Exciting news from the land of Zillow. Today we are introducing new and innovative products on the site! I'll skip the cheerleading and jump right into it to let the new features speak for themselves---
Home Q & A- Anyone can ask any question about any home -- and have these questions answered by the people who know best: all of you, the Zillow Community. These questions are posed right on the home detail page, along with any answers received. Some of the most interesting answers to important questions about homes are locked up inside the heads of homeowners, agents, neighbors, and previous owners. It is our hope that if a question is asked about a home, the community will rise up to answer it. If the listing agent or homeowner has claimed the home on Zillow, they will be emailed each time there is a question or answer posted to the home detail page.
Free profiles-- Anyone on Zillow - agents, homeowners, buyers, sellers, builders, landscapers- can create a free profile page with photos, narratives and contact information. Any contribution links back to the user's profile page. So if you post a listing for sale or answer any questions on homes, all of these contributions will link back to your profile.
Tell us it's for sale-- Anyone from the community can now indicate whether a home is for sale. If you report a home is for sale you get your name, a thumbnail picture, and a link to your profile -- for free. Special space on the page is reserved for homeowners and listing agents who might subsequently enter information on that home. So if someone comes and tells a home is for sale, they will get attribution on the home detail page. However, if the listing agent (or home owner) subsequently comes to Zillow and claims the home, they in a sense are allowed to take over the listing with their contact information, photo, website link, and link to their profile prominently displayed. The listing agent and the home owner are the only two entities that are allowed to edit the homes content (i.e. let the public know that this is a 4 bedroom house, not 3 bedrooms like the public records might say).
Add unlimited photos -- Anyone can now add as many photos as they want to any home's Web page, such as historical photos of homes, before-and-after shots, or neighborhood photos.
Zillow EZ Ads-- Today marks the launch of self-service Zillow EZ Ads, a low-cost and geographically targeted way for agents, other professionals and home sellers to advertise by specific ZIP code searches. An ad takes a few minutes to create, can easily be bought with a credit card and costs just a penny per ad view. EZ Ads can link to profile pages, homes for sale on Zillow, or external Web sites.
Home Q & A- Whenever a home has a question posed on the home detail page, it will be prominently marked on the site. Do you know a lot about the Bucktown neighborhood of Chicago? Get on the site and start contributing, establish yourself as a Bucktown expert. Also, there can be strong potential to pick up some buyer leads. When a question is posed on a listing, you have a sense of the neighborhood and price range that the asker is searching for. By making sure you give quality and timely answers, you are able to illustrate your knowledge and expertise and show what working with you would be like.
Free profiles-- Any contribution on Zillow links back to the user's profile page. So if you post a listing for sale or answer any questions on homes, all of these contributions will link back to your profile. This is an opportunity to really establish yourself as an expert in a particular niche or area of town. It is also an opportunity to advertise yourself and your website.
Tell us it's for sale - You are a buyer's agent and haven't been able to play in the sandbox of real estate websites that allow your to post your listings to gain exposure? Well, here is your chance to shine! Let the public know what is for sale in the areas you regularly work!
Add unlimited photos - This is more a fun feature than necessarily helping to sell a particular listing. Imagine how interesting it would be if you were the fourth owner of a home and you could log on to the site and see pictures of your home originally being built?
Zillow EZ Ads-- Since Zillow launched we have had agents asking us if there was a way they could buy advertising on the site. In the past we really only had national advertisers on the site, and it was cost prohibitive to local agents as we didn't allow for such a small ad buy. Well, today your requests have been answered. With EZ Ads, you select the zip codes you want to reach. You can market yourself, your company, or a particular listings. And it is very affordable! You pay only a penny when someone sees your ad. Sort of like Pay-Per-View. Imagine now being able to go on a listing presentation and telling the home owner that you are going to make sure their home is seen on Zillow by 10,000 people! Sounds impressive and would only cost you $100. You have the option of spreading this $100 out over 1 week, 1 month, up to 6 months. If the house sells before the end of your buy, you can simply update the slot with a new home. Of course you are also able to track the number of times your ad is seen and clicked on in the My Zillow section of the site.
I will be excited to hear from agents about how they are able to harass the power of these new products and turn them into business!
I will close by posting screen shots of these new features. If you have any questions, please post and I will be sure to answer any questions.
Happy contributing to the Zillow community!