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Zillow Can't Smell the Cat

The Knell Group
Oct 19 4 minutes read


We won't try to deny it, Zillow has become synonymous with real estate. In fact, the keyword “Zillow” was actually searched more starting in 2016 than the keywords “Real Estate”. (source: Inman News) So as you can imagine, they’ve leveraged their position in the market to start creating a suite of products and services designed to streamline the entire real estate experience from beginning to end. .. but it's complicated, time consuming, stressful and expensive. The bottom line is customers use Zillow as their primary source of real estate information because they associate Zillow as the authority on real estate.  We aim to change that habit. We want to become the destination of choice by providing information that is more localized, more personalized and more valuable to the unique needs of our local customers.  

We are local agents who are uniquely positioned to provide the personalized service our clients need to achieve their real estate goals. Here are a few things to consider: 

1. "Zestimate" vs. Our Home Value

When you google search, "What is a Zestimate" you will read:  "Zillow's Zestimate is an estimate of value using a proprietary formula created by the online real estate database company. ... A Zestimate is calculated from physical attributes, tax records, and user submitted data" (source: google)

Something Zillow cannot do is evaluate the condition of your home and condition of homes around you. They cannot see the good and the bad like the quality craftsmanship, added amenities or the worn carpet, personalized wall colors and/or pet odors for example.  They also do not know the age of such important factors as roof, mechanicals etc. vs your competition. 

We are able to customize the data to offer you the most accurate comparables to determine your home value. Instead of a robot and an algorithm, we use our experience and up-to-date MLS data. We're humans so our home value reports are all researched thoroughly and made possible by years of experience and local expertise. 

2. Market Stats vs. Market Commentary

If you want information about home values, recently sold properties or generic market trends, you can just go to Zillow. But is that what you are really looking for?  

We’d argue that when someone asks the question “How’s the market?”, they are really asking “What’s happening in the market right now and why? And where is the market going?”.

Our team will discuss our current local market, trends and predictions with you. Better to be face to face or live with someone who lives here and is a local expert.

3. Self-Serve Search vs. Curated Searches

The big lie that we tell ourselves is that we want choice. We don’t. Too much choice creates anxiety and stress. 

We’ve moved from the age of information to the age of recommendations. Everything in our lives is served up to us in the form of a recommendation. 

The movies we watch. 

The products we buy. 

The food we eat. 

All specifically designed for our unique needs. So, why aren’t real estate agents recommending homes the same way to prospective customers?     

We CAN! The Knell Group is able to create curated, niche searches that fit a specific need and serve up those homes in a useful way. So instead of getting 10+ notifications of listings that do not fit your criteria we can tailor your notifications to make it relevant to you. Plus, with our new AI platform, the more you use our website, the more it learns your preferences and can adapt notifications as well. 

Reviews from Real Clients

Kept Us Constantly Updated

We were very happy with the time and effort Jenny put in to help us sell our condo. It was made especially difficult with COVID, and Jenny kept us constantly updated with possible buyers and we also liked the capability to approve showings on line. Videos they prepared were wonderful!

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Handled Everything in a Professional and Expeditious Manner

After we made a successful offer on a Peoria home in October, 2019, Jenny Riebel handled everything in a professional and expeditious manner for a long distance and long term transaction. While we remained in California  everything was handled smoothly and efficiently electronically until the closing in March, 2020. We were very pleased with how the entire transaction was handled.

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Knew The Market Very Well

This was our first experience working with The Knell Group and specifically, Jenny Riebel, and we couldn't have been more pleased. Jenny was so easy to work with and helped us sell our home quickly! She knew the market very well and helped us find the perfect home for our family. I highly recommend Jenny and her team to anyone looking to buy or sell in the Central Illinois area

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