PropertyManagementMaven: I KNOW Because I am SMARTER than Zillow!

I KNOW Because I am SMARTER than Zillow!

Rental prospects who have become familar with Zillow are now advising me that the rental rates on my homes for lease are TOO HIGH (NEVER that they are too low).


Although they should know that these Zestimates are rarely indicative of the actual RENTAL value of the property, they want to use it as an argument for me lowering the rent.

Unfortunately, Zillow does not have one thing that I have - I KNOW what the property is worth on the rental market * this time of the rental season to the # of rental prospects in the prospect pool.


Additionally, I KNOW what the last 2 (3, 4, 5) residents have actually PAID in RENT for the property so LOWERING the rent because of an artificially created rental guestimate is not going to work......and they don't get points for even trying.




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Comment balloon 11 commentsWallace S. Gibson, CPM • July 21 2014 12:44PM


That's the same answer I give both buyers and sellers who want a price moved one way or another because of that zestimate.  I tell them it's basically a guess with no actual knowledge of the area to back it up.

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) about 5 years ago

I actually have the KNOWLEDGE and the PRIOR lease agreements to back up my rental price....

Posted by Wallace S. Gibson, CPM, LandlordWhisperer (Gibson Management Group, Ltd.) about 5 years ago

Wallace, experience usually trumps theory! We will use your numbers. Enjoy your day!

Posted by Wayne Martin, Real Estate Broker - Retired (Wayne M Martin) about 5 years ago

I agree... Zillow is not the last word!

have a great day


Posted by Rob Thomas, Bristol TN-VA & Tri Cities Agent, ABR, GRI, e-Pro (Prestige Homes of The Tri Cities, Inc. CALL....423-341-6954) about 5 years ago

I always check Zillow's own "accuracy ratio" for the given market and share it with the prospect. For example, their perception of Zillow's Zestimates changes dramatically once they learn Zillow is only 20% accurate (meaning 20 percent too high or too low), in my Silicon Valley market.

Posted by Michelle Carr Crowe,Altas Just Call...408-252-8900!, Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years (Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! . DRE #00901962 . Licensed to Sell since 1985 . Altas Realty) about 5 years ago

I've actually had rental prospects send me the rental zestimate with their offer BEFORE they ever see the home or visit the area 

Posted by Wallace S. Gibson, CPM, LandlordWhisperer (Gibson Management Group, Ltd.) about 5 years ago

HI Wallace.  Zillow is a joke.  I think Zillow itself claims to be wrong 6% of the time.

Posted by Conrad Allen, Webster, Ma, Realtor (Re/Max Professional Associates) about 5 years ago

Conrad...I think your comment had a typo and should have been 96% of the time....I have added checking for a rental zestimate prior to preparing my property persentation just so I know what to market AGAINST!

Posted by Wallace S. Gibson, CPM, LandlordWhisperer (Gibson Management Group, Ltd.) about 5 years ago

Wallace, the rental and the sales numbers here are all over the map, but not at all on the target. 

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) about 5 years ago

As everyone here has agreed,  and yes, buyers & sellers will argue with me as well, as they use Zillow to defend their arguments.

This past summer, I had an out of state owner argue that I was renting her place much too low, Zillow was telling her I should go much higher.  I had to work to gingerly tell her that Zillow didn't realize that the home in question hadn't been updated since the late 1950's and she was lucky she'd had the tenants she did paying her what she thought was too low.

Posted by Claude Labbe, Realty for Your Busy Life (Real Living | At Home) almost 5 years ago

What ever happened to truth in advertising LOL go get em Wallace 

Posted by Charles Stallions Property Manager, Pensacola, Pace & Gulf Breeze Property Management (Charles Stallions Real Estate Services) almost 5 years ago

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