I often get people that ask me questions about Zillow through my profile. I try to answer each one, so keep them coming! They give me good fodder for blog posts! But it is also interesting to hear what is going through your minds with regards to Zillow.
I was recently asked the following question from Carl Martens:
Zillow really hit the market strong by providing a site where homeowners could find out what their home was worth, however once the data was determined to be inaccurate Zillow caught a bad rep...what has Zillow done to correct this and/or regain the trust of consumers?
To answer his question:
Actually, based on internal research, we don't have a bad rep with homeowners. We found that 88% of our audience is likely to recommend Zillow to someone they know. And 65% of our monthly traffic comes from repeat visitors. Further, 25% came 10+ times last month! So I don't think people would recommend the site or continue to visit it if they were having trust issues.
Zestimates are something that we are constantly working to improve. However, we know that we will never be 100% accurate. We have tried to be as transparent as possible about this by 1) Posting our accuracy numbers for every county and 2) by placing a disclaimer next to every Zestimate that says if they would like a more accurate valuation the homeowner should contact a real estate professional. We have also let home owners 'claim their home'which allows a homeowner to update/correct any information displayed online by creating an 'owner's estimate'. An owner can publish information such as a kitchen remodel or a view they may have that adds value.
We are also working to expand our product offering, beyond Zestimates, to make Zillow a site where people routinely come to discuss real estate. Since launching Zillow in Feb 2006, examples of some of the functionality we have added include:
- The ability to advertise "For Sale" properties for free. You can upload unlimited photos to each listing.
- A Real Estate Guide with 100's of articles that anyone can read, post to or edit.
- Q&A modules on each home which anyone can ask or answer questions about a specific home.
- Over 6,500 online neighborhood communities across more than 130 U.S. cities where people can discuss their neighborhoods. This is a huge opportunity for real estate professional to jump in and showcase their neighborhood expertise.
And right now we are working on a tool that will allow Brokers to bulk upload their listings for freeto the site. All of these components of Zillow are attracting an audience of about 4.4 million uniques each month.
Hope this answers your question!