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. :-)

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