The onus is on real estate brokers and agents to make a decision to not syndicate, validate or endorse these 3 party websites. More importantly, B and As have to sell sellers why appearing on these large search engines is actually counter productive – which is a tough sell in my opinion. In any case, Brokers and agents have to go a step further and create a much larger search presence on the mobile search front if they truly want to limit buyers and sellers dependency on the Zillows of the world, which is a battle for another day. Since the article deals with or speaks to how investors should or should not use Zillow, I think it misses the point. Investors, in my personal experience, use Zillow differently. Smart investors are already deeply connected to REO brokers and agents who give timely MLS data in the form of automatic emails. Investors are not using Zillow for MLS information. But, they might find Zillow’s recent inclusion of 1.5 million “foreclosures” interesting. Investors play the numbers game and target FSBOs who use zillow to advertise their homes and make offers in most cases on properties site unseen to gauge interests and make the phone ring. Zillow is very investor friendly because of the abundance of data it provides which is widely known to be inaccurate based on Zs algorithm but not to be interpretation as not being useful. If Zillow’s Zestimates were intended to be used as a starting point, this is the group of buyers who benefit the most from that information.
On December 16, 2008, Zillow launched Zillow Advice, allowing people to ask real estate questions online and get answers from the Web site's community of experts.
Zillow has stated that it is a media company that generates revenue by selling advertising on its web site. In April 2009, Zillow announced a partnership to lend its real estate search engine to the web sites of more than 180 United States newspapers as a part of the Zillow Newspaper Consortium. Zillow shares advertising revenue from the co-branded sites with the newspapers and extends its reach into local markets.
The zestimate on my home is substantially inaccurate and when I questioned the zestimate with Zillow they advised “that they have a First Amendment right to publish any valuation they want and that they never change zestimates”. How arrogant is that? What other consumer facing company takes such a hostile approach to potential customers? Zllows Customer Service is also appalling and they don’t publish any phone or email contact details. Anyone making a complaint is required people to make their issue public on the Zillow Advice Forum where they are subjected to snide and snarky comments from a handful of Zillow cheerleaders who seem to believe that zestimates are infallible.