My Zillow Beef, as requested

I have posted a few blog entries, and comments about issues I have with Zillow. I have been asked what my "beef" with Zillow is, so I figure I might as well just lay it out there. This is a post explaining my concerns and will leave it open to discussion and allow each person to form their own opinion.

First off, let me state this emphatically... I love this business. I am a mortgage professional. I am not a Realtor or real estate agent, but my business is directly tied to that of the real estate agents. So in general, I love what we do. I love the professionalism that most of us, at least here on Active Rain tend to work within. I love helping a home buyer discover that they can actually buy a home and acheive that dream. I love going to the closing and seeing the smiles and excitement and knowing that I was a key part in that family's happiness. It is an honor to do what I do.

So in that light, and with everything that our industry has gone through, I kinda get concerned when I see things that have great potential to cause our industry harm. That is where I see Zillow, in its current form.

This post will not be a personal attack, but David with Zillow has addressed me directly, so in some of this I will answer his questions. And bear in mind.. this is simply my opinion, so one is free to accept it or dispute it. That is the freedom we all have in this great country!

My concerns:

1. The Positioning of Zillow. Zillow is an advertising medium designed to attract visitors and make revenue off of advertising. Contrary to what David said, I have no problem with Zillow making money. I encourage that, as making a buck is what keeps us all going. I do not hate Zillow, Google or any other website for making money in advertising. I too have made a buck or two in advertising... its a great medium.

My problem is in how Zillow has positioned itself. Call it great branding, but Zillow has positioned themselves to appear to be an information portal. They are working diligently to offer free "tools" to help "educate" consumers to make good choices in real estate. However, the tools they offer are often grossly inaccurate and very misleading. Their own disclaimers tell you this, if you read the numbers. However, most Americans do not read the disclaimers. We breeze through the license agreements when installing software. We assemble things without the instructions. It's our nature. So Zillow can get by without too much issue here because people don't take the time to read it.

If you are going to position yourself as something that offers advice, especially on something as important as property values, you better have your stuff together. This is not predicting the weather. People have lost millions due to the abundance of misinformation, and the gross inaccuracies with Zillow's "zesitimates" are a major concern. I hope they get this fixed and quick.

2. Lack of Accountability. If an appraiser miscalculates the value of a property, he can lose his license. If a Realtor misrepresents information on a property, they can lose their license. If Zillow gets it wrong, oh well. Yet, they have positioned themselves to be the "edge in real estate." In my opinion, you can only be an "edge" in anything if you are an expert, and experts usually get it right most of the time. This is where Zillow fails. And without accountability they can be off and it doesn't matter. However, Realtors and lenders have to deal with the mess. We constantly have to explain values and the inacuracies of Zillow's tools.

Side Note Realtors: How does it appear to a consumer if as a Realtor you are trying to explain how "off" and inaccurate Zillow is on a property's value, yet you feature your properties there? Mixed message I think... just my opinion.

I would love to see some sort of accountability here. David at Zillow has claimed that they are no different than other real estate websites out there that show properties for sale. This is something I disagree with. Other websites, like Trulia for example (also an advertsing medium) list every home they can find for sale in one great place. The difference... they don't express opinions on the values of those homes. This is a KEY difference. Zillow tells your clients how much the home is worth, in most cases in direct conflict with what you as the actual professional have determined.

The arguement that visitors would require substance on the website to keep coming back is not valid. Sorry. There are way too many websites and companies in existence that offer no substance, yet get major traffic. Even Paris Hilton gets attention, and we all know substance is severly lacking there!

3. Mortgage Marketplace. Now this one hits near a sore spot for me, sorry. As a professional mortgage lender, I strive to provide real numbers and quotes to my clients. This is after I have gathered enough information to do so. I do not use rates in any of my advertsing simply because by being honest, I will always be higher than other ads out there. Zillow's Mortgage Marketplace allows one side of the equation to not only be anonymous, but also allows this anonymous side to rate their experience with the lenders. (we'll cover that in concern #4) This is no different that a borrower calling 10 lenders on the phone and saying, "I got excellent credit... what's your best rate?" Well, it is different. They get to post that and have the lenders clammor to tell them.

Do you think there is much reality happening here? You have an anonymous borrower that is anonymous for a reason. In this situation, the only factor for making a decision is a rate and some fees. But there is SO MUCH MORE to a mortgage than a rate. Of course, with mortgage rates having been so low for so long, the general public has lost the idea that there is more to it than a rate. And now with rates increasing everyday and changing 5 times a day, it is almost impossible to quote a rate and still honor it an hour later! But this can lead to feeling ripped off, lied to, misquoted, baited and switched... all the stuff that we as an industry need to STOP if we ever want be held in any high regard again. Zillow's system feeds the negative view much more than the positive view we as an industry need and want.

4. Feedback system. I believe it was David (but could have been Sara) that claimed the feedback system on Zillow is like that of Ebay, allowing borrowers to rate lenders based on their experience much like Ebay's buyers and sellers can rate each other. The issue here is that one side of Zillow's system is anonymous and only the anonymous side gets to rate the other. This is unfair and makes the system fallible. Although David has stated several times that borrower's can not rate a lender unless they have made contact, this CAN, and in fact has happened. The problem here is that Zillow relies on the anonymous borrower to "warranty" that they have contacted the lender before rating them... but as of now Zillow has not provided a real way of stopping them if they have not in fact done so.

If the borrower has indeed rated a lender wrongly, Zillow can remove the feedback. But what good is this? Imagine a bad lender claiming viable ratings as inaccurate. Or worse, imagine a lender that consistently offers real numbers (Mike Muller for example) getting negative feedback over and over because his quote was just higher. After a while someone at Zillow would probably say something like... "Come on, they can all be unjustified!" But what if they are? This system needs to be fixed... it is seriously flawed.

If Zillow wants to compare their feedback to Ebay, then follow Ebay's example. Both sides have to be visible (no anonymous parties) and there must actually be a transaction to rate, not just some random quote. Ebay will not permit feedback unless you have been involved in a transaction with the other party, period. Just because you bid on an item, you can not rate the other party. It's just not an option!

5. The fact that this is all built on the backs of real estate and mortgage Professionals. Sure, we don't have to pay them for advertising homes or mortgages on their website. And they don't pay us. However, we end up here with the short end of the stick, having to overcome "zestimate" values that are way off, and mortgage rate quotes that are minimialized at best. Zillow makes money (again, good for Zillow) at the expense of our jobs. Our jobs get harder, not easier. Bottom line is that OUR reputations are the ones at stake... Zillow is just a website.

Sure, there will be success stories and to those people I wish congrats! But Zillow has some serious issues it must address. I will give them kudos for the branding image they have created. All I really want is to see them actually live up to the image.

So there you have it. Those are my beefs. Again, this is not a personal attack. I think Zillow has the potential to introduce some really cool suff, but they really need to get these items addresses quickly. Otherwise, we in our industry that are licensed professionals may very well suffer.

 

close

This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
Groups:
North Carolina Real Estate
Realtors®
Mortgages
Zillow Discussion Group
Zillow Mortgage Marketplace
Tags:
zillow

Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Rainmaker
363,401
Susie Blackmon
Ocala, FL
Ocala, Horses, Western Wear, Horse Farms, Marketing

Great, valid points/arguments.  I would chime in but have other fish to fry, and I agree with your points anyway.

Jun 17, 2008 07:00 PM #1
Ambassador
690,748
Paul McFadden
Paratex - Seattle, WA
Pest Control, Seattle, WA.

Hi Ed: Good post. Well thought out. I agree with your sentiments although I'm willing to give Zillow time to tweak their system. They seem willing to refine and tune up so I'm willing to see what happens for the rest of this year. Take care.

 

Paul

Jun 18, 2008 02:19 AM #2
Rainmaker
120,967
Richard Sweum
1st Security Bank - Everett, WA

Ed, you've brought some terrific comparisons specifically on the feedback and accountability part.  Ebay makes money from transaction "fees" don't they?  Would Zillow have to get a piece of the pie to make it a profitable venture for them? 

I believe they will be bringing in some tweeks to their system over the next 3 months, heck what do they have to lose by trying to improve?  Experiment, see what happens if they require the borrower to be visible and not anonymous! 

Dave, Sara...why not, come on...give it a shot, see what happens!

Jun 18, 2008 02:39 AM #3
Rainer
11,334
David Gibbons
Zillow.com - Seattle, WA

Hi, it's David G from Zillow,

Ed, thanks for taking me up on my challenge. It helps to know what your actual concerns are. I'll try to address each point.

  1. Zillow.com does not promise advice. Advice is your job, not ours. We do however promise to connect consumers to experts who can advise them and we do promise access to information. Zillow is certainly an information portal. This is the information age and RE pro's need top make peace with the fact that buyers and sellers are increasingly arming themselves with information before they reach out to a professional. The sales cycle in professional services is chaning for good. Consumers used to start out by finding a professional, then getting educated and then transacting. Now, they start with education, then they select a professional and then they transact. It's important for RE pros' to uinderstand this shift in consumer behavior. When you do, you will understand the role of the media in your industry; it's the same reason that new marketing tools, like blogs, are working so well. Like everything else on earth, real estate information is not 100% perfect (no matter what your source is.) The head-in-the-sand response to the fact that RE information isn't 100% perfect is to want to "protect" consumers from it. We would strongly disgaree with that approach. We believe that more access to more information is always better than less - even though some of that information may be imperfect. You're welcomer to disagree with that philosophy but you're in a shrinking minority. The fact that estimates of value are now ubiquitous content, found on many RE sites, is testament to the fact that they play an important role in a consumer's RE research and that the vast majority of RE pro's and consumers see value in this information. As a RE Pro, you're not supposed to find Zestimates useful. You're not the audience for Zestimate values but to fail to acknowledge their use to a consumer is a mistake. Publishers certainly have a responsibility to their audience when it comes to setting their expectations and pursuing accuracy in what they publish. I challenge you to find another website that publishes value estimates that takes that responsibility as seriously as Zillow does.
  2. I don't claim that there's no difference between Zillow and the listings sites. Quite the opposite. Zillow invested heavily to attract a massive audience to our site. Unlike the pure-play listing sites, Zillow is not an listings arbitrage player. If you look at most listing sites you'll notice that they added no new value, no new content but rather merely used existing listings data, already available to consumers, to attract an audience who they then try to sell to the folks who supplied the listings info in the first place. Zillow is the opposite of this approach. We attracted more than 4M buyers and sellers a month to the site before we had a single listing on Zillow. Zestimates, the Mortgage Marketplace, Home Value Reports are just some of the value added content innovated by Zillow.com. We are nothing like the pure-play listings sites; Zillow is adding value for RE consumers, agents and mortgage brokers.
  3. Ed, do your research on the mortgage marketplace. I hear your fears but trust me, they're largely unfounded. For the most part, the quotes are accurate and those that aren't stand out like a sore thumb, thanks to the transparency on Zillow. Loan requests and loan quotes are also far more detailed and accurate than you suggest. You should really check it out. Borrowers are getting great deals on Zillow and LO's are closing loans. It's working. Really well. Sorry to be blunt, but if you can't quote a rate an honor it an hour later, that's your problem, not Zillow's. Find another investor. We don't pretend to fix the inherent problems or complexities in the mortgage industry - and there are many - but we do put borrowers in the driver's seat like no other mortgage solution does.
  4. You're also wrong about eBay. They actually recently realized that buyers reviews of sellers add no value and so they removed them from the site. Reviews on Zillow are certainly not "one-way" - just like on eBay, lenders on Zillow can respond to reviews from borrowers. Again, Ed, I encourage you to do your homework before jumping to conclusions.
  5. See point 2 above. You entirely misunderstand Zillow's origin. We didn't start out by scraping listings. Also; it's not healthy to fear web2.0. AR is worthy of your criticism yet we know that they're not evil. Think about it.

I hope that helps give you another perspective Ed - there really is no reason to fear Zillow and a gazillion reasons to consider using it to augment your online marketing. Just think how many borrowers you could have quoted in Zillow Mortgage Marketplace in the time you've spent typing up your concerns about the site.

Jun 18, 2008 03:57 AM #4
Rainer
56,180
-- Casey Brischle
Columbia Bank - Spokane, WA
Spokane Home Loan Mortgage Professional

Ed,

I couldn't agree more with you.  Well thought out and written post!

Jun 18, 2008 04:31 AM #5
Rainer
69,002
Charlotte Home Loans Your Charlotte Mortgage Lender
Charlotte, NC

David, In another life you should be a politician. You are very good at ignoring the obvious and spinning things.

Zillow is not the "Evil Empire." I do not give Zillow that much credit.

One point I was making shows your lack of understanding of the mortgage marketplace right now. The comment about finding another investor because my rates changed... David, rates are changing everyday 5-6 times a day in most cases. To offer a competitive quote, most lenders will offer a quote based on rates at that moment. But as rates change (with ALL investors) and rates are not locked just based on these anonymous quotes, one could easily quote something that is unavilable an hour later. However, the way you phrase that is as if I am not doing a good job and have poor investors.

Look, the bottom line here is I layed out (as you requested) my concerns and issues with Zillow. It was done in a way that I hoped would encourage a better Zillow to come out of it. I am not the only one with concerns and criticisms. If you, or others at Zillow would prefer to come back and attack me more for stating the concerns we as professionals have, then by all means, go for it. But I challenge you to actually listen to our concerns and strive to improve the system, rather than trying to defend it. Every system needs work. Simply acknowledging the issues and making efforts and commitments to try and make it better would go a lot further than coming back with retorts stating we as professionals need to do better. (yes, we do, but that is another post)

Jun 18, 2008 04:33 AM #6
Rainer
11,334
David Gibbons
Zillow.com - Seattle, WA

Ed - please tell me what exactly it is that you think I've ignored an I'll address it. I actually put a lot of time and effort into responding to every one of the fears you raised and so personal insults are certainly not the response I was expecting.

Mortgage rates have always fluctuated intra-day and they probably will always. That is an inherent complexity of the mortgage industry. We don't pretend to solve these challenges and we actually go to great lengths to show borrowers how rate quotes are changing on our site. Yet brokers quote loans and honor those quotes every day - whether or not they're on Zillow and likewise, brokers adjust their quotes as the market changes whether or not they're quoting on Zillow. Are you saying that you never quote borrowers? Without quotes, how do suggest borrowers should shop for a loan? I mean, really, what is your actual problem with the fact that rates can change and how is it that it's Zillow's problem?

Ed - this post is certainly not constructive feedback - I'm surprised you think it is. You are simply incorrect on points 2,3,4 and 5 and on point 1, we choose to disagree with you and err on the side of "more information is always better than less." I recommend you do your research before jumping to conclusions.

Deciding that Zillow is an "evil empire" is entirely irrational. I am sure it doesn't help to hear it from me, but seriously, it's unhealthy to get obsessed with conspiracy theories. While you're thinking that way, you're going to be missing out on new business opportunities. And if you think that's spin, you're sadly mistaken.

Jun 18, 2008 05:23 AM #7
Rainer
69,002
Charlotte Home Loans Your Charlotte Mortgage Lender
Charlotte, NC

Ok.. I just give up.... LOL. David, let's just let it rest and the readers can make up their own minds...

Have a great day!

Ed

Jun 18, 2008 05:33 AM #8
Anonymous
Carolyn Galant M.B.A.

Zillow should require advertisers and commentators to identify themselves. In the Q & A segments someone with an axe to grind can offer negative opinions to unsuspecting consumers. I had clients write in and ask opinions on various houses they were looking at, even asking " how much should I offer" "what do you think of this house" etc.  They felt the community nature of the site would yield them helpful information. The anoymous poster supplied opinion that the market was headed for drops of hundreds of thousands of dollars, houses were already marked down and they were stupid for even consdering a purchase except 30% less than the asking price. This was in an area  and a price segment  that continue to be extremely viable in the opinion of one of the state's leading real estate appraisal firms.  Needless to say, their confidence was eroded.  They lost several houses because of lower offers and ended up buying in an area where zillow had no negative commentators.  If you offer price opinions on zillow you should be held accountable and required to identify yourself.

Jun 21, 2008 03:32 PM #9
Anonymous
Ed Nailor (unable to log in)

Carolyn,

Be careful on this opinion. Someone from Zillow may claim that you have a problem with consumers becoming more informed! Seems they consider anything posted or offered by their website to be considered "information" whether accurate or not. Offering estimates of values that are inaccurate at least 50% of the time is obviously not considered "misinformation" by Zillow.

As you can see by David's comment above, "more information is always better than less." The accuarcy of that information does not seem to be a concern...

In my opinion, it is the misinformation provided by so many online that continues to harm the general public. Yes, we are in an age of information (been there for years now.) David also says, "This is the information age and RE pro's need top make peace with the fact that buyers and sellers are increasingly arming themselves with information before they reach out to a professional." I doubt seriously there are to many that have not "made peace" with this, ESPECIALLY the professionals that contribute to AR. Just the suggestion that, since we would not agree with Zillow or think this is the best website in the world, somehow means we are trying to prevent the general public from being informed is insulting! What is this group of professionals, nearly 97,000 strong be doing here otherwise?

The unfortunate part here is that Zillow is not held to any real standards and if the responses we see here is any indication of their focus and intent, I wonder if they will really look to offer accuracy with the information they offer. We can only hope so!

Ed Nailor

Charlotte Home Loans - Your Charlotte Mortgage Lender (The Ed Nailor Mortgage Team)

Jun 21, 2008 03:54 PM #10
Anonymous
Anonymous

Ed:

I appreciate the reply. You are correct. More info, even inaccurate is better than less for Zillow and Zillow fans.

 

Carolyn Galant, MBA.

Jun 22, 2008 05:17 AM #11
Rainmaker
182,157
Sara Bonert
Zillow - Atlanta, GA
Real Estate Internet Marketing

You and David have both expressed your opinions about ZMM, so I'll let that be. 

But I think the conversation between you and Carolyn above is very interesting.  Take Zillow and even the whole real estate industry out of the equation as to not confuse my point.  I really feel this is just how people are getting a lot of information now, from their "peers". 

It is so interesting how many decisions I know I personally make in my life, based on information from strangers.  For example, I just went on vacation and I poured over user reviews on TripAdvisor.  I rarely eat at a restaurant before first consulted Yelp. I even recently went to a dentist and an eye doctor because they were highest rated in my neighborhood on Yelp.  Also, I have posted a number of questions about gardening on Yahoo! Answers (I have a slug problem).  Even checked out realself.com before calling for a procedure at a salon. 

It is so normal for me to do these things and based on answers (verses identity), from there I sort of figure out whose answers I find valuable.  I realize that a professional gardener isn't giving me advise, but occasionally someone will represent themselve as such in the answers I recieve, and I definitely pay more attention to them.  All at my own risk, I know. 

Just my two cents that collecting information this way isn't isolated to the real estate space.  I am sure you know that, but wanted make the point.  I don't hold Yahoo! Answers accountable if all my flowers die due to advice I got on how to kill slugs.  :) 

Guess I just wanted to through in my two cents that this type of "peer consultation" is happening across the web for all industries and at all product and service price points.  You are probably thinking "losing money on a bad real estate deal isn't the same as losing some flowers".  Obviously not, but I do think there are a lot of similarity in the gathering of information process. 

Thanks for the air time.  I find this new way of gathering information (for everyone) absolutely fascinating. 

 

Jul 02, 2008 07:22 AM #12
Rainer
69,002
Charlotte Home Loans Your Charlotte Mortgage Lender
Charlotte, NC

Sara, I like you. Not only are you cute, but you are smart and witty. You pose a very intelligent thought that is much better than just simply towing the company line. For that I thank you.

That being said, I would like to challenge that thought a bit. I agree, I would not hold Yahoo Answers liable for any advice I would get from that website, no matter what the subject... including real estate. That is because Yahoo Answers does not hold themselves up to be experts in anything. Even Yahoo Real Estate is obviously ad space.

Somehow I imagine that the fine folks at Zillow has intentionally determined to seperate themselves out from the generic websites like Yahoo. I expect that Zillow strives to be held in a higher regard as more of an industry leader and expert. At least that is the feeling I get when I visit Zillow and it is also the image that the general public is adopting. There is where my fear lies...

If Zillow were just a community of wanna be's offering their personal opinions, we'd all see through that. But Zillow uses reports, hard data and complex math calculations to create their value estimates. That alone provides the air of something more superior than just some lame opinion. It gives the sense of authority.

You must admit that most people do not read the fine print (otherwise would we have a mortgage collapse right now?) Knowing this, one must consider that majority of your average visitors will never click on the link that tells them how often or how badly Zillow is off. So here we have an Authority telling the general public what their properties are worth, when this Authority is off the mark roughly half the time!

I hope Zillow begins to get it right. I really do. I hope this because I know Zillow isn't going away. I just hope that they get it right 95% of the time and hold themselves to a higher standard... at least one as high as they want others to view them as. If you want to be the #1 portal and authority in the real estate market, you have to ensure that you are providing SOLID information to the public you claim to serve. Otherwise, its just another ad space using misinformation to make a buck. And as someone in this industry that does get impacted by such misinformation, I am not one to go quitely while someone else makes a buck while misleading my clients.

I hope this makes sense to you, and David too. Somehow I think this turned into a fight equal to the Republicans and Democrats in which neither side will give an inch... I just want Zillow to step up to the plate it appears to want to occupy.

Jul 02, 2008 07:53 AM #13
Rainmaker
182,157
Sara Bonert
Zillow - Atlanta, GA
Real Estate Internet Marketing

Ha, thanks! (I think) :)

Your argument does indeed make sense, and you are correct to want public leaders, in any capacity, to be held accountable or at least make clear what they actually represent. I promise that Zillow is consistently thinking about accuracy.

 

But let’s talk about your points… Yes, I can see how a site like Zillow might be viewed differently than Yahoo! Answers in a sense that it carved out a niche (real estate) and is working to create a platform, or a place, where people with similar interests (real estate) can get together to discuss real estate related topics (values, listings, neighborhoods, data, mortgages, etc).

 

I agree that vast majority of people don’t read the fine print, I know I don’t. But I still don’t think that someone takes information from a site that is free, and has never had a personal visit to their home, as a fact. I truly think people see it as a starting point. Of course, to the real estate professional, they are going to leverage the number however they think they can to get more for their home or pay less for a home. Also, automated home valuation models are becoming so ubiquitous on the web (even realtor.com has them now), that I think the public is understanding better than ever before what these numbers do (or don’t’) represent.

That said, using the same argument you describe below, I wonder how you feel about webmd.com? A site that has positioned themselves as a leader in a place to go to get medical information and talk with other people who may be experiencing similiar issues. They have symptoms and diagnoses listed for about every ailment, so you "diagnose yourself".  Of course there are disclaimers all over the site that if you want an actual diagnosis, you need to go see a professional, but we agree that no one really reads those. I have to believe that this information is seen as a mere starting point as well, and the public recognizes a need to see a professional for more accurate information.  I am sure you see where I am going here.

Thanks for the conversation, one of the best I have had in the comments section here on AR.

Jul 07, 2008 05:19 PM #14
Rainer
69,002
Charlotte Home Loans Your Charlotte Mortgage Lender
Charlotte, NC

Sara,

Again, your intelligence stands out! I love your point about WebMD. I would expect that Doctors in general both love and hate WebMD. They love it because now there is so much information that allows someone to diagnose themsleves that they are assured of business from every hypochondriac out there! They hate it because too many times I am sure people will mis-diagnose themselves leading to more problems later. The biggest difference is that WebMD, while it allows you to check symptoms, does not provide any kind of valuation of health. They don't tell you how healthy you are... Zillow states how much your home is worth... You must admit there is a difference. Now, if WebMD began doing health assesments, and their information was inaccurate roughly half the time, I would expect to see major outcries from the medical field.

Personally, I hate WebMD because my wife can easily find another ailment or problem for her or the kids... and either I am the unloving husband because I don't care enough to take our kids to the doctor, or I spend too much money every month chasing down symptoms of nothing.

From a mortgage professional standpoint, I do see a difference. This difference is one that the mortgage industry has created though and now Zillow is feeding into it. When someone goes to WebMD, they still realize that a medical professional should assist them. The problem from the mortgage (and often real estate side) is that we have created the illusion that you don't need a professional for a mortgage or to buy / sell your home. After all, if someone on the phone can do everything you need to get a mortgage in an "easy 5 minute phone call" then how complicated can it be? The reality is that mortgages and real estate are complicated and nothing more than introductions can be done in 5 minutes. However, the constant advertsiing of 5 minute mortgages has the general public thinking this is elementary stuff!

Again, my biggest concern is that Zillow is seen as the "Professional" by many that visit the site. While it should only be a starting point, for too many it becomes the destination. And with the complexity of the mortgage and real estate industries, the less of the 5 minute "here's your answer" scenarios, the better the general public will be served. After all, we ain't selling cheap hamburgers... even the good ones take more than 5 minutes!

Have a great day!

Ed

Jul 08, 2008 12:45 AM #15
Rainmaker
182,157
Sara Bonert
Zillow - Atlanta, GA
Real Estate Internet Marketing

This conversation would have been an interesting blog post in itself.  Your response to your wife finding info on webmd conjures up for me the "do I look fat in these pants" question- you just can't win that one.  My husband quit trying a long time ago. 

Keeping the consumer in mind here- the whole point of gathering information, regardless of the source, is to make you feel empowered and give you the perspection that you are making smart choices.  Imagine twenty years ago when you got a diagnosis from a doctor, but then you were at their mercy as to how much information you received and when you received.  At least now you can go home and research all you want online.  It makes you feel more in control of your personal well being and the decisions you'll make. 

People need professionals in the real estate transaction.  They just like the opportunity to feel like they are driving and as much information as they can get their hands on helps with this. 

Interesting point about the mortgage industry.  I have personally acquired seven mortgages in my life and helped a few people I have sold homes to acquire financing.  I find it is one of those things that the more I learn about the mortgage world, the more I realize how much more I have to learn.  If you have a good lender, the process does seem pretty easy because the lender handles so much behind the scenes.  Get a bad lender, and you quickly realize just how much goes into getting a loan and how much can go wrong very quickly. 

 

Jul 08, 2008 02:40 PM #16
Rainmaker
247,030
Jackie - computer-training-atlanta.com
770.498.7333 - Atlanta, GA
Learn to leverage technology to get more done.

Ed, I've read many articles on AR about Zillow. There is one Zillow Mortgage Marketplace feature that gives me pause and it is this - they require originators to enter their social security number. Am I the only one that takes issue with this? Is there any way around this requirement? Isn't there another way to validate a LO?

Aug 11, 2008 08:15 AM #17
Rainer
69,002
Charlotte Home Loans Your Charlotte Mortgage Lender
Charlotte, NC

Jackie... this is an excellent question. It does seem a bit ironic that the LO must supply a SSN to validate himself (or herself.. lol) yet the one requesting the mortgage information does not...

Now that I sit and ponder that a moment, it does make me wonder if the tail is now wagging the dog a bit... I am all for empowering the people, especially when it comes to providing great information... but professionals still need valid information to offer real advice. Its like a therapist offering help to an actor based on the last role he played... what good is that?

Again Jackie... great question and excellent observation. That little gem passed right by me!

Ed Nailor

Aug 11, 2008 08:57 AM #18
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?

Rainer
69,002

Charlotte Home Loans Your Charlotte Mortgage Lender

Ask me a question
*
*
*
*

Additional Information