Zillow’s ‘featured listings’ aren’t what they used to be

Featured listings cost more and are no longer promoted in search results
  • Real estate agents can obtain featured listings on Zillow -- listings that are free of ads from competing agents -- by purchasing a standalone ad product.
  • This change effectively increases the cost of featured listings.
  • Featured listings no longer receive prominent placement in property search results.

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Real estate agents who advertise on Zillow with “featured listings” are used to some perks -- they’ve been able to keep competing agents off their listings and receive prominent placement in search results. Recent changes to featured listings, however, have increased the cost of the first benefit and eliminated the second. The changes seem to advance the listing portal’s professed aim to winnow its Premier Agents to a smaller group of big spenders who excel at converting leads into transactions. It also underscores the potential risks of investing heavily in lead sources that can quickly shift underfoot. How featured listings work Each featured listing claimed by Zillow agent advertisers, known as Premier Agents, is shielded from the photos and contact information of other Zillow agent advertisers who normally appear on listings. Only the listing agent appears on featured listings. Premier Agents used to often receive a bundle of featured listings for purchasi...