It seems like everybody is talking about Zillow so I had to check out what was the fuss about. Think of Zillow as a cross between Google Earth and your local realtor. Enter an address and Zillow will zoom in with an satellite image of the area, just like Google Earth, and with an estimate price for each home in the area. I wasted a whole hour on that site seeing the estimated home value for each of my neighbors. Zillow is another tool for people in the house market.
The first thing people will ask is whether the estimates are accurate. To check how reasonable the estimates are I looked around Craigslist for homes for sale and found the asking price off the estimated Zillow price, by as much as 50k. I am sure the estimates will only get better with time which leads me to think, does Zillow want to be the Kelley Blue Book for homes? Maybe, which means that down the line they will probably come up with a paid premium service to better home estimates.
From a pure innovation level, Zillow does not do anything entirely new. People have been hacking with Google Maps to display rental information from sites like Craigslist. What Zillow lacks in originality it makes up with its financial backing and a hot real estate market. Zillow is the ‘brain child’ of Expedia expats Rich Barton and Lloyd Frink.
Zillow is definitely another of those Web 2.0 sites with its beta designation, soft pastel colors, and a blog. Reading the about page it states that the founders settled on the name Zillow because of it a cross between ‘Zillion of data points for homes’ and ‘pillow.’