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How Zillow Has Reached Beyond Listings and Zestimates

  • October 30, 2013

by Shilpi Paul

How Zillow Has Reached Beyond Listings and Zestimates: Figure 1
Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff with President Obama. Courtesy of The White House.

How has Zillow’s multi-pronged marketing strategy disrupted the real estate industry?

Yesterday, the Washington Post’s Lydia DePillis analyzed the real estate listing website’s myriad methods of establishing themselves as a major player in the real estate world.

Aside from hosting a website populated with current listings, Zillow throws housing conferences with big-name speakers, publishes a Home Value Index, calculates values via a Zestimate, and publishes a blog. They host Google Hangouts with high-ups in the Administration, and have even interviewed President Obama.

Their interviews and panel discussions are often available via video, making them a resource of housing market and mortgage-related topics.

In the process, noted DePillis, Zillow is “taking on traditional real estate agents, media companies and publishers of housing data — and it’s threatening all of them in the process.”

From the Post:

“Zillow saw this opportunity, about five years ago, to fill what we perceived to be a massive void in academia, government and in the media,” says Spencer Rascoff, the company’s 37-year-old chief executive. “Nobody was providing objective, unbiased data and analysis about what was happening in the real estate and mortgage industries. The people that were providing it represented trade associations with agendas and were advancing particular policy prescriptions for their constituents.”

While Zillow has been growing, earning $47 million in revenue last quarter, some parties are frustrated with what they see as inaccuracies in the listing information and Zestimates.

Zillow defends their metrics. Unlike other actors who have a stake in encouraging buyers to buy, Zillow claims to aim for pure accuracy: “our business only works if people trust us to be telling them the unbaised truth,” stated a Zillow representative in the Post article.

For the full story, check out the Post.

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