Why you shouldn't click "Contact Agent" on Zillow

(Image from Zillow.com)

How often do you find yourself on Zillow?

You probably got an email alert for homes that hit the market from Zillow. After clicking the email you find yourself endlessly scrolling homes in your town and nearby towns. Heck, you even look at different States to see what homes are being sold. The crazy part, you may not even be in the market to buy a home.

The fact is, we are all doing it

  • Zillow is the top ranked real estate website in the world based on unique monthly visits

  • 135 Million homes in the Zillow database (source)

  • It's even got an SNL skit that advertises the one website to satisfy your sexiest fantasies: https://youtu.be/yEfsaXDX0UQ

Whether you're in the market to buy a home or casually looking, Zillow is a great home finding tool, but what happens when you want take the next step?

What happens when you click "Contact Agent"?

Zillow Contact Agent

When you click on "Contact Agent", you get a popup to enter your contact information.

Zillow contact agent form

After submitting, your contact information is captured by Zillow and they will be in contact shortly. They also ask you additional questions to build your buyer profile, which they pass on to an agent.

So, what does Zillow do with your information?

First, it's good understand how Zillow makes money. Primarily, Zillow is a lead generation website that sells leads to real estate agents. So when you submit a form like "Contact Agent" or "Take a tour", a real estate agent is paying Zillow for your information.