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2006 is the Year of Zillow: The 900 pound AVM has been upgraded to be a free listing platform and the presumptive national MLS system . . .

The News

An upgrade made tonight to Zillow.com‘s on-line home evaluation system will add the following new functionality:

  • Owners or listing agents for any of the 67 million homes in Zillow’s database will be able to list those homes for sale at no cost.
  • Owners of any Zestimable homes will be able to post a “Make Me Move” price on their homes, the price at which all objections to selling will have been overcome.
  • Zillow is creating a real estate wiki to serve as a sort of Wikipedia.org-like encyclopedia of real estate.

From the company’s press release:

Leading real estate Web site Zillow.com today announced a major upgrade, allowing homeowners and real estate agents to post homes for sale for free. Additionally, in redefining what it means for a house to be “For Sale,” Zillow? is enabling any homeowner to post a Make Me Move? price.

“To date Zillow has created a Web page for almost every home in the country – close to 70 million – on which we’ve placed public records data and our Zestimate? home valuations,” said Rich Barton, Zillow’s co-founder and CEO. “With today’s new release we are opening up every home’s Web page on Zillow.com for owners and their real estate agents to plant virtual ‘For Sale’ signs in their Zillow front yards for free.”

In addition, any homeowner can now post a Make Me Move price. “What number would it take for you to call the movers and hand over your keys?” asked Lloyd Frink, Zillow’s co-founder and president. “Make Me Move is our twist on the traditional ‘For Sale’ sign.” A homeowner can easily post a Make Me Move price without exposing any personal information. Zillow then enables interested buyers to contact the owner through an email “anonymizer.” There is no charge for the service.

All postings, be they “For Sale” or Make Me Move, provide free uploading of pictures, home descriptions including “what I love about my home,” and neighborhood commentary. Additionally, real estate agents who post homes they are representing for sale can publish their own contact information, link to listings on their own Web sites, and upload a photo of themselves free of charge.

More from the press release:

Today Zillow is also launching a new section of the site called “Real Estate Wiki.” The wiki is seeded with more than 100 articles by Zillow editors on topics of interest to home buyers, sellers, and owners. As a wiki any visitor can edit an article, comment on an article, or create a new article and publish it for all to see.

Additionally, Zillow has beefed up its mapping and search functionality, allowing customers to instantly identify homes for sale, homes with a Make Me Move price, and homes that recently sold, on top of valuation data on the roof of each home. A user can enter an address, neighborhood or city, and instantly see a satellite map with all of this information. He or she can also sort homes in an area by price, number of bedrooms/bathrooms, size, or in the case of recently sold homes – how recently the transaction occurred.

I have a lot of thoughts on this upgrade, so I’m separating my commentary by topics. Even so, I’m not sure I’ve plumbed every implication of this upgrade, so I’m eager to hear what other people have to say.

Immediate Implications

First: I read this as meaning that listings aggregators such as Trulia.com and Propsmart.com are in Critical Condition right now, if they are not actually Dead On Arrival. I cannot think of a single serious feature any of these Realty.bots have to offer that is not duplicated in a much more robust form by this release of Zillow’s software. We’ll talk more about the fundamental paradigm shift (call it Web 2.0++) that extinguishes a whole class of real estate databases.

Similarly: Google Base has been mustered out of the real estate army and can go home.

Moreover: Realtor.com is going to have a tough time tap-dancing on the one leg it has left to stand on. Zillow’s partner, RealEstate.Yahoo.com was already better at most of the things Zillow wasn’t already doing. Zillow.com spokesman David Gibbons assures me that Zillow’s natural inclination will be to share information with its partners. I read that to mean that it’s time to call your broker — and not your real estate broker.

And: Ultimately: We are looking at the embryonic form of a de facto national MLS system. There are wrinkles, and we’ll get to them, but there are two things that Zillow.com has by now proved itself eminently willing to do that both the National Association of Realtors and Realtor.com have proved themselves eminently unwilling to do: Change and grow. Zillow may not be the last word in this story, but it has written two very compelling chapters already this year.

Meta-News

The fundamental paradigm shift in the transition from character-based to graphical user interfaces was not the invention of tools like the mouse or the fully-mapped display. The root change was moving from a verb-noun syntax to noun-verb. In Unix, you type “print *.txt” at the command line — verb these nouns. On a Macintosh, you select a file or a group of files and drop them on the printer icon — these nouns are to be verbed. This is a radically different way of thinking, and it is why natural MacHeads can’t stand anything Unix- or DOS-like, and why many former Unix or DOS fanatics are still uncomfortable in the GUI world — even with a hopelessly DOS-like GUI such as Windows.

Right under our noses, Zillow.com has effected a similarly radical shift in the way we think about real estate databases. All of the dead-bots-walking I named above — Trulia, Propsmart, Google Base, Realtor.com, and every local MLS system — every one of them treats data in the same way: There is an on-going application that will be effected using temporarily-stored data.

The Zillow.com paradigm is exactly the opposite: We are accumulating a database of permanently-stored data that can be deployed for any number of temporary, interchangeable applications.

The Zillow model is exactly the same paradigm you use with your own Contact Management system: The database is forever. The Christmas Card list is old news as soon as the cards are mailed.

This is a simple enough idea that all of us should be saying, “Duh!” But it remains that, of every kind of real estate database we can name, only Zillow’s — and those of its close competitors — is based on the premise that any particular house will still be the same house the next time it is sold. Want a Zestimate of that house? Done. Want to see how the owner disagrees with the Zestimate? Done. Want to put it up for sale? Done. Want to put a dream price on your home to see if someone wants it even more than you do? Done. A potentially infinite number of applications all from the same one, permanent database.

And it is this last aspect that seems to me to put Zillow so far ahead of everyone they’re competing against. The Realty.bots are toast, period, as is any vendor that treats its real estate database as a temporary nuisance. But the move they’re making into listing, and it is a very strong move, puts Zillow far out in front of the pack of recent AVM (Automated Valuation Method) entrants.

Earlier this year, with respect to AgentEarth.com, I said:

The competitive viability of any one of these incredible tools is measured in microseconds.

I was reflecting on the fact that, as soon as any new Realty.bot tool is released, half the users will be playing with it while the other half are figuring out how to reverse-engineer it. By now, Zillow has proved itself to be fast, first and best with added functionality, pushing the bar so much higher with this release that the national map-based real estate interface game may be effectively over. In other words, every national site offering home search or home evaluation may end up running a Zillow Application Programmer Interface (API).

Cathleen Collins and I were briefed on these changes earlier this week by David Gibbons. At the time, my instant meta-reaction was that Zillow.com, by becoming the Google of real estate, hopes to eclipse the YouTube.com buy-out price. I don’t know that these changes add $1.65 billion to Zillow’s value, but the company is much more valuable tonight than it was last night.

I myself have had issues with Zillow.com in the past. I have also defended the company from what I consider to be a blatant shake-down. With respect to the former position, my desire to see Zillow.com openly disclose that AVM results are inherently unreliable is diluted by all of Zillow’s new competitors, none of whom are making this disclosure. The new features announced tonight could result in as many as four numbers being applied to a particular house: The Zestimate, the owner-supplied corrected estimate (which we call the Pestimate), the list price of the home if it is for sale, and the Make Me Move price, analogous in this case to the “Buy Now” price on EBay.com. Having other prices besides the Zestimate associated with the home will deprive it of what otherwise might appear to be a canonical authority. Even so, my position on both issues is unchanged: I want for Zillow.com to put a prominent disclosure near every Zestimate, and I want for the National Community Reinvestment Coalition to get out of the race-baiting shake-down business.

There is more to this though: I believe that the owners and employees of Zillow.com are decent people. My impression is that they are completely part of the transparency movement we — meaning the weblogging community — have created as a secondary consequence of these other things we are doing. I believe in the essential morality of commerce, that the long term effect of capitalism is improvement in every sort of quality — better, faster, cheaper and more ethical everything. I see Zillow.com as being an exponent of this, perhaps even an exemplar, despite my differences with them. I know what they’re after, and it’s a motivation I embrace and endorse.

Meta-Speculation — the Realtor News

I think the big fear among Realtors has been that Zillow.com might put them out of business. Here’s news: If your listing strategy is not very different from a FSBO, you’re probably done for. And good riddancegod’s blessings to you, too. On the other hand, if you’re delivering value for your sellers, Zillow is offering a lot of added-value for free.

On the second day of BloodhoundBlog’s existence, I said:

If the Realtor is going to do no more than that which can be done on a remote file server – sloppily and haphazardly – the seller might as well go with the file server. The typical lock-box-and-a-prayer kind of MLS listing might work marginally better for now, but in the long run it won’t matter, particularly if aggregators are permitted to combine MLS listings with listings from other sources. In the battle of the baseball cards, the biggest shoe-box wins.

The point is this: If marketing a home is no more than compiling a baseball card, a table of stats to which the buyer must bring every bit of meaning, then the game is already lost. Representation can easily be uncoupled from the transaction – for example by fee-for-service billing, hourly billing or simply by taking the whole pile of paperwork to a title company or an attorney. But if marketing is more than this – and who with eyes can doubt that this is so? – then it is a skill that Realtors must master if they hope to survive.

So who will sell their homes on Zillow.com?

FSBOs for sure. Every other FSBO site just joined Trulia and PropSmart on the unemployment line. Zillow will offer a fairly comprehensive listing with as many photos as the seller wants, along with a link back to the seller’s web site.

If there turn out to be any Make Me Move sellers — and there could be as this technology shakes out — these will probably also be disintermediated transactions. At first, the Make Me Move prices will probably be absurd, numerical belches intended to be read as, “A billion freakin’ dollars, okay?!” But in due course people will settle down to realistic numbers. I can see professional investors working these homes door-to-door: Even if the price isn’t right, the overture to Make Me Move indicates at least some motivation to sell. In any case, I don’t see these as being represented sales.

Cathleen Collins has strong objections to the idea of putting one of her listings on Zillow.com if her list price is higher than the Zestimate. Her fear is that buyers will completely ignore these listings, or, at best, come in with the Zestimate as a low-ball offer. This may actually prove to be the case for represented homes, but I can think of some counter-arguments:

  • As above, there may be as many as four prices associated with one home, robbing any single price of its potential power.
  • A strategy like range pricing can be used to combat the Zestimate.
  • In the long run, Zestimates may become the de facto market price.
  • Listing homes on Zillow.com may become so uniform a practice that listing agents will not be able to refrain from doing it, no matter how much they might rather not.

All this notwithstanding, listing on Zillow.com will have upsides for working Realtors: As above, you’ll be able to post as many photos as you like. Your own photo will be shown, along with a link back to your web site. As a means of promoting your listings, Zillow.com offers many of the strengths of Realtor.com — plus the map interface, the Zestimates, neighborhood Zindices, etc.

David Gibbons told us that one of the challenges Zillow.com faces is in learning how to be an advertising-funded site. The background of the founders and staff is all in products and other transferable values, so they are having to learn how to make advertising work as a profit center. At some point in the future, Realtors will be able to place AdWords-like advertising, targeted by zip code. Yes, this is very much like Realtor.com selling you the opportunity to promote your listings, with the signal difference being that Zillow.com charges you nothing for the listing itself, where your local MLS dues are the first of many bills you will pay to Realtor.com.

Hi-Tech Speculation

Here are a few things I expect to see from Zillow.com in fairly short order:

  1. An API to permit brokerages to feed listings to Zillow by XML. The other Realty.bots do this, and there is no reason for Zillow not to do it. Moreover, since Zillow will require sellers or agents either to change their listings periodically or to acknowledge by email that they are still active — this to avoid the accretion of sold or cancelled listings — an XML feed can serve as a similar sort of confirmation.
  2. I anticipate that Zillow.com will allow you to turn a search you have made into a savable, reusable search, much like saved searches on IDX/MLS systems.
  3. From there, we are a very short leap to being able to automate those searches and distribute them on a schedule as an RSS feed.
  4. And from there, we have the ability for any web site or weblog anywhere to syndicate a selection of available listings. Every Craigslist wannabe out there can have real estate listings, even if it has no contributors.

Zillow’s API team has been so active so far that I expect to see many new applications built on this data. For example, imagine an investor’s site that trolls listings for homes listed substantially below the Zestimated value. These homes are not necessarily bargains — and it would be fraud to represent that they are — but they might well warrant further investigation.

Wish List

Because we have had a few days to think about this upgrade, we have a wish list for added features.

On the phone with David Gibbons, we talked about Amazon.com‘s “notify me when this becomes available” feature. For example, I am on the list of people to be informed when Kenneth Branagh’s Hamlet is finally released on DVD. We envisioned a similar feature as a companion to Make Me Move: Notify me when this one particular home either goes on sale or is graced with a Make Me Move price. In other words, let me know when I might be able to buy this home.

I’ve been chatting back and forth with David Gibbons about the ability to link to virtual tours. For now, I would be happy to be able to add one or more virtual tour links, in addition to the already provided web site link. In the long run, it would be great if Zillow could interface directly with major virtual tour vendors, just as Realtor.com does now.

Finally, I would like to see Zillow mimic RealEstate.Yahoo.com’s general feature set. I think they have the potential to become a true one-stop-shopping national real estate web site, and, from this point, I’d like to see them pursue that objective.

Deep Thoughts

I think this is a net boon. A national real estate database like Realtor.com is no substitute for a true MLS database, and neither is the newly-upgraded Zillow.com. But the features present in Realtor.com that are absent, for now, from Zillow.com, seem to me to be of smaller moment than the features Zillow has that Realtor.com lacks. Moreover, Zillow demonstrates by these major upgrades that it is committed to doing as much of the job of a national MLS system as it can master, where Realtor.com seems to me to demonstrate that it is committed to nothing except extracting the greatest number of dollars from Realtors — dues-paying members! — for the least attainable effort.

In any event, the local MLS system — data-rich and inscrutable — is still the bread and butter of Realtors. It may be that Zillow or some other vendor will come up with something truly better. In that event, the Realtors who have trained themselves to deliver value in excess of their costs will still have a job. The rest will have time to talk about how Trulia was truly the better map-interface, back in the halcyon days of 2006.

Nota Bene: I have not played with any of this yet. It’s that new. But: The thrill of living for me is a feeling of intense anticipation. I can’t wait to see what happens next…

More: Ardell at Rain City Guide, TechCrunch, Zillow.com’s Drew Meyers, Inman News ($). Drew Meyers is tracking further posts and articles as they come in. The third Inman article is excellent, as is this GigaOm analysis. And: At 23:45 PST, the site actually went live with the capabilities I am describing here… Galen Ward, brilliant and then some, at Rain City Guide.

BloodhoundBlog’s team coverage of the Zillow.com upgrades:

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50 comments

50 Comments so far

  1. Rick December 6th, 2006 11:06 pm

    Wow major news.. big changes are coming. Thanks for the in-depth analysis, I am soo thankful I found this blog/site.

  2. […] Instead of trying to summarize what is changing at Zillow.com, I’ll just send you over to BloodHoundRealty and TechCrunch.com as they have both done a great job explaining the changes to Zillow. […]

  3. dustin December 6th, 2006 11:43 pm

    As always, your analysis is fascinating!

  4. Kyle Else December 7th, 2006 12:09 am

    Gregg – Range pricing does seem like a good option to combat the Zestimate… I can’t wait for new applications to roll out from the Zillow API data. Hopefully consumers will be getting some great new tools.

  5. rudolph d. bachraty III December 7th, 2006 12:21 am

    greg – now that was a mouthful 🙂

    great summary. i’m with ubertor – we’ll just link to your post as you seemed to have said it all thus far.

    i really wonder if people will be that surprised to hear about their announcement. it was inevitable don’t you think?. i’m surprised it took them this long. looking forward to it!

    rudy.sellsius°

  6. […] Go over to Bloodhound Blog and Read Greg’s indepth article on the happenings at Zillow. Greg’s writing on the subject is much better than anything I can say at this point. Link here = Zillow News […]

  7. […] 2006 is the Year of Zillow… (BloodhoundBlog) by Greg Zillow Says “MAKE ME Move” (Rain City Guide) by Ardell […]

  8. […] Blog Articles on Zillow’s New Upgrade December 7, 2006 While Zillow is choking over there on the side trying to digest my listing info, here are some links to everyone I can find who is talking about tonight’s big news on Zillow.com […]

  9. […] 1. Zilllow is making it a pain to bulk upload listings, which gives FSBOs exactly the same capacity to list as the biggest companies. They’re doing this for two reasons: Individuals are more likely to list (and look at ads and puruse the site) if their agent doesn’t say “we automatically list so you don’t have to worry” AND because it makes it harder for competitors to get the same information. If they allowed bulk submit, third party websites would do most of the work posting listings to all the free listings sites on the web. (So Greg, I disagree with you here) Expect an API for listing if people aren’t listing in high numbers (see number 3). […]

  10. for sale by owner center December 7th, 2006 2:31 am

    Greg… Excellent thoughts about Zillow. I’ve followed them for some time and actually accurately blogged about what they are currently doing about 10 months ago on the Inman blog and my blog.

    The impact of this is big. Much bigger than what most will first comprehend or want to acknowledge.

    My personal thought is that agents will flock to provide listings as Zillow appears to be a friend but in the long run real estate agents are actually courting a future foe who will use all the agents data to provide the best experience lowering the future “professional value” of traditional agents.

  11. Chuck December 7th, 2006 9:07 am

    Fantastic analysis. The Zillow team is creative and they know how to execute. They have done a great job creating value out of public data sources – County Assessor and Recorder feeds. It is a bigger step to become the national MLS, but their experience with travel transactions will come in very handy here. Their API is a huge asset that can make them the center of the real estate data universe. I’ll be back to Bloodhound to read more ….

  12. […] What was interesting to me, and reflecting the company’s smarts, was the respect they paid to passionate users of their product. Case in point: they briefed a well-known Phoenix Realtor and blogger and got his feedback on the roll out. He wrote up a fantastically detailed post from multiple perspectives (Realtor, industry, consumer). He posted it last night and had 10 comments from people through 3am last night. […]

  13. Jim December 7th, 2006 9:45 am

    No one will ever replace a local MLS. There’s just so much private/confidential data in the MLSs, and a lot of policing and quality control going on (members get fined for incorrect data) that no public company can hope to do all that. Same for electronic lockboxes.

    Zillow needs to stop being one of those companies who badmouth realtors to generate business and instead work with us. Offer to put complete listings up for free, and in exchange they can make money off of advertising. Everyone wins.

    I still think their Zestimate is usells, especially in Texas where sold prices are not in the records.

  14. Joel Burslem December 7th, 2006 10:00 am

    Greg. Bang on analysis. You’re right when you say that this leaves the Realty.bots hanging in the wind. This gives agents a fantastic way to promote their listings to a much wider audience.

  15. […] Zillow is looking to become the Wikipedia for real estate, where users can edit a on-line real estate content. In trademark fashion, Greg Swan posted a comprehensive late-night narrative at the Bloodhound Blog in which he says this: […]

  16. […] You can read the news and analysis of what people in the industry think on this. I would suggest that Greg at Bloodhound Blog be your first stop. Then, take the minute to read Kevin’s take at 3 Oceans and Ardell at Rain City Guide. […]

  17. […] Greg Swann at the Bloodhound Blog says 2006 is the Year of Zillow, and I’m inclined to agree. A big announcement by Zillow introduced new features allowing any listing agent or homeowner to list homes for sale on Zillow at no cost. Although Zillow doesn’t cover Maine yet with their Zestimates or other property data, they have opened up the state for free listings. […]

  18. Seattle Real Estate News December 7th, 2006 12:12 pm

    Zillow adds Homes For Sale

    As the rest of the blogosphere has already reported, Zillow has now added a feature to it’s site that allows agents and home owner’s to post their homes for sale on their website. While this was something that everyone had…

  19. Northern Virginia Real Estate Guide December 7th, 2006 12:21 pm

    Zillow sharpens its sword…challenges the status quo

    The significance of this might well be to make every MLS obsolete, realtor.com irrelevant, Google Base old fashioned, Craig’s list history and significantly transform the role of a real estate agent as a central figure in the transaction to one of a r…

  20. andreas04: close to attraction December 7th, 2006 1:28 pm

    […] BloodHoundRealty – 2006 is the Year of Zillow […]

  21. Charleston Real Estate Blog December 7th, 2006 2:00 pm

    Zillow makes a big move

    The biggest real estate news of the last few days is Zillow, first the Zillow announcement and then commentary

  22. […] And actually, I did intentionally plan to not write about Zillow’s news. I mean, why bother? Seems every real estate blogger on the planet is discussing it. What more could I possibly add? […]

  23. Real Estate Observer December 7th, 2006 3:37 pm

    Isn’t it a little early to declare every other real estate outlet dead because of a site that has exactly 896 homes on sale as of right now? Do you realize what a challenge it is going to be for Zillow to have millions of legitimate for sale listings using this system? This is what would need to happen to take out the so-called “dead-bots” and the MLS.

  24. jf.sellsius December 7th, 2006 4:03 pm

    Trulia and other spiders are not walking dead bots. They should survive in the huge universe that is real estate. It’s evolution not mass extinction.
    And the day that zestimates become de facto market prices is the day humans become walking dead bots. Sorry to be so contrary.

  25. Greg Swann December 7th, 2006 4:43 pm

    > Isn’t it a little early to declare every other real estate outlet dead because of a site that has exactly 896 homes on sale as of right now?

    Check your premises. Zillow has 67 million homes on line right now. Every real estate database that dumps the data is on the deathwatch as of last night. The details may take time to work out, but the dinosaurs are extinct.

  26. Real Estate Observer December 7th, 2006 5:05 pm

    Your dictionary must have a different meaning of the word “extinct” than mine does. Last time I checked Zillow has less than one tenth of one percent of real estate listings. Maybe you can start making this case once they reach 50% (or well over 1M listings), but until then you look a little silly.

  27. the Property Monger » Zillow Zillow Zillow December 7th, 2006 7:16 pm

    […] You’d think that being on the East coast you’d have an advantage on being informed of late released hot topics. I recently learned that west coast bloggers don’t actually get any sleep. […]

  28. […] So what does this mean? It does not mean much for LakePlace.com (the majority of our listings are not in the Zillow database) – but it is probably scaring the pants off of Trulia.com – a real estate website that raised about $8M earlier this year. You see, Zillow has a much larger war chest, a much more experienced management team, a much more robust website, a much larger database of real estate info, a much larger user base…and now they will be competing on Trulia’s home turf. While trulia is celebrating a milestone – many are predicting a slow (or not so slow) and painful death. […]

  29. […] Of course there will be endless speculation about the implications of all this.  The wires are humming.  For some “deep tissue” analysis, read Greg Swann’s post at Bloodhoundblog, or check out Transparent Real Estate and Inman Real Estate.   […]

  30. EndTable20 December 8th, 2006 4:05 pm

    Greg, “Homes online” and “homes for sale online” are two different things. If Zillow has 67M homes online, but only 896 are listed as for sale (and I haven’t made any attempt to confirm those numbers), then an interesting question will be whether and how much sellers and agents will use the Zillow’s new features to bring those two numbers closer together. Only time will tell that for sure.

  31. Marcus December 9th, 2006 2:47 pm

    Zillow’s latest online move was predictable and fully anticipated by many. Funny that there are those who continue to believe that Zillow, whose founders shook up and virtually destroyed the traditional travel industry model with Expedia, will never succeed in dismantling the much more powerful real estate industry.

    Don’t bet on it.

    Zillow.com’s real estate “divide and conquer” strategy couldn’t have been launched at a better time. The real estate industry is hurting, and faced with current market conditions, agents will cling to any advantage that they can get – even if it means hitching a ride with the wolf that’s about to eat them alive.

    Of course, it’s not all Zillow’s fault; competing technologies are eroding the MLS on a daily basis — sites that encourage the free-flow of information and force agents to leverage more important skill-sets such as local knowledge, negotiation skills and an understanding of the legal issues that surround successful real estate transactions.

    The truth is, the traditional real estate model with the MLS as the mothership is already dead in the water. And if you don’t believe it, you’re probably over 50.

    So watch the next chapter of the new world unfold as the real estate industry begins to utilize this new service, and in so doing, unwittingly accelerates the demise of the hand that’s fed them for so long — the MLS.

  32. 360Digest » Zillow Talk December 9th, 2006 11:35 pm

    […] HomeGain’s General Manager. Louis Cammarosano, says “free listings (are) a big threat to the MLS”. Elizabeth Rhodes says “with Zillow offering free advertising, pressure may be put on real-estate agents to cut commissions“. Annette Haddad of the LA Times writes, “Zillow was launched in February amid much hype about its potential to reshape the real estate transaction process into something more transparent and less costly.” With this turn of the screw Galen and Greg are having a field day predicting the end of the real estate industry as we know it. IT professionals and bubble bloggers alike are positively gleeful with the prospect of the real estate agents demise. […]

  33. […] When I had finally gotten the list of posts down to eleven, I noticed there were three posts about Zillow. I didn’t want to have three posts on the same subject in the top ten, so I resorted to a good old fashion coin toss. If it is good enough for deciding elections and superbowl kickoffs it’s good enough for me. Greg Swan of the BloodHound Blog came up just short with his great post 2006 is the Year of Zillow. […]

  34. […] There has been a tremendous quantity of commentary written about Zillow over the past week, with many great posts. Speculation abounds on how Zillow might or might not affect the traditional MLS model. I’ll tell you why I think Zillow is likely to trump Realtor.com and open doors for discounters. […]

  35. […] Also, you must read Greg’s bang-on analysis and Galen’s take on the new feature set too. […]

  36. […] Greg Swann says 2006 may go down as the Year of Zillow; it may as well be Year of Promotional Giveaways. We’ve seen everything from seller-paid closing costs and builder upgrades to free plasma TVs, leases on Jeeps, and even Maseratis. […]

  37. John December 13th, 2006 11:10 pm

    Gregg Swann’s Bang on analysis?

    All of you are kidding right? I have not run into a consumer who has ever mentioned Zillow.

    Zestimate is inaccurate, and dreadfully misleading to a consumer.

    Real Estate Wiki? Is this a serious issue even worth discussing?

    Make me Move. Okay it will take only one home owner to be raped or killed by this irresponsible feature to make people understand there are some things that are not up for game. What were they thinking?

    Zillow has responded to having their horribly named Zestimate rendered useless by Move.com’s Market Insight over night. A better service to consumers and more accurate. And their response is to turn into a For Sale by Owner site?

    Zillow’s Zestimate is less than accurate, a poor tool for consumers, Real Estate Wiki is just a bad concept, FSBO postings are old and not a new break through, and Make me Move is an irresponsible gimick. So what do they have? Why would any buyer visit it? Zillow will be out of business within 18 – 24 Months (their cash will be gone by then). Traffic will only be driven by 5 – 10% of agents that are visiting the site in hopes of consumer leads which is a pipe dream.

    Get real. There is no purpose, no use, no benifit to a low traffic for sale by owner site. I am still blown away by the banter over ziltch.

  38. Anonymous December 14th, 2006 7:29 pm

    I wanted to thank Zillo.com for their latest sister sites: ZILLGRINDO.COM & ZILLATTORNEY.COM! These 2 sites have given me all the info I need to do my own Root Canal and save thousands…. only problem I had was that all of my teeth fell out ….., However, I had great results with Zillattorney.com – they answered all of my questions and with their help I lost everything in my divorce!

    You can also defend yourself in the court of law by reading “Defend yourself for Dummies” ……..

    Realtors are Licensed Professionals requiring College Classes, State Licenses & Brokers who are responsible for their actions…… Will Zillo be responsible to anyone? Are they acting as unlicensed agents?

    Zillo might be fun to get a Raw… Very Raw estimate of what is going with values or general values on a street, however, it takes a lot more detail & experience to appraise homes! Appraisers have to be licensed and Certified to do their job and be accountable for their actions!

    Smart people will call a Doctor, Dentist, Attorney, and Realtor ………..you get what you pay for….Hire a professional and get Professional results!

  39. Anonymous December 14th, 2006 8:09 pm

    Zillo will bite the dust………. Realtor.com is the only site that has information that is current and Accurate! The info used by REALTOR.COM is provided to them ONLY from Licensed Agents who are accountable for their actions!

    Many Home Owners like the Security & comfort being insulated from the general public by having all of the showings & inquires on their home screened by a Realtor limiting the showings to qualified purchasers only!

  40. […] A carnival without a top-ten Bloodhound entry just doesn’t seem right — especially if the entry’s only sin of commenting on Zillow is one in which I also indulged — but thank goodness the coin toss merely relegated Greg Swann’s entry to the bottom of the list, not into the Recycle Bin. Greg’s analysis of Zillow’s recent moves is lengthy, insightful, well-written, and thought-provoking and generated numerous comments and link-backs. On a separate, unrelated note, today we learned that Greg is an Agorist, a onetime Mac programmer, a Latin-phile, and a writer (we suspected as much)…and that he deeply loves his wife. […]

  41. Anonymous December 21st, 2006 10:39 am

    Anonymous on Dec. 14 compared realtor’s to doctor’s and lawyers. Doctors and lawyers have doctoral degrees that often take up to 10 years school. As far as I know, a high school diploma is required to be a realtor.

  42. […] 2006 is the Year of Zillow – BloodHoundBlog looks at the news and implications. […]

  43. Scott January 2nd, 2007 11:13 am

    I like what Fidelity National Financial has done with their AVM’s to support brokers and agents at http://www.cyberhomes.com

  44. […] They’re cray-Z about you. After all, using your name as a verb in true Google fashion is a positive sign of Web 2.0 greatness, right? Next to mentioning it in the same breath as Google, that is. […]

  45. Otto January 23rd, 2007 3:43 pm

    What realtors don’t realize with their non existent entrance requirements into their “profession”, is that sites like Zillow are eventually going to put them out of business.
    If I were buying right now, I would solely rely on information gleaned from the net.
    In fact, my only use for a realtor would be having them open the front door for me so I could view the house.

  46. Tony Sena February 15th, 2007 12:18 am

    I agree that Zillow is only good for raw estimates of the value of a property. Their margin of error is stiil to high in my book.

  47. for sale by owner center February 15th, 2007 10:29 am

    So its been a few months… here is zillows current listing inventory:

    Homes for sale: 38,877
    Make Me Move? homes: 20,459
    Updated: 02/15/2007

    Not to dramatic but keep in mind that their original intent was that the listings have to be updated weekly to stay on…

    Has anyone heard of any success stories of buyers actually finding a home on zillow and purchasing?

  48. […] 2006 is the Year of Zillow… (BloodhoundBlog) by Greg Zillow Says “MAKE ME Move” (Rain City Guide) by Ardell […]

  49. […] Greg Swann: 2006 is the Year of Zillow: The 900 pound AVM has been upgraded to be a free listing platform and the presumptive national MLS system… […]

  50. […] BloodHoundRealty – 2006 is the Year of Zillow  […]