Los Altos Real Estate Blog

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What are Trulia, Zillow, and the rest missing to make consumers happy?

Zillow is wildly popular, especially the often reviled Zestimate.  Trulia has a loyal following as well with their Q&A being popular.  Consumers seem to like the information the get from Redfin and agents often send their client there to get information on their own.  With all these different real estate search engines, it makes me wonder if something isn't missing.  Is there a "best of breed" solution that takes the best of them all and makes one better than the other.

Here's my question to you; what's the dream real estate search engine?  If you could go to a website and it does exactly what you want, what would it do?

Some of the things I wish these guys would do better include:

  • More accurate AVM.  It's not rocket science but Zillow seems so far off the mark most times.
  • Only what I need on the screen.  I don't want to see all the homes for sale, rent, etc as on Zillow.  Less is more.
  • Local answers to local questions.  Nobody from Virginia answering questions about Los Angeles.

There are a lot of other real estate search engines for condos, rentals, and more, some confined to a particular geography just for local markets.  Some have a strong following and others just seem to...exist.  While the various major providers have loyal fans, none of them seems to be in a position to dominate the market as Google did with internet search.  If someone came up with the perfect real estate search engine, could it dominate?  I think it could.

Here's the one benefit I'd like to get from whatever the final solution is; faster results.  I want to shorten the amount of time it takes to find the ideal home.  It takes buyers months to find homes with or without an agent because the right tools aren't out there to speed up the process.  I think the right online tool could change that.  What do you think?

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 Bryan Robertson, CEO | T: 650.799.9951 | Email: bryan@catarra-re.com | Website: http://www.BryanRobertsonHomes.com |CA BRE# 01191946 | Catarra Real Estate, Inc  | 171 Main St #220 | Los Altos, CA 94022

 

 

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Comment balloon 61 commentsBryan Robertson • October 18 2011 05:52PM

Comments

Bryan- I couldn't agree more, there isn't one ideal site at this time. The values on Zillow are a pet peeve of mine and I would love to see them become more accurate. Great post - suggested.

Posted by Amanda S. Davidson, Alexandria Virginia Homes For Sale (Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group) about 7 years ago

As a new RE/MAX associate, I recently learned of a brand new version of RE/MAX.com coming out based on a lot of the reasons you mentioned above Bryan.  I know its hard to create a one size fits all website, that is why we are seeing a lot of niche type sites being created now.

Posted by Hrisco & Associates, -"Est. 2000 ~ Experience Matters" (Hrisco & Associates | eXp Realty, LLC.) about 7 years ago

Amanda - Thanks for suggesting!  The values on Zillow bug me too and I'm hoping to see a better system soon.

John - Thanks for adding me as an associate.  I'll keep an eye on remax.com and see what they come out with.

Posted by Bryan Robertson, Broker, Author, Speaker (Intero Real Estate) about 7 years ago

I have to wonder if Zillow or Trulia are paying any attention to agent criticism of their sites.  But it doesn't hurt to suggest.

Posted by Eric Kodner, Wayzata Lakes Realty: Twin Cities, Madeline Island (Wayzata Lakes Realty: Eric Kodner Sells Twin Cities Homes) about 7 years ago

Oh don't get me started on Zillow.  I have buyers call a lot saying well according to Zillow....You are way over priced. UGH. 

Posted by John McCormack, AlbuquerqueHomes.com, Albuquerque Homes Realty (Albuquerque Homes Realty * www.AlbuquerqueHomes.com) about 7 years ago
Since the service that sites like zillow and trulia provide are FREE to us, I choose to appreciate them as portals to reach the public with our listings. I'm content to leave it at that.
Posted by Mark Delgado, Benicia and Vallejo, Property Management, rental h (houses for rent, Solano County & Glen Cove) about 7 years ago

I like your suggestions.  It would be nice for more accurate information but ultimately they are just pulling for what is in the listing or public record.  

Posted by Christine Smith, Exclusive Buyer Agent & Attorney, Canton, MA (Buyers Brokers Only LLC - www.BuyersBrokersOnly.com) almost 7 years ago

These are all great tools for the consumer but they are not all-inclusive, that is why you need a professional real estate agent.

Posted by David Popoff, Realtor®,SRS, Green ~ Fairfield County, Ct (DMK Real Estate ) almost 7 years ago

Hi Bryan - One of the common problems we have with those sites is that they often don't reflect the correct current status of properties. Here., we use active, active-backup, active-first right and pending, all of which show up as just active on the sites - our clients searching on those sites - which we don't recommend - get excited about homes they probably can't buy.

Posted by Dick Greenberg, Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate (New Paradigm Partners LLC) almost 7 years ago

The perfect search engine? Realtor.com circa 2006. Simple, and very straightforward.

Posted by Doug Rogers, Your Alexandria Louisiana Agent (Bayou Properties) almost 7 years ago

I don't think any automated application on a website is ever going to be accurate in terms of AVM.  Don't even attempt it is my advice.

Posted by Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker, Bristow, VA (Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA) almost 7 years ago

Chris Ann - The current AVM models don't take into account several key factors including elevations, views, proximity to detriments (busy roads, etc) and others that an agent can.

Doug - Agreed. Simplier is better.

Dick - What you describe is common issue with data handling by nearly all the search sites.

David - Agreed!

Christine - That's the issue with many sites, inaccurate or untimely information.

Mark - OK, then how could we improve them as listing portals?  Could they showcase properties better?

John - Yeah, Zestimates are so wrong in Silicon Valley in so many places they're basically useless.

Eric -I'm not sure they do.  I know Redfin does :)

Posted by Bryan Robertson, Broker, Author, Speaker (Intero Real Estate) almost 7 years ago

Zillow drives me crazy as well.  They even admit an "error" factor of + or - 25%.  It is mentiuoned on their website at the bottom if you click on the appropriate link.
In our area, there is Movoto, which has some good info, but they refer out their business to other agents from other brokerages.

Posted by Gary Frimann, REALTOR and Broker (Eagle Ridge Realty / Signature Homes & Estates) almost 7 years ago

Hi Bryan.  I have a different view...

I think they are all pretty darn good.  Redfin is popular.  Trulia and Zillow do great too...

Thanks for writing,

Ken

Posted by Ken Tracy, Helping clients buy and sell since 2005 (Keller Williams Realty Infinity) almost 7 years ago

Hi Bryan - Brad from Zillow here. 

I can't speak for the other companies, but I can say that our site offers consumers a multitude and variety of tools that help them in the starting stages of their data and information gathering. There are also many powerful tools and services we offer the industry and agents like yourself.  I'd be happy to share some of those if you're interested but the bottom line is that people (consumers) go to the web and search for data, information, and answers etc. 

Regardless of what site or URL they may land on, it's in your best interest to be there when they do.  Just like ActiveRain, who is your audience, who are you trying to reach, and what are you trying to communicate?  All these things and sites are just tools (as you know) and the real bottom line is that Zillow is trying to connect willing and able agents who want to help with those on our site who need help borrowing, buying, selling, and investing in Real Estate. 

Though one of our tools, (the zestimate) may not be dead on 100% accurate, we do have a full time team and staff committed and working every single day doing their absolute best and striving to keep making it better.  We've sure come a long way too.

Regarding the screening, you may not be using the existing tools that are in place.  I can show you how to use the filters, search tools, etc. to drill down to exactly what you're looking for, not just every home for sale in an area or neighborhood. I'd love to give you a tour if you have some spare time available.

Lastly, my door is always open to you and anyone inside or out of the industry who wants to share what they'd love to see on our site.  I have eyes, ears, and a mouth that can get these ideas and suggestions into the right places, in front of the right people, who can make the right decisions on how and what we can do to make our service and site even better.

Posted by Brad Andersohn, ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876 (Director of Education & Industry Outreach at eXp Realty & RE Tech Campus) almost 7 years ago

Great, though provoking post.  I just added Listingbook.com as a service for my clients.  They can change search and their criteria to fit their needs.  I'm also adding a map based search on the home page of my site, relocatingtoscottsdale.com.  That should be up by the first of the month. That wil allow users to search within a range of a location that they'd like to be within close proximity. I don't believe there is one size fits all, which is why I'm using different tools.  With AR's help, and SEO, others will find my site as a relocation tool. 

Posted by Jan Green, HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN (Value Added Service, 602-620-2699) almost 7 years ago

I find I need to have a presensence in sights like those.  I want my contact info there in their (the consumers) faces, but if someone is looking for a home in my neck of the woods my IDX feed on my sight is the perfect place for them to look. 

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) almost 7 years ago

Whenever I have a unrealistic Seller I'll have them visit Zillow or Cyberhomes.com !!!

Posted by Michael J. Perry, Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist (KW Elite ) almost 7 years ago

I think local sites should be - well - LOCAL.  Trying to create a one-size-fits-all national database is a big part of the PROBLEM.  Also - you can't pinpoint anything without actually learning about the area in question.  Buyers need to do more digging than a real estate site can give them. They need to VISIT towns they are interested in and get to know the area.  Boots on the ground are necessary. You can't buy a home or lifestyle online.

Posted by Ruthmarie Hicks (Keller Williams NY Realty - 120 Bloomingdale Road #101, White Plains NY 10605) almost 7 years ago

Often the zestimates are out in right field some where, i tried zillows version of questions and answers but dare offer a opinion and get rudely blasted. Trulia's question and answer is the best i have seen. Their collection of homes though is littered with ads from realty trac that are not even for sale and ruin the experience. Overall Trulia management does not respond to agents concerns though. AR by far as the best blogging platform. So having to go to different sites for different aspects of our job is natural and a must right now. 

Posted by Scott Godzyk, One of Manchester NH's Leading Agents (Godzyk Real Estate Services) almost 7 years ago

I think both Zillow and Trulia has REALTOR dot com beat hands down. The NAR that steals my money every year so I can have access to the local MLS has done NOTHING that the consumer not could find better at those two web sites.

I think you are barking up the wrong tree. But, then that's just me. Congrats on your featured post. 

Posted by Gregory Bain, For Homes on the Jersey Shore (Mezzina Real Estate & Insurance) almost 7 years ago

Zillow and Trulia are OTL--they have no idea about Southampton New York and they claim they do...what evidence do I have? Here, read at this: I have my home for RENT and it is listed on HREO (Local website) and all the other brokerge sites...Both Zillow and Trulia scraped it off the sites and put it on as a SALE at the rental price. I did everything but stand on my head to get them to remove it--never did...I finally went on as the owner of the house and left some pretty strong language if they did not remove it...they did not!  It is still there on both, but now I get THEIR estimate of what it is worth for sale and they show a sale price of $1Million less than what the house would sell for if it were listed!....Zillows zesitmate comes to me promptly every week rubbing in the sudo "FACT" that "Your home has just lost 2.5% more in value" and they drop that bomb LIKE THEY KNOW! I have had calls from reps from both Zillow and Trulia, contacting me to be "THEIR" agent in the Hamptons, for a huge fee! I can't repeat what I said to the last one who called me!! 

Posted by Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA, ...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons! (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) almost 7 years ago

By the way Bryan, I sat through the webinar with the owner of REDFIN and I got cold chills just listening to his "Plans" for the entire country..his goal: To get listings from all MLS, along with data regarding what each agent in each area earns per year. Then, he plans on putting his agents (who are paid a salary by the way) in the loop as the "experts" in the local markets, with an examination of their prowess vs. the competition. He plans on doing this so that the consumer is more informed!!! Of course he could not explain how he would be objective in his analysis--just said he would use what ever he finds on agents and publish it. (I am sure you heard about how wrong his "Agent Scouting report" was!!) So, you know as well as I do that some years are great for me and some are not so great--how do you feel about him publishing this stuff??...and what does he show for his own agents if he pays them a salary??

Posted by Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA, ...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons! (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) almost 7 years ago

I would like less clicks. You said you don't want to see all the listings, but I hate having to click "next" over and over again. I hate how Google only puts the top 10 sites on each page. Stop making me click and click to get more information.

Posted by Donna Harris, Realtor,Mediator,Ombudsman,Property Tax Arbitrator (Donna Homes, powered by JPAR - TexasRealEstateMediationServices.com) almost 7 years ago

I agree with comment #20.  I don't think there can ever be a one-size-fits-all website.  In Northern Virginia, we got it bad with Zillow and their undervalued estimates.  Here, you can have two homes in the same zip code, same neighborhood, one street apart sell for thousands of dollars apart.  Buyers thought they knew everything, especially those coming from the midWest, ugh, what a headache.  I would like to stop the MLS feeds altogether, and have consumers come to the local association website for everything.  Didn't Houston do that?

Posted by Tamara Inzunza, Close-In Alexandria and Arlington Living (RE/MAX Executives) almost 7 years ago

I am very concerned with the part of your post that stated, "Consumers seem to like the information the get from Redfin and agents often send their client there to get information on their own."

WHAT?????

If you are a Real Estate Agent don't you have search engines for your clients? Why would you send them to another company to get the info? Why are YOU not getting the info for them? I am so miffed by this part of your post! I want my clients to come to ME for their Real Estate info, not another company! I have provided them my own search engine and my own app for them to search for homes from their smartphones. I would NEVER send my clients to zillow, trulia, or Redfin! Call me crazy... Just sayin...

Posted by Stacia Whatley, StaciaSellsHomes Your Western WA Realtor® (Hawkins-Poe Inc.) almost 7 years ago
My biggest beef is that they aren't consistent in how they pull in the data. Sometimes my listings show up, and sometimes they don't. Having to go intonthese sutes all the time to update your listing data because their info is incorrect is a royal pain.
Posted by Karen Crowson, Your Agent for Change (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) almost 7 years ago
Most sites are not user friendly for the buyer. They cannot search for specifics like we can and it takes them much longer to find what they are looking for... And they may miss out on some that would work for them. This is the biggest complaint that I hear.
Posted by Joni Bailey, Your Huntsville / Lake Livingston Area REALTOR® (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services - Anderson Properties) almost 7 years ago

I'm not sure about Redfin ... really?

I agree that there could be many improvements.  Nothing seems to quite fit the bill

Posted by Lisa Wetzel, CDPE, SFR carsonvalleyland.com (RE/MAX Realty Affiliates) almost 7 years ago

I agree with your suggestions except for less information. I would like more, just in digestible form. And...I would like accountability from these sites. I know...it is asking too much!!

Posted by Dawn Maloney, 330-990-4236 Hudson & Northeastern Ohio (RE/MAX Haven - Northeast Ohio Real Estate Specialist) almost 7 years ago

I would say stronger data to make estimates of value actually worth giving! I mean when these companies say their information could be off 25% what is it really worth!

Posted by Rosalie Evans, The Evans Group, Sioux Falls, SD Homes For Sale (Meritus Group Real Estate) almost 7 years ago

Bryan, I agree. Zillow has great maps; Trulia has fun information about the area; Redfin is also an interesting site to cruise. Where do I go when I need accurate information now? Our professional MLS.

Posted by Maria Morton, Kansas City Real Estate 816-560-3758 (Chartwell Kansas City Realty) almost 7 years ago

I have given this a lot if thought lately also. I bet there will be more improvements on the horizon.

Posted by Cheryl Ritchie, Southern Maryland 301-980-7566 (RE/MAX Leading Edge www.GoldenResults.com) almost 7 years ago

I don't know if any online tool will ever replace local knowledge and a personal real visit.  And, I'm glad, because otherwise we would be superfluous.

Posted by Gabe Sanders, Stuart Florida Real Estate (Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales) almost 7 years ago

We don't have those in Canada, but it seems to me that most buyers aren't able to make a decision until they have seen some properties. They also need to locate an area first. No matter how good the system is to produce a list , these two steps need to take place before there will be an Offer.

Posted by Brian Madigan, LL.B., Broker (RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage (Toronto)) almost 7 years ago

I agree that there is no one site that has it all, but I can tell you that I ask people to stay away from Zillow while searching.  Those values are so off it's not even funny.

Posted by Amanda Christiansen, Christiansen Group Realty (Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843) almost 7 years ago

Local experts, local advice. A winning combination all day long.

Posted by Charlie Dresen, Steamboat Springs, CO e-Pro (Steamboat Sotheby's International Realty) almost 7 years ago

Bryan...great post. 

All of the "national" real estate sites have something to offer...in a very general way.  We all know that pictures are very important, as well as general property information, and these sites do an adequate job in presenting this info.  This is all objective data which is publicly available.  Many buyers do seem to like these formats for their initial search.

What they don't have is the "feet on the ground" knowledge of the local market.  The data used for Zestimates does not take into account the subtleties of local location issues or whether one house has been totally rehabbed or is in deplorable condition.  Much of this type of data is subjective and can only be garnered by full time professionals who know their local market inside and out.

When an online source is able to accomplish this, then maybe it will be an effective tool for genuinely helping buyers to speed up their process. Currently, we are a long way from there.

 

Posted by Howard and Susan Meyers (The Hudson Company Winnetka and North Shore) almost 7 years ago

I have had so many problems with Trulia that I have nothing but antipathy for them.  I've had my exclusive listings show up under an agent for a different firm (with that agent calling to tell me and it taking weeks to get Trulia to resolve it).  The entire platorm is poorly designed in my opinion.  StreetEasy (which only covers the NYC market) is vastly superior.

Posted by Kate Akerly, Manhattan Beach Residential Sales (Kaminsky Group) almost 7 years ago

no kidding.  Zillow is always throwing people off as to what they think values are.

Posted by Mike Marroquin, Supreme Lending Team (Supreme Lending) almost 7 years ago

It's fun to check out Trulia and Zillow, just to see what's going on.  The general public goes there all the time, so we need to know what is there.

Posted by Karen Steed, Associate Broker Haralson Realty (Tallapoosa, Bremen, Waco, Buchanan, Temple, Carrollton) almost 7 years ago

Days on MArket has always been a pet peeve of mine.  Because of the nature of how we transact our business, it is impossible to get the Real picture with respect to this statistic.

Posted by Bob Zorechak - ABR, GRI, e-PRO, Sells Homes in Morris/Somerset/Hunterdon Cos., NJ (Keller Williams Realty Metropolitan) almost 7 years ago

Karen, Mike, Akerly Team, Howard & Susan, Charlie, Jared, Brian, Gabe, Cheryl, Maria, Rosalie, Dawn, Lisa, Joni, Karen, Stacia, Tamara, Donna, Paula, Gregory, Scott, Ruthmarie, Michael, Tammy, Jan, Brad, Ken, David, Gary - THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR GREAT INPUT AND FEEDBACK ON THIS ISSUE!

Overall points I got:

1)  General distrust of many sites and the validity of their data

2)  The preferred use of our own websites (via IDX) or the local MLS

3)  The ongoing need to keep consumers focused on our expertise

4)  The need to still retain a presence on sites like Zillow but offer alternatives to generate leads

A special thanks to Brad Anderson for his comment and I'll follow up offline with a summary.  I think this is good feedback for Zillow.

Posted by Bryan Robertson, Broker, Author, Speaker (Intero Real Estate) almost 7 years ago

Whats an AVM ?

Posted by Ian Lazarus,CRB CRS, Jersey Shore 2nd Home & Financial Specialist (Shore Points Realty) almost 7 years ago
  • Bryan, I totally agree.
  • More accurate AVM ~ Zillow is immediately discounted in our market because of the wide inaccuracies. Amongst real estate professionals here, the entire site and especially the "Zestimate" is regarded as a joke, and nothing more. Pure example of "GIGO" garbage in = garbage out. I dont know where they are getting their data, but it obviously isnt the MLS.....so where? If they are counting on government employees to update our on-line "public records" system.... that makes it worse. Most counties here in Colorado are YEARS behind in updating their records. Therefore the "zestimates" are being calculated using data that is inaccurate and old, yet Zillow is displaying it as a CURRENT snapshot, which it clearly is not. It is misleading the public and frustrating to deal with.  If ZILLOW wants any credibility or support from our industry, it is very simple and easy to do. They should have a HUGE disclaimer (red, flashing, bold, and enormous) right at the top of every page of their website on there that says something like: "This zestimate shown below is for fun and games and entertainment purposes and nothing more...... ONLY a licensed real estate professional can give you an accurate market value of your property"

And that would actually be telling the truth, instead of filling the heads of the public with lies about their property values.

They could even have an embedded link with licensed real estate professional so if it is clicked would take the consumer to another page with a list of brokers in their area.......i would pay to be on a list like that.

 

 

Posted by Jayson Holland, Jay Holland (Listings.com) almost 7 years ago

Bryan makes some good points in this article. If Zillow provided us a way to add in tags to agents listings that would better their service. One of my clients just cancelled their paid service on Zillow & I now only update it off their free account. While Zillow, Trulia, etc. offer a somewhat descent service to market listings...the only way listings are currently showing up in search engines is by typing in your choice of "city state homes for sale" then you have to scroll through them all. If they allowed SEO & tags into each listing that agents post then they would be much more productive.

The other resource I truly believe in is having a Wordpress website/blog & make sure you have built in SEO & tags on everything that you have posted.

:) Kristine

Posted by Kristine M., Real Estate Blogger & Marketing Specialist (Virtual Real Estate Blogger & Marketing Specialist) almost 7 years ago

I'm using ZILLOW rent ZESTIMATES in my property management presentations * sometimes they are WRONG and sometimes they are ALMOST correct!

Posted by Wallace S. Gibson, CPM, LandlordWhisperer (Gibson Management Group, Ltd.) almost 7 years ago

AVM will never accurately reflect the idiosyncrasies of the marketplace.  Nothing will substitute for boots on the ground but there will surely be more online "noise" to wade through online!

Posted by Beverly Femia, Broker Realtor Stager - Greater Wilmington, NC Are (BlueCoast Realty Corporation) almost 7 years ago

I have no doubt that the accuracy of these websites, and the scope of services offered are going to improve.  In the meantime, they can provide a very useful marketing tool for the agents that sign up with them.  I know one local agent who gets most of his leads from Trulia and Zillow.

Posted by Chris Lewis, I want to SELL your home, not LIST it! (Gracious Living Realty) almost 7 years ago

Why are we discussing this? Are you thinking of the new next thing? Zillow's a joke for accuracy which the public doesn't know. Most of my high tech buyers love the Redfin site because it's flexible on their smart phones while searching during a commute.

My site is the best site - go find a house there for buyers in my area of course!

Posted by Lyn Sims, Schaumburg IL Real Estate (RE/MAX Suburban) almost 7 years ago

Dear Bryan,

Variety is the spice of life. That is why Baskin Robbins has 31 flavors and not just chocolate or vanilla. Concentrating too much power in one search site would make it susceptible to abuse or weakness.

Posted by Dörte Engel, ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland (RE/MAX Leading Edge) almost 7 years ago

They may be missing some information, but they sure are driving some good traffic!  Buyer's often contact the agents that in return take them off the Trulia or Zillow searches and put them on their own.

Posted by Max Boyko (Team Hybrid - REMAX Gold) almost 7 years ago

It doesn't take months to find a home with an agent if the agent has the tools for his client to use. Consumers who know the value of their time and are knowledgeable can and do hire professionals to assist them or get them what they need.

The most accurate and reliable information about residential real estate is available only on the local MLS, so serious buyers, those with a time line can and do employ Realtors with great success and satisfaction. The best solution will always be to use a Realtor, anything else is a waste of time and there are only 86,400 seconds every day, so we should all use our time wisely because once used, you can't get it back.

Posted by Kimo Jarrett, Pro Lifestyle Solutions (WikiWiki Realty) almost 7 years ago

Yes, I see a lot of non-local realtors answering local questions and they are not always correct.   I am a licensed Associate Broker in Maryland, DC, and Virginia and the law is different in each jurisdiciton.   Real estate can be very local.

Posted by Alan Bruzee (Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.) almost 7 years ago

Hi Bryan, I think the best Zillow does is keep us busy explaining to customers why it is not right.

Posted by Bob Miller, The Ocala Dream Team (Keller Williams Cornerstone Realty) almost 7 years ago

I would never send a buyer to any of these portals.  I want to set them up with an automated search directly from our MLS.  So I'm glad they don't have updated or correct data, so I can point it out to a buyer right away and encourage them to let me set up a search for them that will show current active listings that are available for them to view.

Posted by Judy Orr, SW & Near West Chicago suburbs (HomeSmart Realty Group) almost 7 years ago

Very well stated! The homeowners of one of my new listings is all over me because the zestimate on thier house is $20,000 lower than the current lsit price. In calling Zillow to better understand how they calculate the zestimate I was informed it is based on the last purchase price of the home and does not take in to consideration any upgrading or renovations that have been done or change in market conditions. Talk about a tall hurdle to jump in getting people to put this home on their list of 'must see'. I'm with you, there are lots of opportunities to build a better search engine.  

Posted by Theresa Bonin (RE/MAX Valley Properties) almost 7 years ago

You are right about the screen real estate and how it is used on sites. If you the real estate buyer feel jammed in, that the platform is too intense, busy, clunky and over sold / marketed with razzle dazzle, you will search for a different portal to get what you need. Video is the biggest, easiest way to show and tell with eyes and ears used to make the connection, cause the healthy engagement. The experience for the buyer should not make them feel like they are playing an arcade machine of Asteroids.

Posted by Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573, Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker (MOOERS REALTY) almost 7 years ago

There isn't a perfect site yet. The Zestimates are off a lot of the time, and there are out-dated listings that show active that sold a long time before.

Posted by Sylvie Stuart, Home Buying, Home Selling and Investment - Flagsta (Realty One Group Mountain Desert 928-600-2765) over 6 years ago

This is a great time to let folks know that EVERY LISTING on Zillow shows the Listing Agent and the source by which that listing is syndicated to us.  Yesterday, an agent wrote a blog post about his listing still being on Zillow 5 months after it sold, so when I shared this with him, he was able to understood how this happens. 

Now if every agent just had this knowledge I'm about to share with you, ALL Zillow Listings would be updated and 99-100% accurate. 

The agent above updated his MLS system 5 months ago, yes!  But... The source is a company called OBEO which he had not gone into and updated.  Zillow updates every feed to our site EVERY DAY, but if the agent doesn't update their own listings on these sites, then this is what happens. 

Please check the listing to see the source then simply update your listings there or change your source feed to Zillow and you'll have made a HUGE dent in fixing this challenge.

Posted by Brad Andersohn, ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876 (Director of Education & Industry Outreach at eXp Realty & RE Tech Campus) over 6 years ago

The zestimates are getting better, in fact nationally we have a 9.4% median accuracy.  We will continue striving to perfect them and do our best to get them as accurate as possible.

Posted by Brad Andersohn, ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876 (Director of Education & Industry Outreach at eXp Realty & RE Tech Campus) over 6 years ago

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