Zillow wants your listings.

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with Zillow.com

Hi, it's David G from Zillow.com. If you think you've read that somewhere before, it could be that I've commented on  one of your blog posts on behalf of Zillow where I'm the Director of Customer Service. This is my first post at ActiveRain. Hi! Tonight, we're taking our next big step at Zillow.com and I want to fill you in as well as get your feedback. 

You can now post your listings for sale on Zillow.com -- it's free for listing agents and sellers to market their homes on Zillow. As Zillow President Lloyd Frink says on our blog, "We're opening it up". To quote our CEO, Rich Barton, the new offerings allow homeowners or real estate agents "to plant virtual 'For Sale' signs in their Zillow front yards for free." As a listing agent, you can promote your listings along side your contact details with a link to your website, blog or even the home's virtual tour. Did I mention it's free?

This may be the first version of our website that includes homes for sale but we've put a lot of thought and effort into the posting tool, and the image uploads and we've rebuilt search to accommodate for sale homes and added more intuitive filtering of search results. Now, when you post your listing on Zillow, buyers will see your price and not the Zestimate in their search results on the Zillow map. On the home's details page, the sale price is also most prominently displayed. 

With this launch, which was internally dubbed "Z4", we've added a wiki -- the real estate wiki. It's loaded with articles from Choosing a Lender to Owning vs Renting a Home but you're the experts, so please get involved and add your opinion or experiences to a wiki article on Zillow. Or, maybe just correct an article. I hope this will become a well used reference for homeowners and a place for professionals to document best practice. You'll even find a wiki article called Realtor com - Agent Marketing Opportunities. You definitely know more about these topics than we do, so please, consider contributing to the real estate wiki.

Lastly, we've also added the ability for owners who don't plan to sell their homes to post a price on their home that would make them reconsider -- we call this feature Make Me Move (TM). I personally can't wait to see what homeowners do with it.

OK, that's enough from me for now. Please go and try to post your listings on Zillow and let me know what you think. I'd love to hear your feedback. Once you've kicked the tires on our new features, let me know in the comments below this post.

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Rainer
51,553
John Hruska
Homes Charlotte, LLC - Charlotte, NC
HMMMM, that's all I have to say about that also.
Dec 07, 2006 08:04 AM #17
Rainer
11,827
MaryAnn Morrar ~ La Jolla
Coldwell Banker - La Jolla, CA

Jeff - you can have link to a web site so I put the listings web site link which has the tour on it.  You could I guess just use the web address of the tour

http://www.zillow.com/HomeDetails.htm?zprop=24930380

On the left is indicates see additional web site

Dec 07, 2006 08:27 AM #18
Rainmaker
1,168,524
Jay Thompson
Zillow - Seattle, WA

Ben wrote: I was really impressed with how simple you made it to list a house.  For collecting a huge amount of data you've made it really simple.  Not that I'm really in the market to sell my house - but I put it up just to see what happens."

Let me know if you need an agent. I know a GREAT source of referrals...  :)

David - thanks for posting! Sorry I missed you guys in Phoenix on Monday. Wish I could have made it.

Love the wiki... will add listings later.

Jay
http://www.PhoenixRealEstateGuy.com

Dec 07, 2006 08:36 AM #19
Rainer
233,668
Diane Rice
Rice Prprty Mgmnt & Rlty, LLC, South Holland, IL - Lansing, IL
SFR, SRES, CNC

Hello David,

Any discussions in the near future for "RENTAL HOMES" on the site ????

Dec 07, 2006 08:53 AM #20
Rainer
11,328
David Gibbons
Zillow.com - Seattle, WA

Hi, it's David from Zillow

MaryAnn - You've got it!

Ben -

So, I cornered our IT director and got this quote on what it takes to deal with Zillow's traffic ... "Almost nothing on the market is sufficient to handle traffic in the real estate space like ours – we’ve certainly dealt with some traffic challenges and peak loads on days like today.  Our developers and engineers have been through some similar scenarios in prior lives at sites like Lycos, Amazon, Hotwire, Expedia and MSN and have brought this experience to develop networking, switching, high throughput HTTP servers and custom search engines to handle our very media peaky traffic load."

Jay - No, I'm sorry for the late notice. It's been a bit crazy. Next time! Thanks! 

Dec 07, 2006 09:19 AM #21
Rainer
1,092,387
Matt Heaton
Timu Corp - CEO, ActiveRain - Co-founder - Bothell, WA

Ben: The pictures of your house you posted don't look right.  Where is all the cat hair all over the furniture.  Does Zillow price in the fact your house has a special "Cat Palace Room"? :)

Dec 07, 2006 02:37 PM #22
Rainmaker
713,133
Cheryl Johnson
Highland Park, CA

David:  An assistant, The Intrepid Grace, and I, spent a couple hours yesterday entering listings.  The final output looks really sharp.

But should it really take two emails - a confirmation and an activation email?  And about every third listing, the system asked for me to re-enter credit card info.  (For Active Rain Members reading this - there is no charge to post at Zillow, but the system asks for a credit card as ID) - Can't you just log me in once and for all?  :-)  Maybe the system was overloaded yesterday!

Here's one of ours for the curious:

http://www.zillow.com/HomeDetails.htm?zprop=20770603

 

Dec 07, 2006 09:38 PM #23
Rainmaker
713,133
Cheryl Johnson
Highland Park, CA

Christine -- In case your question was about searching the system (not entering listings) -- the answer is: Zillow's initial page -- Look right under the words "Why Use Zillow" and click on Buyers: Find homes, compare values

 

Dec 07, 2006 09:46 PM #24
Rainer
14,883
Ben Wiseley
Kirkland, WA

Matt:  Zillow has special photo upload processing that auto-stages your photos.  It's bleeding edge stuff.  It vacuums your carpets, puts fresh paint on the walls, and captures your NW yard during the one month it's not a bog. 

Still waiting, SIGH!, on the "Cat Palace" check box on their otherwise perfect data input screen.  Other categories I'd like to see:

  • Troglodyte coding den of suffering
  • Crap storage area
  • Property nook for garbage you're too lazy to bring to the dump
  • yard that has been abused for 10 years or more
  • This property has one or more toilets, junked cars, rotting sofas in the front yard
  • Neighbor is bat shit insane

They're really slacking off over there.

Dec 07, 2006 11:33 PM #25
Rainmaker
218,284
William Collins
ERA Queen City Realty - Scotch Plains, NJ
Property and Asset Management
David, Thanks for the post. I am always looking to new opportunities to evaluate. I'll make a point of surveying the territory!
Dec 08, 2006 12:17 AM #26
Rainer
2,219
Karen Richardson
ERA Key Realty - Northborough, MA

Another for FSBO site for agent prospecting? There is just so much out there for sellers it's all too confusing - If they really want to sell they will still come to us (hopefully without too many horror stories about trying to do it alone) 

Dec 08, 2006 12:43 AM #27
Rainmaker
223,250
Rick & Ines - Miami Beach Real Estate
Majestic Properties - Miami Beach, FL

Cheryl - did you notice the "Zestimate" on the property you posted is $50,000 under listing price?  That can't be good.

ines

Dec 08, 2006 04:34 AM #28
Rainmaker
713,133
Cheryl Johnson
Highland Park, CA

Rick & Ines:  Yes ... but it falls within the "Value Range" ... My personal Zillow campaign is now to simply keep asking David G and the rest of them  to present the "Value Range" info more prominently ... maybe in the same size and color font as the Zestimate ...

Dec 08, 2006 05:05 AM #29
Rainmaker
223,250
Rick & Ines - Miami Beach Real Estate
Majestic Properties - Miami Beach, FL

If you were range pricing, I think it would be a beautiful strategy Cheryl - being on top of the a $100K "Value Range" is brutal for your marketing strategy.  A 20K range would be reasonable, a 100K range is ridiculous - that's my opinion, of course.

Ines

Dec 08, 2006 05:50 AM #30
Rainmaker
713,133
Cheryl Johnson
Highland Park, CA
Well, we're not range pricing it ... we're just trying to find the angle that will allow the asking price and the Zestimate to peacefully co-exist.
Dec 08, 2006 06:28 AM #31
Anonymous
Jeffery Evans
I beg to differ regarding Safari support and Zillow.  If you want to see that Zillow works, but poorly under Safari simply download Safari Enhancer and spoof the Safari user agent string. The web site tries to work if you report Safari as Firefox. It renders poorly, but it does work.  

In general Microsoft solutions are the "non-standards complliant" implementations, not Apple's.  That said, there are many Microsoft-only technology implementations for real estate and that's why Parallels exists.  I'm just sick of the arrogant attitude.  Your're implementing beta technology and you don't know how to make it standards compliant.  So, you simply attempt to lock out Safari.  
Dec 08, 2006 08:28 AM #32
Rainmaker
223,250
Rick & Ines - Miami Beach Real Estate
Majestic Properties - Miami Beach, FL

Cheryl - I appreciate your opion, but I still see it as a very negative way to market your listing.  $100K is a huge range when you're talking about anything under $ 1/2 million.  When you do a comparable market analysis and price a property well, and even bellow market, and Zillow gives you a number that is $50,000 bellow that value, how do you explain that to the seller?  I do know that a property is priced at what a buyer is willing to buy and seller is willing to sell - but the "peaceful co-existence" of a Zestimate and a well-researched value of  a property with a $50,000 difference is not being achieved at this time.  BTW - your pricing is at the very top of the $100K range value that Zillow gives.  This of course is my opinion, and I respect the fact that you are trying it out.  I would love to hear how it goes.  Thanks,

ines

Dec 08, 2006 08:40 AM #33
Rainmaker
713,133
Cheryl Johnson
Highland Park, CA

Rick & Ines:  Since a free listing on Zillow is ~hmmm~ not the major thrust of our marketing efforts, I am not going to worry much about it.   And a low "Zestimate" can at least encourage sellers to be open-minded in their negotiations.

Dec 08, 2006 11:48 AM #34
Rainmaker
223,250
Rick & Ines - Miami Beach Real Estate
Majestic Properties - Miami Beach, FL

That's a VALID strategy Cheryl - I will post a listing where the seller is not too willing to negotiate, maybe that will help out.  Thanks for sticking by me on this.

ines

 

Dec 08, 2006 11:56 AM #35
Rainer
11,328
David Gibbons
Zillow.com - Seattle, WA
Cheryl -

Thanks for posting; your listing looks great. Please let us know how it goes.

The CC confirmation should only be requested once per session (i.e. don't close your browser) -- and then only after posting 3 listings -- or where we don't know the owner's details to use that as confirmation. Let me know if that's not how it behaves when next you post.

I have passed on the suggestion about the style of the value range and agree it's an important piece of information -- and that the Zestimate and the list price can peacefully coexist.

Ben -

Thanks for blogging about the experiment - it's a good read so far - keep it up. 

Ines -

The width of the value range is a fuction of our confidence in the Zestimate. I agree that a $100K range is no good for pricing a home or deciding on an offer -- luckily that is your job. Remember that the Zestimate is just a research tool -- it doesn't replace an appraisal or a CMA and is best viewed as a "starting point" in finding a home's value.

Jeffery -

So sorry I came across arrogant about the Safari thing; I'm running on lack of sleep. Our developers are in contact with the Safari team -- both companies badly want to see Zillow running on Safari on the Mac. We now work with the development version of Safari (www.webkit.org) and mainstream support is getting very close. We do use MS-centric web technologies on IE -- but our firefox implementation is web-native. When Zillow is running on the production version of safari, we'll announce it on the Zillow blog. 

Dec 10, 2006 12:33 PM #36
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