Journalist’s data questioned
Last month, Forbes released a list of the top ten worst real estate markets, using Zillow data as their primary source of information. This list, naming Denver as one of the worst markets, was called into question by Colorado practitioners due to the article’s data conflicting with their local market data. Forbes had reported just ten months earlier that Denver is the best place in America to buy a home, leading agents, reporters and even a Gubernatorial candidate to question Forbes’ reporting.
Our position was that Forbes has always and continues to be a trusted media outlet and that their poor choice in using a poor data source doesn’t constitute poor journalism. Since then, we’ve noticed that they are no longer using Zillow as an information source, most likely due to the disparity between Zillow data and local MLS information.
Although Forbes ran an article explaining their methodology and their take on the situation, the article has since been removed. Originally, it noted why they chose Zillow and responded directly to Denver bloggers and politicians.
David Gibbons of Zillow said, “The resolution between Forbes and Zillow to ensure that this doesn’t happen again was in fact to strengthen our relationship – Forbes reporters will contact Zillow PR in future when they plan to use data from our site. We respect Forbes, enjoy working with them – as unfortunate as the error was, we understand how it could happen.”
Forbes changes its tune
This week, Forbes reported on “Five reasons why you still need a real estate agent,” which although it is possibly unrelated (and written by a different journalist than the controversial article), it appears to me that Forbes is offering an olive branch.
Forbes writer Tara Struyk writes, “While there are certainly people who are qualified to sell their own homes, taking a quick look at the long list of frequently asked questions on most “for sale by owner” websites suggests the process isn’t as simple as many people assume. And when you get into a difficult situation, it can really pay to have a professional on your side.”
As an interesting side note, the article names “real estate agents” as the trusted professional but doesn’t mention Realtors, which means the Realtor brand (managed by the National Association of Realtors) still has room for improvement.
Is it enough?
With Forbes switching away from using questionable Zillow data and writing a positive piece on the value of a real estate agent, will agents that are still frustrated and angry with the Forbes reporting in April accept Forbes’ olive branch?
CC Licensed image courtesy of thorinside via Flickr.com.