across the United States. Using the platform makes it easier for them to look for properties that match their needs.

They also have a network of agents and various mortgage lenders and insurance providers who will care for everything. If you’re an agent looking to increase your presence online, Zillow can help you with that.

Zillow also provides a program that would work for newbies who may lack the funds for advertising. The Flex program works similar to the ZPA by connecting leads with agents but free of charge.

You’ll only pay a certain percentage to Zillow upon successfully closing a transaction. Currently, Zillow Flex is offered only in select markets.

What types of leads does Zillow generate?

Zillow generates two different types of leads: Rent-ready and home-ready.

Rent-ready leads are for people who are actively looking to rent a home but not buy one. They’ll be interested in the neighborhood, amenities, and rental prices of any property you send them.

This is the perfect type of lead for real estate investors or anyone looking to fill their rental property quickly.

On the other hand, home-ready leads are for people looking to purchase a home instead of renting one. Most buyers will have already found the home they want to live in through an MLS listing service like Zillow.

Buyers would need a pre-approval letter or proof of funds (like a cashier’s check) to work with you on making an offer and buying your listing.

If you’re mainly dealing with buyers, then this is the ideal type of lead for you.

How do Zillow leads work?

Whether you’re a Zillow Premier Agent or enrolled in the Flex program, both services allow you to connect with leads that can turn to clients.

As a Zillow Premier Agent, you’ll find it easier to get leads since the platform allows home buyers and sellers in your area to connect with you. That means you don’t have to go through the daunting task of finding leads yourself.

What’s more, your profile will appear next to the property information on the listing you submit. This gives you exclusivity on your listing.

Aside from that, you’ll appear as one of the three Premier Agents on the listing submitted by a non-Premier Agent, which lets you capture leads from others’ listings.

Agents who opt for the Flex program may not enjoy all of a Zillow Premier Agent’s benefits. But still, they can have access to leads provided by Zillow, giving them the potential to get clients.

What are the benefits of using Zillow Premier Agent?

Using Zillow Premier Agent as a lead generation system can be a massive help for agents looking to get more listings and generate revenue. That’s because it provides qualified leads specifically targeted to your local area.

Aside from that, you’ll get to enjoy the following benefits:

  • You’ll have access to the Zillow CRM and take advantage of its fantastic features.
  • You’ll get an IDX Website with a domain name of your choice that you can use to build your presence online.
  • Your ads will have a special placement on different real estate listings, allowing you to get leads not only from your listing but from other agents’ as well.
  • You have access to your competitors’ profiles and study their marketing strategies.
  • You’ll get good reviews on Zillow that can give your profile and strong boost.

How much does it cost?

Zillow Premier Agent charges anywhere between $20 and $60 per lead depending on how many agents are in your area, the average home prices in your zip code, and how much your advertising budget is.

The larger your budget is, the more effective Zillow Premier Agent will work for you. If you’re an established real estate agent, advertising with Zillow can help you gain a higher return on investment.

But just a word of caution: spending a higher amount does not always guarantee you’re getting more quality leads. Again, you have to consider several factors mentioned above. In addition, it’s you who will qualify your leads, which means not all who reach out to you may become your client.

If you’re a new real estate agent and lack the budget, you may opt for the Flex program. This connects you with home shoppers without paying any upfront cost, and you only have to pay a certain fee for each deal successfully closed.

Since several factors affect the cost of leads, it won’t be easy to determine the exact amount you’ll spend per month for your leads.

What is the difference between Realtor.com Connections Plus and Zillow Premier Agent?

The main difference between Realtor.com’s leads service and Zillow’s lies in who reaches out first.

In Connections Plus from Realtor.com, the agent gets the lead’s information, and they can reach out to them to offer their services.

Zillow Premier Agent does it the other way around, wherein your leads reach out to you first after seeing your profile on their website.

Realtor.com vs Zillow leads: Which ones are better?

Realtor.com vs Zillow Leads

Realtor.com Connections Plus

  • If you’re using Connections Plus, Realtor.com will send you all the leads from your chosen zip code, and they can work with you exclusively.
  • You can track and organize leads from up to 150 sources using their CRM.
  • Enjoy lesser competition with exclusive leads.
  • High competition with non-exclusive leads – It means you have to bust your butt to get in front of them first before other agents do.
  • Lower margin of profit since it’s harder to get the lead to convert.

Zillow Premier Agent

  • You have the option to sign a six-month contract or advertise on a month-to-month basis
  • You’re not required to pay a monthly subscription or a flat fee. You’ll only pay for each lead you get.
  • Less work to get in front of a lead since Zillow will provide you with a certain number of qualified leads depending on your service plan.
  • More control over leads since you know they’ve already checked out your profile before getting in touch.
  • The lesser your budget is, the lesser leads you’ll get.
  • You’ll pay a higher amount if you’re selling in an expensive market.
  • It would be harder to get leads to convert when there are many competing agents in your area.


As we have seen, both sites are great sources of real estate leads. They both offer fantastic lead generation services for new and established real estate agents. Each also has its advantages and disadvantages.

Deciding on whether Realtor.com vs Zillow leads are better for you or your business will depend on several factors. You have to consider first your distinct situations, the zip code or area you’re in, the number of competing agents, and your advertising budget.

If you’re an established agent, you can also take advantage of each platform’s advanced services to help maximize your return on investment. If you’re relatively new with several limitations, both services have specific programs for you to help expand your exposure and generate leads without breaking the bank. Apart from that, you also need to follow a custom Real Estate Software Development solution to create and manage your real estate business with future-proof solutions.

Again, it would help if you gave those factors mentioned above a considerable thought before making a final decision. Good luck!

casanovabrooksCasanova Brooks is a real estate entrepreneur. With a background as a licensed realtor at Berkshire Hathaway and currently serving as a Change Agent at eXp Realty, Casanova brings a wealth of expertise and experience to the table. Beyond real estate transactions, Casanova is a seasoned motivational speaker, author, and podcast host. His book, “Real Estate: Play the Game Like the Winners,” reflects his commitment to sharing insights and strategies for success in the ever-evolving world of real estate. Join him on his journey as he continues to make waves in the world of real estate and beyond.

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