Tag Archives: Zillow

Zillow TV Commercial

Reaching Millions – The American Dream

Well this is just one way to do it, but other than radio, television was one of the first and most effective ways companies reached audiences across the country before the Internet and world wide web were available. Today, many companies are using viral media, social media marketing, crowd sourcing and other means to reach the masses.

This week our company launched its first-ever National TV commercial. I am really excited and proud of this 30 second message titled “Find Your Way Home!” I had to watch it a few times before every aspect of the video really sunk in. It will air on a variety of stations like CNN, HGTV, ABC Family, and The Travel Channel at various time slots.

Zillow has grown and built an enormous amount of followers over the years without using any of the traditional types of marketing and advertising campaigns, I’m anxious to see what this television and marketing commercial and campaign will do for our growth in the days ahead. More importantly, I hope it will help more buyers, sellers, borrowers, investors, renters and real estate professionals connect via our site and mobile apps.

The BEST part of Life is creating, building, living, and our memories of “The American Dream!”

Creating Your Prezi-Cool Presentation

Prezi.com is an online site and platform that allows you to create some really cool presentations.  To be honest, this style of presentation  adds another level and perspective to those boring old PowerPoint slideshow presentations.  In this demonstration / sample, I used Zillow as the resource for a concept, topic, and content, but then used Prezi to create the “Live 3D” presentation experience.

Once the Prezi was completed, I used Screenflow to create a screencast.  The screencast was then uploaded to iMovie on a MacBook Pro where I was able to add music, transitions, additional titles, and create an MOV file to be uploaded to Youtube.  So here is a sample of 5 different websites and tools used to create one single video presentation.

Zillow Provides RE Training and Support

Agent Ratings and Reviews

Zillow now surfaces thousands of Real Estate agent ratings and reviews.  Consumers can now search and find local agents based on Client feedback” The response and results from this new feature have been very positive and successful.  Agent reviews are now featured on the Buyer’s Agent List and Agent profile.

DID YOU KNOW: 1 Review = 75% more contacts than agents with 0 reviews, and 5+ Reviews = 150% more contacts than agents with 0 reviews. Want contacts from Zillow customers? Want a competitive edge?  Get great reviews from your clients.

The March 2011 – Training & Class Calendar

Click on calendar for details and to reserve your seat at any session.

Class not on the calendar? Let us know what you’d like to see. Suggestions Here.

Zillow Academy Special Guests Include:

Jared James – The 21st Century REALTOR

Gary Gold – The Top Secrets of a Premier Agent

Stefan Swanepoel – Mastering Business and Life


RSVP for FREE webinars – space still available

IMPORTANT NEWS:

Zillow launched and released three new powerful widgets for your websites and blogs. Check out the Agent Reputation, the Contact Form Generator, and Local Rentals on a Map widgets. Customize and install yours for FREE at: http://www.zillow.com/webtools/widgets.

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Zillow Quick Tour and Navigation

Last week, I was helping a member over the phone and she said to me, “I don’t see on the site where I can answer questions, join the directory, get widgets, or download any mobile apps?”  She didn’t realize that the tabs at the top of the page open up when you hover your mouse over or click on them?  This made me wonder if there might be others out there who didn’t know this as well?

So I put together this tour and navigation screen/menu for her and anyone else who might be interested.

THE NAVIGATION MENU & TAB”Z”

1. My Zillow – The link to your profile, listings, account settings, and personal favorites.
1a.  Sign In, Sign out, or Sign up.

2. Homes – This tab provides a wide variety of useful tools and multiple search options.

3. Mortgage – The Marketplace with rates, calculators, and a help center along with tools for custom quotes.

4. Advice – Link is loaded with discussions, advice, questions, and answers to many topics in Real Estate.

5. The Directory – A great resource to thousands of Industry Professionals and local experts.

We’ve only covered 5 links so far and look at all the information, data, and resources you have already.

6. Local Info – Everything from neighborhood overviews, demographics, schools, to values and photos.

7. Mobile – Get information and download Zillow’s mobile app on iPhone, iPad, Android, or Windows mobile.

8. The More link gives you access to nearly 30 widgets, Premier Agent info, the Zillow Blog and more.
(dueling digs is one of my favs, it’s a great way to have a little fun and still promote property)

GETTING DEEPER INTO THE “Z”ONE

9. Search any address for any home value or listing in the Country and “GO!”
10. Access to Information and data on over 103,000,000 million homes in the US.
11. Access to nearly 4,000,000 properties for sale.
12. View over 1/4 million homes for rent.
13. Get data on over 2.4 million homes sold.
14. Compare mortgage rates on purchases and refinance loans in any City or State.
15. Featured homes for sale in your specific geo-location or area of interest.
16. Hyper-local inter-active home value widget for accessing statistics and data in your area.
17. Mortgage rate widget to compare rates and assist you with the borrowing process.
18. Featured article from the Zillow Blog run by Zillow employees – Celebrity Real estate news.

HOT LINKS & PLACES TO VI”Z”IT

19. Top cities and top states based on traffic and activity on Zillow.
20. What we do, who we are, the advisory board, meet the team and more.
21. Link to the Zillow Employee Blog. Once you visit, you’ll be hooked.
22. Zillow’s real estate research blog, most likely the best kept secret link on the site.
23. The Mortgage Blog is where you’ll make cents of mortgages one post at a time.
24. Zillow is always looking for passionate people to join our pioneers and team.
25. A place journalists, analysts and real estate groupies can view the latest Zillow news.
26. This link leads you to the most popular questions and answers on the entire site.
27. Advertising solutions for anyone interested.  *Reach over 30,000,000 eyeballs monthly.
(January 2011 – Zillow was host to 15.7 million visitors, *that’s 2 eyeballs per visitor)
28. Zestimate Values and Accuracy chart – a simple breakdown by location for Zestimates.
29. Only 15 terms of use for site members and visitors.
30. Zillow respects your privacy and is committed to protecting your personal information.
31. Yahoo! – Zillow Real Estate Network – One of the largest Real estate networks on the Web.

Exploring all that Zillow offers can be valuable and advantageous. It’s good to know your way around the site so you can effectively navigate and answer those real estate questions, concerns, and discussions when they come up from clients or prospects in your neighborhoods and communities. Thanks and Enjoy!

An Inside Outside Peek at Zillow – Kodak Moments Photo Tour

On my last visit to Seattle, WA, I had to attend a few meetings at the Zillow Corporate headquarters, so I decided to walk through the office with my iPhone and take some shots to share with my friends in the blogosphere.  It’s really quite fascinating to walk around inside the main office located at the top of the Wells Fargo building in downtown.

I’ll give you a quick tour of the office, and some of my favorite spots to hang out when I’m there.  If you’re ever in the Seattle area, make it a point to stop in and say hi to my friends and co-workers there.  They’re a great group and a whole lotta fun.  If you can catch me there, I’ll take you down to see the fish toss, and taste the best crab in Seattle.

The views from our office are absolutely spectacular!  360 degree views around the entire building.

Welcome to Zillow, the lobby that greets you with great anticipation of your visit.

The monitor in our lobby showcases some of the featured properties you’ll see on Zillow.

The views from every window in the building are truly stunning and unbelievable, this view is from the lobby.

Zillow has come a long way since 2005, the stories are proudly displayed for every visitor to see.

Hallways echo with sounds of celebrations, goals achieved, battles won, and numerous victory’s and successes.

The workplace and atmosphere are incredible, even the hallways have street names so I won’t get lost!

…. but I still get lost! lol~

Work weekends?  Ha! Now I know why Zillow Seahawk fans show up to work on Sundays… with binnoculars~

How do I know the staff at Zillow work very hard?  I have yet to catch someone playing table tennis. lol~

My personal favorite spot is here, they always have coffee, nuts, and a variety of cold drinks for me.

Over 200+ talented and committed people working hard to keep Zillow an industry & technology leader.

They care just as much about you and your business as they do helping consumers.

How do we R.A.T.E?  The call on the wall in the hall says it all.  I’m proud of Zillow, our principles and the team.

Oh yeah, did I mention the views???

I do enjoy spending time at Zillow in Seattle, the people who work there are very REAL and passionate. They take every task and challenge and make it exciting and fun.  There’s a very transparent culture behind the walls at Zillow.  Each team and department creates a unique synergy that spreads through-out and makes up the whole of the company.  I can honestly say that the true spirit and meaning of “customer service” lives and breaths in those hallways and offices.

A cup a coffee? – $1.85 A trip to Seattle?  $299.00 Kodak moments likes these? – $P,RIC,ELE.SS

 

Zillow Year-End Update and Report – A Record-Breaking 2010

I’m reporting this “LIVE” from our office in Seattle, WA today where it’s a GREAT day, the skies are crystal clear, the air is brisk and fresh, and the following updates and news is just too “HOT” not to share.

Here’s the latest update and report for those of you who have been asking me “How’s things going over at Zillow?”  I’m really excited to share that I just found out our company had a Record-Breaking 2010!  Wow, I just finished celebrating the New Year with friends and family and now it looks like I’ll have to go out and celebrate some more tonight.  Anybody out and about in the Seattle, WA area this evening?  hehe~

Our website and mobile usage hit an all-time peak in December and Zillow traffic surpassed 13 Million Unique Users Per Month.  This is very exciting news.

SEATTLE, Jan. 3 – Real estate information company Zillow Inc. wrapped up 2010 with a record-breaking traffic month, which capped a year of significant business announcements and usage milestones.  Zillow logged more than 13 million unique users* in the traditionally slow real estate month of December, the most in any month since the company’s launch in 2006.

That represents year-over-year traffic growth of 77 percent.

Additionally, Zillow is now running the largest online real estate ad network in the country**, thanks to a partnership with Yahoo! Real Estate, which was announced in July.  Zillow sells real estate advertising for both sites and, beginning in the first quarter of 2011, will power all for-sale listings on Yahoo! Real Estate.  Zillow Inc.’s individual business units, Zillow.com®, Zillow Mobile and Zillow Mortgage Marketplace, all logged important milestones.

Additional milestones for 2010 include:

•    Zillow Mobile launched apps on Android and iPad in early 2010, in addition to continuing to operate the number-one real estate app on the iPhone. Consumers now look at homes 20,000 times per hour while using Zillow Mobile. The Zillow apps are the most popular real estate apps on iPhone, iPad and Android.

•    Zillow Inc. became profitable in 2010.

•    Former COO Spencer Rascoff was promoted to CEO of Zillow Inc. in September. He replaced Zillow co-founder Rich Barton, who remains with Zillow as executive chairman.

•    There are nearly 100 million homes in Zillow’s database of all homes; 4 million are for sale and more than 170,000 are for rent.

•    Zillow in September announced a partnership with Apartments.com, which brought Apartments.com’s national database of rental listings to Zillow.com and Zillow Mobile.

•    Zillow Mortgage Marketplace became Zillow Inc.’s fastest-growing business, receiving nearly 300,000 consumer loan requests per month.

•    Data from Zillow’s real estate economics arm, including the Zillow Home Value Index, was widely used by academic and government institutions during 2010. Zillow data appeared in reports by the Congressional Oversight Panel, several branches of the Federal Reserve and numerous academic institutions.

“The past year has been a monumental one for Zillow,” said Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff. “We accomplished many of our goals.  Zillow is profitable and, thanks to innovations and partnerships like the one we have with Yahoo! Real Estate, we’re an even greater resource for consumers and real estate professionals alike. We’re looking forward to celebrating our fifth anniversary in 2011 with anticipation and high hopes for the year to come.”

Now I’d love to be able to say that all this success is because I joined the Zillow team, but we all know that would be a big fib. However,  I do look forward to 2011 being a prosperous year for us all.  I’m confident that my contributions, as small as they may be will have a significant and measurable impact on next years 2011 report and year-end update.

How’s things going over at Zillow?” I’d have to say fabulous, these are very exciting times! 🙂

What is Zillow? For those of you who may not know:

Zillow Inc. is a real estate information company with a marketplace where homeowners, buyers, sellers, renters, real estate agents and mortgage professionals find and share vital information about homes and mortgages. Launched in early 2006 with Zestimate® home values and data on millions of U.S. homes, Zillow has since added homes for sale and homes for rent, a directory of real estate and lending professionals, Zillow Advice, Zillow Mobile apps and Zillow Mortgage Marketplace. One of the most-visited U.S. real estate websites, with more than 13 million unique visitors per month, Zillow’s goal is to help people become smarter about homes and real estate in every stage of their lives — home buying, selling, renting, remodeling and financing.  The company is headquartered in Seattle.

* Unique users to Zillow are measured by Omniture, December 2010.
** The Zillow/Yahoo! Real Estate Network was the most-visited real estate entity (including both networks and individual websites) as measured by comScore Media Metrix Key Measures – Ranked Category, November 2010.

Zillow’s New Agent Rating and Endorsement Tool

Zillow’s New Agent Rating and Endorsement Tool

Today, Zillow launched the ability for consumers to review real estate agents they’ve worked with in the past. Millions of home shoppers visit Zillow every month, and many of them have not yet found a real estate agent to help them buy or sell their home.

Access to reviews and endorsements of local agents can be an incredibly useful tool for consumers.

Reviews and endorsements by past clients are a powerful tool to grow business – they’re the next best thing to a referral. Great agents will flourish with this addition.  With this launch, agents can solicit reviews from past or current clients, directly from their profile page on Zillow.

Zillow launched the first ever public feedback system for lenders with the launch of Zillow Mortgage Marketplace in April 2008. On Zillow Mortgage Marketplace there are 6,500 ratings and reviews for lenders, and reviews have dramatically increased their customer contacts. Lenders with good reviews (4-5 stars) do even better – getting twice the contacts of those with lower ratings.

Zillow Ratings and Reviews

More than 12.5 million people visit Zillow each month. Two-thirds of Zillow visitors are buying or selling now, or in the near future. 87% of consumers would recommend or use their agent again in the future, according to NAR’s 2010 survey of buyers/sellers.

Here’s a post by Sara Bonert with some additional information.  You can get the jump on the new rating and reviews feature by going directly to http://www.zillow.com/reviews/request since you’re most likely very excited and motivated to get started and solicit some reviews immediately.  I’ll also be hosting a training class over at ZillowAcademy.com with some additional Q&A soon. I hope you’ll check the calendar and make some time in your schedule to join us.

Zillow’s goal has always been to help people make smarter real estate decisions by providing access to as much information as possible – be it home listings, home value information, comparable home sales or tools to find the best agent or mortgage lender.  This launch is another step in this direction of consumer empowerment.  It’s also a great way to help the agents business by making their customers endorsements available.

Related Articles and posts:
Agent Reviews and Ratings FAQ

Review Guidelines

A Free On-line Agent Endorsement System

Top 10 Cool Tools to Share

When I joined Zillow about 6-7 weeks ago, many friends and associates here asked me to keep them posted about my new position over at Zillow.  So far, it’s been an incredible blast and the time has simply flown by.  I’m really enjoying the privilege of getting to be in both places, Zillow and here on ActiveRain.  So what’s been going on and what have I been doing?

In my recent adventures and explorations of Zillow.com, I’ve come across some really cool tools (10 to be exact) that some of you may not even know exist.  I didn’t.  I’m sure I’m missing quite a few others, but I wanted to at least update you and mention these.  In my sincere and honest opinion, these are some of the most exciting and easy to use, and will deliver the most value.

Here you go, take a moment to look into these, I think you’ll find them to be really cool tools.

1. Zestimates

What is a Zestimate? I remember when the Zestimate was launched many years ago. Since then, many questions have been asked. Is a Zestimate an appraisal? My Zestimate is too low or too high, what gives?  How does Zillow come up with a Zestimate?  How accurate is the Zestimate overall? Here’s the answer to all these questions and more.  Once you view and understand the Zestimate and how to use and discuss it with your clients and prospects, you’ll see why I added it here.

2. Zillow Advice and Discussions

Whether you get or give “Pro-to-Pro” advice or local “Consumer Direct” advice, Zillow advice is one of the best places you can spend some time on the site. Got a question? How about contributing to a discussion or starting a discussion of your own?  All Zillow asks is that you follow the Good Neighbor Policy when engaging with other real estate professionals and consumers.

3. Real Estate and Mortgage Widgets

This is one of the more exciting tools since I’m a real widget and gadget kinda guy.  Using some of these widgets and incorporating them into your sites and blogs can increase your traffic, bring more value to your readers, and provide you with co-branding on the Zillow site.  There’s quite a few Real Estate and Mortgage widgets, take a look and see which ones will be right for your website or Blog.

4. Premier Agent

The Premier Agent membership on Zillow is exactly that. PREMIER.  Now that I’ve had some time to really investigate the program, evaluate the process, and witness first hand the results that members are experiencing, I stand behind the program 110%.  How can putting willing and able buyers agents in front of thousands millions of contacts that are looking at Real Estate and Loans ever be a bad thing?

Basically, Zillow’s Premier Agent Program connects buyers and sellers to agents. Flat out, bottom line!

5. Industry Directory

The Zillow Directory is the place for every face in the industry.  If you are not a member of Zillow and not in the Directory, it could be the single most grave mistake you’d ever make in real estate.  It takes 30 seconds to join, it’s easier than checking your email, and it is absolutely free. If you haven’t joined the directory, GO HERE TO JOIN. Then come back after…

6. Zillow API data

Zillow API is a powerful tool that allows you an endless amount of possible data providing opportunities.  Here’s one of my recent posts about API.  It empowers both the provider and the receiver with a great deal of value and on many levels.  Explore what you can do with any API, then think of the potential of what accessing and delivering Zillow API data might do for your business.

7. Zillow Academy

Zillow Academy is ALL ABOUT real estate training and having a learning and support campus available to the industry.  To be honest, this is where I have been spending a great deal of my time, but don’t tell Sara or Spencer that.  Seriously, they have helped and supported me in my efforts to put this all together.  It’s starting to come along nicely. It’s going to become one of the finest learning centers on the web.

8. The Zillow Profile

Like any site or network out on the web, (at least any worth their salt), you should need to have a decent profile setup.  That includes right here on ActiveRain. (hint hint)  Profiles on any site should always be evolving and changing, just like you do with the times.  Take advantage of the tools and options that come with many of these free opportunities and especially, make sure your Zillow profile has “Got It Goin On!

Mine needs work too but it’s not a shadow-face. lol Seriously, with no profile there’s a lot to be missed…YOU!

9. Mortgage Market Place

What are today’s rates? Can I qualify for a loan? My area is not like yours, that loan isn’t available…is it?  Wonder if we can afford that house or not?  Come check out the Mortgage Marketplace, it’s kinda like a farmers market.  You can walk around and check out all the fruits, vegetables and goodies that will feed the needs of your specific appetite.  Plus you can get help.

There’s nothing you won’t find and if there is, let me know and I’ll make sure it gets to the right ears.

10. The Zillow Blog

Did you know that Nicole Kidman… well, maybe I should just let you read for yourself.  Where do they come up with this stuff?  I have to admit that Diane Tuman is one of my favorite bloggers over there.  The stuff she comes up with and with Whitney and Lauren’s contributions, there’s never a boring or dull moment on the “Z” Blog.  You’ll get the insides and the outside scoops when you RSS feed the Zillow Blog.

That’s it for now. If you have any questions or comments, just ask or call me anytime.  I’ll report and update you on more later but until then, have a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday.  I look forward to seeing many of you at the Real Estate Marketing Summit and Town Hall meeting in San Diego at the end of the month. 🙂

API – Making Your Site A Powerful Tool and RE-Source

API Making Your Site A Powerful Tool & Source of Information

What is an API? It’s the acronym for “Application Programming Interface” and it has great value once you understand what it is and how it works.  Many have seen the term (API) around for quite some time, but figured it’s just some techno-jargon that means nothing or adds no value to those of us on the RE Net. WRONG!  One thing I have learned over the years is that even if you don’t understand some things, you should still know of them or at least about them, right?  I see some of you shaking your head “yes” right now.

To keep this post about API simple and easy to understand, I’ll just put it this way; adding an Application Programming Interface (API) to your site can add powerful and useful information to your traffic and visitors and it requires less work than you may think.  By incorporating an API into your site, you can deliver data and gather information all at the same time.  An API can benefit you and your readers by providing them with valuable inter-active data and information. You’ll get customers, not filled in forms, brand recognition and best of all, it’s FREE!

Real Estate and Mortgage Data for Your Site

Why Integrate with Zillow’s Data using API, would likely be the first question you’re be asking yourself right now?  One thought is that if sites like Yahoo.com and Education.com Integrate our API, why wouldn’t you consider it as well?  Not everyone will be able to do this, but as for the Implementation and Requirements, everyone could do this if they wanted to. I had no idea how powerful an API could be until I researched it a bit, and that’s why I’m sharing this with you.

Take a few moments to understand what API is, how it works, why it could add value and growth to your site and business, then let me know if you’d like to take Zillow’s API to the next level on your site.  If you’re comfortable working with an API and incorporating into your site, that’s awesome. If not, I’ve seen what companies like Z57 and Diverse Solutions can do for Real Estate Business sites and would be happy to put you in contact with the individuals who can assist you if needed.

Some Great Samples of Sites with API

These took me a while to research and find so I hope you’ll take a moment to really look at these well known sites that use/deliver API to bring value to their clients and visitors. Those clients and visitors being YOU and I.  Last.fm , EBay, Facebook, Feedburner, (now @Google) Windows LIVE, DIGG, Delicious, Google Maps, Flickr, Twitter, Yahoo, and Zillow!  Here are some other samples of what an API looks like on a “LIVE” site and from the users perspective: Yahoo Real Estate, Manage My Life, Public School Review, and IDX Central.

To get started using a Zillow API, you’ll need to 1. create an account on Zillow, (only if you don’t have one already) 2. Get a (ZWSID) web services ID, then 3. Take a look at our Developers Guide to get instructions on which data API will best suit you and your sites needs.

As with most API’s and sites, there is a “Terms of Use” which is always funner than reading the obituaries, but I’d rather have to discuss terms of use with you than have to discuss some of the “use of terms” I’ve heard in this Industry. lol~  Go ahead, show me some samples of what you’ve created, and how your using Zillow’s API, I’d love to be able to share that with others both here and on my site. Enjoy!!

Related API Information and Tools:
Effective API Design By Joshua Bloch
(Principle Engineer at Google)

Full List of Google API’s
The API Finder