October 11, 2011

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Big Changes at zillow.com


We knew something was up at zillow.com when it posted a “site down temporarily” note on its blog on Monday.

The next post confirmed our suspicions: zillow.com was adding the option to list rental properties on its US-based real estate marketplace. By the next morning, zillow.com was already touting the first ten listings to take advantage of the new option, and dealing with a wave of questioning regarding its new pricing strategy: US$9.95 for a 180 day listing.

The comments were relatively quiet on zillow.com’s own blog, but over at 1000watt blog and agentgenius.com things were different, prompting zillow.com’s spokespeople to respond.

“[W]e have moved all manually posted listings to featured listings (which have always been a paid product on zillow.com),” wrote community director David Gibbons on 1000watt blog. “Featured listings receive six times the traffic that normal listings do on zillow.com. There’s significant value for a very nominal charge here.”

Over at agentgenius.com, broker relations director Sara Bonert assured agents that if their listings come to zillow.com via a third-party feed they will still be free, and emphasised that 97 percent of listings to zillow.com are received from feeds.

While free listings through applications such as vFlyer and Postlets are still an option, it seems clear zillow.com wants to emphasise the value of featured listings. “Featured listings typically enjoy six times the traffic of our standard listings, so you are getting a lot for your ten dollars,” Bonert told agentgenius.com’s readers. Gibbons also quoted the “six times more traffic” statistic in his response to 1000watt blog’s post.

The move raises a number of questions for US agents. Should they feature their listings on zillow.com? Would this really result in six times more traffic? Does more traffic equal more leads?

The key, as at least one commenter astutely pointed out, is in tracking where your leads are coming from. If zillow.com is bringing in business, then perhaps these featured listings are worth the investment. But if your leads are coming through your website, social media, or another source, then this change at zillow.com need not be cause for concern.


Related posts:

  1. zillow.com: Photos Make a Dramatic Difference
  2. zillow.com’s Local Info Now Easier to Use
  3. zillow.com: What Makes A Good Listing?
  4. zillow.com Widget Keeps Visitors Informed
  5. zillow.com Offers New WordPress Plugin
  6. zillow.com Upgrades iPhone App Again
  7. zillow.com Looking for Data Updates
  8. zillow.com’s Market Bottom Widget
  9. zillow.com Focuses on Mortgages
  10. Another Agent App for iPhone

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