Google Now + Zillow. Big times ahead …
Almost every buyer with whom I work checks Zillow (and I have to tell them Z doesn’t have a direct MLS feed, so the data isn’t always accurate. They check zestimates in addition to property assessments because they’re looking for an objective valuation.
Almost every seller with whom I work checks their home’s zestimate to see how it measures up with their locality’s assessment and our market analysis. More often than not, the zestimate is wrong. But.
I feel like I was seeing the future in 2006 when I wrote this –
Yet I have been wondering â€“ what if Zillow’s reach becomes so great, their data become so vast and inclusive, that their Zestimates significantly impact what is fair market value? What if the purchasing and selling population refer to Zillow as the end-all, be-all estimator for their homes’ valuations? What if â€œclose enoughâ€ is â€œgood enoughâ€? What if they become the de facto standard for home valuations?
Google Now gets you just the right information, before you even ask, and is the newest part of the Google Search app for devices running Android 4.1, Jelly Bean. If you’re in the market for a new home, Google Now can provide you with nearby real estate listings, powered by Zillow. Plus, while you’re attending an open house, Google Now will pull additional information about the home, including time on market, listing price, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and year built.
If you haven’t used Google Now, you should. I have a Nexus 7 tablet and Google Now is sweet – intuitive, instinctive and always there.
Zillow may be on to something. From Forbes.
Gartner estimates that smartphones captured 44% of all mobile phone sales in the December 2012 quarter with Android smartphones taking 31% of all mobile phone shipments and iOS in second place at 9%. Android smartphones grew 88% year over year with iOS at 23%.
Android at times makes my iPhone 4S feel old.
Russ with Zillow said in 2011, in response to my challenging their advocating using zestimates in negotiations:
Additionally, I wanted to let you know we’ve removed language about using the Zestimate for negotiation. We really do want to be clear that it’s a starting point, and we could see how that confused the issue. Thanks for pointing that out.
We’re not to the point where zestimates replace market analyses – there are so many unzillowables that can’t be quantified by an algorithm – view, smells, neighbors, proximity to work, stuff, groceries, etc but the question that marginal real estate agents need to be asking themselves (that great ones have been asking themselves for years) is this:
Why should my client trust me more than Google/Zillow? (my answer to this question coming next week)
(and what does this mean for Trulia?)
And â€¦ how is the National Association of Realtors going to respond to this?
In a conference call with analysts today around the company’s fourth quarter earnings, Rascoff noted that there’s a huge amount of â€œbrand whitespaceâ€ in the real estate category. That means no one brand symbolizes real estate in the U.S.