Zillow is a a real estate website that has left journalists and realtors debating on the impact it has had on the industry. Information is important for prospective buyers and ZIllow fills a need that many had not anticipated. 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 needs to embrace the new age of information. Real estate agents need to take advantage of the technology at hand and use it to boost their knowledge and earning potential. More than half of all real estate agents have personal websites tied to their brokerage firm. In addition to running their own websites, almost all real estate agents use email to communicate with their clients.
Zillow can give users detailed information that may be hard to find using traditional methods. Thanks to Zillow everyone is now able to do their own home appraisal. There is even price change information as well as possible taxes paid on the property.
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 you with every piece of information you need to know about a house, from pictures to lot size. However, the most important tool Zillow provides is the convenience to use the site from home without having to pick up the phone. 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.
Will Zillow one day dominate the real estate market, or will real estate agents and brokers evolve in an ever changing business model. Real estate agents and brokers are beginning to see sites like Zillow become increasingly popular and worry that they aren’t in control anymore. 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 agents need to be competitive in this age of information by providing clients with the same tools and features found on sites like Zillow. The age of information is a great time for many and sites like Zillow are examples of how industries must change.
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