Zillow Moves Deeper into Community Territory

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This morning Zillow launched a range of enhanced features lead by what it calls “Home Q&A,” which allows homeowners, agents and would-be homebuyers to ask open-ended questions about particular properties or their surrounding neighborhoods and characteristics. Below is a sample Q&A form (click image to enlarge), which is tied to a particular address:

Zillow QA

Zillow has also created the ability for homeowners, buyers and agents to create profile pages. Here’s Zillow CEO Rich Barton’s profile page. In addition, one can now add unlimited property photos to Zillow address listings.

Here’s a sample home listing in my old neighborhood in San Francisco. In the upper left Zillow has also enabled anyone to identify whether the home is for sale and, if so, for how much. This is one of several novel, non-MLS ways that Zillow is getting for-sale listings into its database.

For sale

Today Zillow is also launching “EZ Ads,” a simple, CPM-based ad creation tool that allows agents to target buyers or prospective sellers by zip code. The company also sees the Home Q&A tool as a marketing vehicle for agents, who will be motivated to answer questions about a home (especially if they’re the listing agent) or area to establish their expertise or credibility with potential buyers.

Zillow made an interesting choice in deciding to tie all the Q&A traffic to particular addresses, rather than simply create a new centralized area of the site that offers the functionality and content. But it makes sense given that this feature is intended to expand content and information around individual properties and it also prevents the appearance of a huge content hole at the outset before the community gets fully engaged.

Zillow began with hard-to-assemble data on home valuations for theoretically every home in the US. Building off of that (and massive VC funding) the company added enhanced mapping and some novel other features (e.g., “Make Me Move“) and is now turning itself gradually into a community for buyers and sellers of homes and their agents. In roughly a year it has just over four million uniques and has successfully built one of the few consumer brands in online real estate.

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Here’s the Zillow blog with more detail on the new features.

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6 Responses to “Zillow Moves Deeper into Community Territory”

  1. Planet Zillow.com: Burgeoning Realty.bot grows, potentially, to become a self-sustaining residential real estate eco-system | BloodhoundBlog: National real estate marketing and technology weblog | There's always something to howl about... Says:

    [...]  Elsewhere: TechCrunch, Drew Meyers, Jay Thompson, More from me: A screen-shot tour, Joel Burslem at tFoREM, Robbie Paplin at RCG, Webware, ClickZ, Brian Brady: Farming Zilliow, Brian Brady: Zillow for mortage lenders, Brian Brady: “Ask Questions, Share Answers”, Jonathan Dalton, Ardell at RCG, Zillow Blog, Seattle Post Intelligencer, Reuters, Inman Blog, TechMeme, Marlow Harris at 360Digest, FBS Blog, Jim Duncan at Real Central VA, Greg Sterling at Screenwerk. [...]

  2. Zillow Adds Profiles, Home Q&A, Tell Us It’s for Sale, and EZ Ads » Personal Insights on Web 2.0, Blogging, and Business Says:

    [...] Sterling writes “Zillow Moves Deeper into Community Territory“   « Traits of a Community Evangelist | [...]

  3. Zillow’s New Features: Friend or Foe? Media Company, or Redfin Redux? | 3 Oceans -- The San Francisco Bay Area Real Estate Blog Says:

    [...] Reuters, Inman Blog, TechMeme, Marlow Harris at 360Digest, FBS Blog, Jim Duncan at Real Central VA, Greg Sterling at Screenwerk, Realty Baron, [...]

  4. Trulia Adds Community « Screenwerk Says:

    [...] crime rates, parks, schools and other features of their intended residential areas. Zillow recently added community, but ties “Home Q&A” to the particular property as opposed to an [...]

  5. Zillow’s New Features: Friend or Foe? Media Company, or Redfin Redux? : Domus Test Test Test Says:

    [...] Reuters, Inman Blog, TechMeme, Marlow Harris at 360Digest, FBS Blog, Jim Duncan at Real Central VA, Greg Sterling at Screenwerk, Realty Baron, [...]

  6. More Community (Advice) from Zillow « Screenwerk Says:

    [...] previously introduced Home Q&A, which was focused on specific properties and their surrounding neighborhoods. Trulia, by contrast [...]

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