All the talk for the past few days has focused on Zillow. Zillow this, Zillow that. Rightfully so, and Zillow seems to be courting the bloggers as well – something that larger corporations (MLS’) would be wise to do – (from an email I received from Zillow):
I’m guessing you might have already heard, but I thought I’d mail you anyway regarding the new version of Zillow that we shipped last night, which includes the ability for homeowners to update and add information about their home, such as a recent remodel or the existence of a waterfront view. From the search page , there are now dynamic heat maps as well. I think the new features are pretty cool- check this post on our blog for more info
Zillow is very, very cool. And useful; I just don’t see it replacing Realtors’ ability to interpret the intangible, unzillowable aspects of a home – I foresee it enhancing Realtors’ interpretation of said data. Opening up their data to the “Wikiality” mindset is a “good thing.” (read more about why here)
Right now, Zillow has the buzz throughout the blogosphere, (and also the critical eye/target) but Google is sneaking up (never thought I would write that!) on the competition, and that competition is the change-as-fast-as-molasses-flows MLS and Realtor organizations.
What does Google do? Collect data.
Who has the the majority of the best data? Realtors and MLS’.
Just look at the simplicity of the above – RSS. Distance Search. Property type. Simple, yet powerful. I wish that I had taken a picture of how many listings were in Charlottesville when I uploaded my first Google Base listing.
If I recall correctly, Merv made the comparison some time ago between the Realtor organization and GM. I think that he may have been quite prescient.
When has Google failed?
What if – Google bought Zillow? Just a thought.
Mark it down – marketing will become less and less a component of a Realtor’s core competency. Representation will.
Note: Charlottesville/Albemarle et. al. are not yet well-mapped, but I expect they will be.