I just got an email from Zillow’s Director of Communications and she passed along the fact that not only is their blog live, but a beta version of their site is live as well… Rich and David flipped the switch!
So, what does Zillow do?
In two minutes of of a Skype conversation with my mom, we were able to find the “Zestimated” value of my home in Seattle, my mom’s home in Sacramento, and my grandmother’s home in Las Vegas… Very cool indeed, especially since my home value is zestimated to be worth $140K more than we paid for it two-and-half years ago!
From what I can tell, they’ve found a way to estimate the value of thousands upon thousands of homes (60,000,000+ homes by their count). For my neighborhood, they have lots of background information on each home… Not only does it tell you the size, square feet, lot size, etc. but it also gives information like a list of recently sold comparable homes. Very cool indeed.
The site is loaded with tables, graphs, and charts for each home.
Probably the strongest selling point so far is that creating a set of comparables is so easy. I’ve worked a fair amount with Anna to develop comparable market analysis, and I can tell you that agents may have access to slightly better data on each home, but Zillow’s system is SO much easier to use that I imagine many agents will turn to Zillow from now on…
Interesting, interesting stuff… It is interesting that the site has a complete lack of obtrusive ads and it will be really interesting to see how this plays out in the agent community. I’m not seeing a lot of negatives so far.
Here’s how Rich Barton explains their business model on the Zillow blog:
I’d like to make a comment on our business model, which I’ve found helps divine motives. Zillow.com will make revenues from advertisements on the site. We will always be crystal clear about what is content and what is advertising, just like any respectable content provider, and our advertising will not define our content. However, the beauty of “Web 2.0