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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

Made Us Feel So Good About The City

I had an excellent experience. Jenny Riebel is simply the best. She was extremely patient with me as I asked so many questions and make decisions after a lot of analysis. Her flexibility, response time and everything was the best. It seemed like she is buying the home for herself and her family. I remember her very honest and sincere advises. I will recommend her for the best quality and friendliness. Me and my family are new to the city, moved from far away and she made us feel so good about city, neighborhood. It started feeling like home even before moving in. Thank you Jenny, Molly and all members of The Knell Group.

Appreciated the "team approach"

We really appreciated the "team approach" that allowed us to get the expertise from each member of the Knell Group as opposed to just what an individual realtor could provide. They allowed us to provide our input and then gave sound guidance based on experience. They were very approachable and worked with us, even over long distances. An all around super friendly, knowledgeable and fun team! Would recommend them and work with them again.
They were professional and energetic and stayed on top of the market

Our condo was on the market for six months and The Knell Group worked with us all along the way to sell the property. It was not an easy sale in a questionable market but they did what was needed to get the property sold. We're pleased with our realtor, Jenny Reibel, and the staff at the Knell group. They were professional and energetic and stayed on top of the market and listing until a buyer was found and the sale closed.
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