zillow: Zillow Acquires Ashley Madison - 07/24/15 06:01 AM
SEATTLE In the very same week that the Zillow Group set social media in the real estate space on fire with their purchase of software firm Dotloop, CEO Spencer Rascoff has announced the purchase of website AshleyMadison.com.
It is unknown how the dating platform for cheating spouses fits into Zillow's model, but industry insider comments were all over the map.
Zillow's own Jay Thompson, Director of Industry Outreach, asked "who is Ashley Madison? Is she a premier agent? Is she Canadian or something?" when contacted about the move. In a rambling, impromptu statement, realtor.com parent company NewsCorp. CEO Rupert Murdoch went on record as saying, … (18 comments)

zillow: On ARG's Announcement to Pull Their Listings from Syndication - 01/27/12 05:48 PM
Inman news is reporting a Youtube announcement from ARG (Abbott Realty Group) that they are not  permitting their listings to be viewed on 3rd party syndicators such as Zillow, Trulia and even Realtor.com. The link is already behind Inman's paywall so I have embedded the video below. This comes in the wake of a similar announcement from midwest Giant Edina Realty's decision to do the very same thing this past November. Jim Abbott, broker and president of ARG, gives what I consider a very well reasoned explanation for his company's decision. You may not agree, but his explanation is compelling. 
As … (97 comments)

zillow: Zillow Agent Reviews: A Request for Sanity - 12/11/11 01:40 AM
You might notice in the Sidebar of my blog that I have some excerpts to client reviews I have received with a link to my Zillow profile and ratings.
When Zillow announced their agent ratings system, I voiced some understandable skepticism. However, Sara Bonert, whom I like and respect, gave me some rather convincing reassurances that safeguards would be taken against system gamers and fraudulent reviews from the unscrupulous. I then published a post, to be fair, that Zillow was going about this ratings system in a responsible way. I wish it ended there. It doesn't. 
I have to tell you … (106 comments)

zillow: The Ultimate Answer to the Zillow Zestimate - 04/04/11 04:22 PM
Perhaps no phenomenon in real estate is as much of a lightning rod for strong opinions as the Zillow Zestimate. Most agents I speak with hate it; I have had instances where looking it up has helped a deal and I have had clients walk from a deal because of it. The Zillow Zestimate has been the reason for sellers to feel under-priced or under-bid, and it has been invoked by buyers as the reason that they feel they overbid on a home. I once got so exasperated that I asked a client if a Zestimate ever drove them around Westchester … (123 comments)

zillow: Giving Zillow Agent Reviews Credit - 01/16/11 01:59 PM
Last month when Sara Bonert wrote about Zillow's new agent review system, I voiced my skepticism. I don't have a beef with the idea per se, I've just had my ups and downs with Zillow, as many of us have. Sara, to her credit, answered me both online and in person when we met at the Triple Play convention that week that Zillow would take strong safeguards against system gamers and crackpots. 
The system is only about a month old now, and I haven't really made any effort to get my past clients to write a review yet, but one came … (16 comments)

zillow: Like Me, Love Me - 12/03/10 03:00 AM
Maybe it started with the emperors thumbs up or thumbs down in the Roman Coliseum. Maybe it culminated with Fonzie. Or Sally Field. Or Facebook. Nobody knows, but the human fascination with rating each other is well-documented. In light of Zillow's new agent rating system, I am moved to opine on the online versions of how we rate, like, love, endorse and otherwise measure the performance of those with whom we do business, as even a Facebook remark can be liked as much as a business. 
I LIKE approval and high ratings. I love to be loved. As I have blogged before, … (49 comments)

zillow: Zillow "Best Real Estate Blog" Contest - 07/31/10 08:53 PM
I should be asleep, but I just read on Facebook that Zillow is holding a "Best Real Estate Blog" vote in a number of metropolitan areas. I originally read it on Jay Thompson's (AKA The Phoenix Real Estate Guy's) page, and I got intrigued to see if they were including any New York blogs; they are not. There are 10 Metropolitan areas being surveyed: Baltimore,  Chicago,  Dallas,  Houston,  Jacksonville,  Oklahoma City, Philadelphia,  Phoenix,  San Diego, and  Seattle.  The Somers team is a nominee in Philadelphia and they got my vote, and it isn't because their outside blog has a header of a rowing shell. … (8 comments)

zillow: Selling By Owner? Cooperate with Agents in New York - 06/20/09 12:55 AM
I was contacted by someone out of the blue asking me to show them a home for sale in Eastchester. They found it on Zillow, which isn't uncommon. I looked up the address on the MLS and it came back with "no properties found." Checking Zillow revealed that the home was for sale by owner. So I called the owner and set up an appointment as if I were calling any other home listed for sale. No sheepish query if they were cooperating with brokers or explanation of my intentions. "When can I show it."
Thursday. So I showed it Thursday. … (6 comments)

zillow: Zillow Saves a Deal in Rockland County Real Estate Sale - 06/19/09 08:07 AM
I have blogged before about the difficulties Zillow has caused. Typically, their "Zestimate" has caused people to 2nd guess the more accurate evidence on the ground and either over or undervalue a home, killing a possible transaction. The galling thing about it is that the more compelling evidence is right under their nose from the MLS, but that one number on a zillow page (which, by Zillow's own admission is typically off by 11% or more in Westchester County) has killed everything. 
However, this past week, Zillow zigged instead of zagged. My seller clients were agonizing over whether or not to … (24 comments)

zillow: Just When I Was Starting to Like Zillow... - 05/23/09 01:46 AM
Zillow used to be on my last nerve. It seemed that no matter how compelling my rationale was for pricing, a seller would claim that Zillow had their house at $50,000 higher or a buyer would lament that the value of the home they were buying was $50,000 lower. It was maddening. Zillow seemed arrogantly unapologetic about the dreaded "zestimate," which no doubt killed more than it's share of deals. 
However, over time, Zillow seemed to become more agent-friendly. Their responses on blogs like Sellsius seemed to be less defiant. They syndicated listings. They created profiles for agents,  and indexed us … (10 comments)

zillow: But Zillow Said... - 02/10/09 06:17 AM
One of the biggest thorns in my side is how Zillow offers to estimate home values for consumers. It never fails to amaze me how I can walk through a home, sit with the owner, apply my 13 years of experience to a detailed market analysis, quote the owner my best price opinion, and then be told with a straight face "but Zillow said it is worth $50,000 higher." I have had irate buyers call me at 9pm, almost screaming that they just overbid on a home because Zillow said it was worth $25,000 less.
There was a time that I just … (8 comments)

 
J. Philip Faranda, Broker-Owner (J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY)

J. Philip Faranda

Broker-Owner

Briarcliff Manor, NY

More about me…

J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY

Address: 522 North State Road , Suite 100, Briarcliff Manor, NY, 10510

Office: (914) 762-2500

Mobile: (914) 450-8883

Email Me

Phil Faranda is broker and owner of J. Philip Real Estate LLC in Briarcliff Manor, NY. Since founding the firm as a sole practitioner in late 2005, the team has grown to over 80 agents & closed 1000+ transactions valued at over $500 million. He was 2014 President of the HGMLS and a 2017 Inman Influencer. This blog commentary is geared toward consumers and industry colleagues alike. You can reach him at (914) 723-8900.
Warning: *Sarcasm and irony advisory at all times.*

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