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Using Zillow to Stay Competitive in the Online Marketplace.

The debate as to whether or not Zillow has made a lasting mark on the real estate industry has both real estate agents and journalists up in arms. Zillow is evidence that prospective buyers are eager to gather all the information possible when searching for a new home. On the day of launch Zillow received over 300,000 visits to their website causing the servers to overload and crash. This is the new information age, where data and information are at your fingertips in seconds.

The real estate industry isn’t immune to the growing force of the internet. Real estate agents need to take advantage of the technology at hand and use it to boost their knowledge and earning potential. Greater than 50% of all real estate agents manage their own personal website. The majority of real estate agents in the information age use email as a primary means of communication between clients and other businesses.

Zillow goes to many lengths to provide users with useful information. The tools given by Zillow are useful, one even gives the option of doing your own home appraisal. There is even price change information as well as possible taxes paid on the property.
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Zillow provides users with maps and GPS locations on every house listed in a prospective buyers area. Timelines and “sort by” features give users of Zillow full control over the type of house and specific area they want to see. Zillow can provide a wealth of information from square footage, to lot size, and every important detail you may need to know. Convenience is an overlooked commodity and it’s the key feature to the success of Zillow. With the busy schedule of most Americans, the ability to sit down and access real estate listings at their leisure is something important that can’t be overlooked.
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Are sites like Zillow the wave of the future, or will real estate agents and brokers retake control of the real estate market. The debate between journalists and real estate agents about Zillow has been on the rise. Some feel the creation of sites like Zillow are the fault of brokers and real estate agents not providing the information clients needed.

The existence of Zillow should serve as a reminder to real estate agents that they need to change with the times to better understand customer needs. Real estate professionals need to monitor their competition to stay competitive in the age of information. In this age of information, websites and companies like Zillow serve as examples to other industries trying to develop new tools for innovation.

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