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Zillow Undergoes Another Upgrade…But Here’s What I’d Really Like To See!

Kevin Boer, Broker Owner, 3 Oceans Real Estate, Inc. ()

December 20th, 2007 · 2 Comments

The Zillovians have been busy lately…first, singing a Zillow-fied Christmas carol…then, more substantively, releasing their new Smart Search technology, which, if I understand correctly, presents different information intelligently, based on where and at what zoom level you’re searching.

At the San Mateo county level, for instance, I get this:

San Mateo County stats as shown by Zillow

At the city level, this is what I get for Menlo Park:

Stats for Menlo Park CA according to Zillow

If I want more info on Menlo Park, I learn that local residents

  • are well-educated
  • are often multi-lingual
  • are likely immigrants
  • spend more money on housing compared to others
  • ride their bikes to work

With the exception of the latter, it seems spot on.


Nice new features, but nothing earth-shattering.

What I’d really like to see from Zillow is something I’ve talked about before: addressing the advertising needs of buy-side Realtors. The Sellsius twins have weighed in on this issue as well.

Here’s what I have in mind: The advertising emphasis in real estate has always been on the listing side. If a home is for sale, that represents more than just an upcoming commission check for the listing agent: done correctly, it’s also marketing collateral. It’s an excuse to send out more branding postcards, to take out an ad in the paper, to hold open houses, to put out a sign…all things designed more to enhance the branding of the agent than to necessarily sell the home in question.

If the fact that I am selling a home or I just finished listing and selling my client’s home is good marketing collateral, why not make something of I just helped my clients buy a home?

We do a bit of this in the industry already: witness the occasional “represented buyer” newspaper ad — which is often just space filler around the more prominent “just sold” ads.

Zillow has a perfect opportunity here. While most of the online real estate conversation is about homes currently on the market, Zillow’s repository of all homes is perfect for telling a broader story, one which includes the buyer’s agent.

Hey Zillow — in your next product release, make it possible for the buy-side agent to tout their recent transactions too!

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2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 David G from Zillow.com // Dec 20, 2007 at 9:54 am

    Hi Kevin,

    We plan to add buy-side attribution for sold properties but our focus now is squarely centered on growing the listings database … and you know the importance of focus. To set realistic expectations; you’ll probably see a few more features roll out and our listings database grow substantially before we get round to adding buy-side attribution to sold listings.

  • 2 Lola Audu // Dec 28, 2007 at 6:13 pm

    Glad to read David’s comments. This issue has always struck me as a somewhat odd tradition that the focus of almost all real estate advertising is geared towards Sellers.

    When I list the services provided to our buyer clients, many people seem surpised. They love the extensive market research comparing multiple potential homes, the negotiation of concessions, the assistance with hiring top notch professionals to facilitate the process smoothly, etc…These services amount to thousands of dollars of savings for buyer clients. I’m not sure why the industry insists on keeping this a secret.

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