Posts tagged Zillow

Listen to Zillow – Pay Little Attention to the Zestimate

I’ve written this for years. And Jay at Zillow has written it in a way that hopefully now consumers will lend credence to my words: (bolding mine)

But (a Zestimate is) not accurate enough to determine what price to set for a home about to go on the market, or what price to offer on a home. The Zestimate isn’t intended to be used like that.

But – they used to aspire to consumers using the zestimate to negotiate and thankfully and rightly removed that language.

One day though, Zillow might be right(er).

Zillow is awfully popular though.

Google Trends - Web Search interest_ zillow, realtor.com - Worldwide, 2004 - present.jpg

So, thanks Jay for the post. 🙂

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Zillow + Google = Amazing Times Ahead

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 – 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 “close enough” is “good enough”? What if they become the de facto standard for home valuations?

And now this (pardon the pun):

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)

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Zillow’s Offering Blogs and Real Estate Search. So What?

Not much has changed since 2007 – real estate search is *still* fragmented. And if you’re searching for homes for sale in Charlottesville, read this first.

In 2007 and 2008, not many real estate agents (relatively) had blogs or real estate search; now, seemingly everyone does – and the battle between the big three – Realtor.com, Zillow and Trulia remains as fierce as ever. So today’s news that Zillow is going to be offering cheap wordpress sites with real estate search is yet another sign that real estate listings are a commodity, accessible by almost everyone … and when something is everywhere, its value is diminished.

The one thing that hasn’t changed is that real estate agents are always looking for the next silver bullet that will make them successful and profitable without having to work. Hard. Zillow’s going for the masses – good for them.

My first reaction to reading this news was, “thank goodness I have something on my site besides listings.” Everyone and every product is seeking to differentiate itself. If everyone has real estate search, that differentiation is going to be harder to achieve.

So, my reaction to the “Zillow is offering blogs with real estate search” news is a combination of “so what” and “good for them.”

I’ll keep doing what I’m doing and represent my clients to the best of my ability. With or without listings on my blog.

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Searching for homes in Charlottesville – Zillow, Trulia, MLS?

Not much has changed in the nearly four years since I first wrote about how to search for homes in Charlottesville.

I know consumers use these sites, but they tend to not be the most accurate if you’re looking for homes to see this weekend.

But if you’re looking for the most accurate listings and what I feel is the best, most user-friendly and functional home search tool in Charlottesville, I really and truly think that the search tool here at RealCentralVA is the best in the area.

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DS + Zillow = A whole Host of Questions

Warning: this post is not within the real of purely local real estate blogging …

Second, when I saw this news I felt like I’d been punched in the gut. One of the reasons I have so loved Diverse Solutions on my site is that they gave me what I believed to be the best tool out there to search for homes in my market. In part, I’ve been competing with Zillow (not really, they’re huge. I’m tiny) But really, I have been. Now they’re together? Zillow, who makes money (as all of the third parties do) selling agents on upsells for $X per month?

1. Is this the next step in the evolution of Zillow becoming/replacing/supplanting the MLS? Maybe. Maybe not.

2a. Presumably, if I keep using Diverse Solutions to power my real estate search page, I’ll have to update my site’s privacy policy saying that Zillow is likely to start farming my users’ information. That will suck.

4. Listings, and listing data are a commodity . Everyone has them. I’ve benefited by google indexing the MLS listings found on my site, but I’ve never depended on it. I generate unique, relevant, and occasionally good content. Anyone can get listing data.

6. See #4. Those depending on real estate search for their SEO are now SOL. It’s the evolution/consolidation of the tech space, and that’s ok. Real estate is about real estate representation – used with technology appropriately. Technology without competent representation and interpretation is merely cool tech.

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