What's Up With The Zilence?

David G. at Zillow gave a great speech defending his product (which was not named in Realtor Genius' article) via a comment, but has become silent at the simple question "is your model in the end a national consumer driven listing service?"

We at Realtor Wives think he should answer so others don't do it for him...

Check out the conversation here and encourage David to follow up!


David Gibbons said...

Geez, I also have to sleep sometimes ya know. ;-) Seriously, I obviously can't be everywhere at once so if there's a thread you'd like me to weigh in on, please feel free to e-mail me [davidg at zillow].

I've answered BR's question and pasted my response below.

BR -

The answer is no, other than “national”, that is not an accurate description of Zillow at all.

Zillow is a media company, so the best analogy to a legacy player would be to compare Zillow to the real estate section of a national newspaper … or to a real estate focused TV channel. That’s actually an analogy we use internally and so my boss, Spencer, will often refer to Zestimate values as our first “hit show”.

Let me try to better explain what we’re doing …

First, and since you asked about it, Zillow is obviously national. We do have international ambitions and I look forward to the day that we have the development resources available to work on that expansion. For now though, there’s still lots to be done in the US.

Zillow gives listing agents and sellers the ability to post a home for sale on the site — it is free. This feature is analogous to newspaper classifieds where many agents and sellers advertise their listings today - except on Zillow, it’s free. In that sense, craigslist might be a better comp.

Zillow is a consumer-centric real estate website. We are convinced that by putting the real estate consumer first, we will best serve our industry clients who advertise on Zillow. This was a bold bet but it seems it was the right decision at the right time.

Zillow is “driven” however by the members who participate in the site. According to our user surveys, that group includes about 600K real estate professionals who visit the site monthly (out of more than 4M users). On Zillow, you will notice that those professionals are in the driving seat of most of the deals being discussed. Zillow reflects what is happening in the real estate industry — most houses are sold by Realtors and most buyers have representation. The conversations on Zillow reflect this reality.

Further, while free postings are a major feature, you’re missing a big part of the Zillow picture if you are only thinking about listings. Zillow is a living database of all homes. All homes, not just those for sale. Some have Make Me Move prices, others are actually for sale. Most homes have Zestimate values and some owners have even published their own estimates. Many owners have uploaded gorgeous pictures of their house - even though many of those homes are not for sale.

I hope that gives you a better idea of what we’re about. If not, try the site out to get a better feel for it … if you do, I’d love to hear your feedback. If you ever need my feedback in future, feel free to email me (at the email address I provided with my comment).


You must be an old folk all goin' to bed early :)

Hey- thanks for the rebuttal comment on RealtorGenius.com... No one likes Zilence!