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Zillow Professionals Directory Launch

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Find a Real Estate Pro

At its launch, it already boasts 150k members in its directory– immediately rewarding agents that have helped to fill Zillow with valuable home buyer and seller resources.

If you’re just jumping in on Zillow, you’ll need to do some catch-up to get on the all stars list, but I think it’ll be worth the effort as Zillow’s popularity grows.

Benn Rosales is the Founder and CEO of The American Genius (AG), national news network for tech and entrepreneurs, proudly celebrating 10 years in publishing, recently ranked as the #5 startup in Austin. Before founding AG, he founded one of the first digital media strategy firms in the nation and also acquired several other firms. His resume prior includes roles at Apple and Kroger Foods, specializing in marketing, communications, and technology integration. He is a recipient of the Statesman Texas Social Media Award and is an Inman Innovator Award winner. He has consulted for numerous startups (both early- and late-stage), has built partnerships and bridges between tech recruiters and the best tech talent in the industry, and is well known for organizing the digital community through popular monthly networking events. Benn does not venture into the spotlight often, rather believes his biggest accomplishments are the talent he recruits, develops, and gives all credit to those he's empowered.

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20 Comments

20 Comments

  1. Steve Simon

    October 2, 2008 at 4:01 am

    Well, Benn I hate being called an “Other” but I guess I will have to sign on? With 150,000 some are going to grow old and not sell real estate in Florida:)

  2. Benn Rosales

    October 2, 2008 at 7:28 am

    haha!

  3. Garreth Wilcock

    October 2, 2008 at 11:10 am

    Some positive publicity for Zillow! Mostly I see issues with zEstimates when I see Zillow mentioned in an agent’s post!

  4. Ruthmarie Hicks

    October 2, 2008 at 11:56 am

    I don’t bother with zillow. I posted on their message boards and it was totally hostile to agents. They had poor editing capacity for the spam and realized that contributing to zillow was feeding the monster. WHY do that? \ I haven’t used Zillow recently but my opinion of them a year ago was that they needed to clean up their act, knock it off with zestimates. Until they do I abstain.

  5. Drew Meyers from Zillow

    October 2, 2008 at 12:42 pm

    Ruthmarie-
    There are many agents who participate in Zillow discussions and find considerable value doing so. We have a large base of consumers (2/3 of which are buying or selling in the next 2 years), which means potential clients for agents to interact with. I’m not going to argue all contributors to Zillow Discussions have a positive view toward agents, because that would be false. But discussions is just reflecting real world conversations which are happening everyday offline. At least when they happen online, you have a voice in the conversation — I’d recommend engaging in those discussions rather than avoiding them.

    We have made very considerable steps in the last year regarding editing and controlling spam. If the last time you checked Zillow was a year ago, please give it another shot and let me know what you think.

  6. Rich Jacobson

    October 2, 2008 at 12:57 pm

    This was a great move on their part. It makes finding people a hecka lot easier than simply bumping into them in the discussions.

    Ruthmarie – I have found Zestimates to be a good starting point in the conversation with potential clients.

  7. Colorado Springs Vintage Homes-Nancy

    October 2, 2008 at 2:10 pm

    Well, I think I’m going to give them a try…I’ve put off making the plunge, but I think you’ve convinced me; and maybe I’ll be more impressed now.

  8. Ruthmarie Hicks

    October 2, 2008 at 2:14 pm

    Two problems….
    1. I want them to go to MY SITE not Zillow – why feed the enemy. Agents need to smarten up and STOP FEEDING THOSE THAT WOULD SNATCH THEIR BUSINESS. Stop feeding it – it dies..simple.

    2. Zillow has been VERY irresponsible. It creates havoc in our area because neighborhoods turn on a dime. One block makes a huge difference and their zestimates are often miles away. People see a low Zestimate – and that’s IT – discussion over. They want a bargain because Zillow says they should have one. Zillow seems to have no concept of municipality borders which heavily impacts prices in my area. Their choice of comps would be laughable if it didn’t create such a mess for sellers. They are off by 20-30% sometimes. There was one house a few months ago that they priced at roughly $870k – its pending at $1,289,000 – but what’s 33%? HEY! It’s only money! They took the Zestimate off – I just checked but this probably delayed the sale and created havoc for the seller who has no recourse with Zillow.

    They want to create Zestimates that this far off the mark – they need to assume some responsibility for their actions and be liable for what it does to the seller.

  9. Rich Jacobson

    October 2, 2008 at 2:53 pm

    Ruthmarie: What I meant is that many times, when you’re going on a Listing Appointment, Sellers have already accessed Zillow, and printed out the Zestimates. It affords you a starting point of discussion with regards to price, and gives you a great springboard into the value/accuracy of your detailed CMA.

    I have never considered Zillow an enemy. It’s one of several viable domains where I can upload my listings for free and gain some excellent exposure.

  10. Benn Rosales

    October 2, 2008 at 3:38 pm

    @Nancy I don’t see an issue in participating in the blogs and forum, but I’ve never endorsed zestimates. I just wanted to set that record straight. 🙂

  11. Drew Meyers from Zillow

    October 2, 2008 at 4:00 pm

    Ben-
    No love for Zestimates? 🙁

  12. Elaine Reese

    October 2, 2008 at 4:24 pm

    I also abstain from Zillow. We even wish our broker wouldn’t support them. Fortunately, few people mention them here. Probably because their zestimates are so screwy.

    Rich, I would hate to go on a listing presentation and be forced to waste ANY time explaining how inaccurate Z is.

  13. Benn Rosales

    October 2, 2008 at 4:38 pm

    The word zestimates is like a stick of dynamite, you should change it to drew-stimates, or g-stimates…

  14. Ruthmarie Hicks

    October 2, 2008 at 8:33 pm

    I actually have to explain zestimates all the time. I usually work as a buyer’s agent and therein lies the problem…Once that bargain price bee is in the buyer’s bonnet – its very hard to get them to come down to earth. Further, no one addresses that OUTRAGEOUS 33% mistake they made on a prime piece of property. If I made a mistake like that I would cease to be in business.

  15. Vicki Moore

    October 2, 2008 at 11:16 pm

    Drew – I’ve looked and can’t find a way to subscribe to Q&A or the forums. Is there a way?

  16. Jason Tan from Zillow

    October 3, 2008 at 11:52 am

    Hey Vicki. You currently can’t currently subscribe to discussions or Q&A, but funny that you should ask… my team’s working on those features, along with some other big changes, and you should see them by the end of November. Stay tuned!

  17. Missy Caulk

    October 3, 2008 at 1:44 pm

    I noticed it yesterday and checked, since I came up number one, I like it!!!

  18. Tina Merritt

    October 6, 2008 at 5:58 am

    I’ve been on and off Zillow since it started. Like most other real estate sites, it is what it is and the information provided takes a licensee to interpret and explain. I look at it as free advertising for me.

  19. elaine

    December 29, 2008 at 7:19 pm

    Agents that use Zillow to connect and educate posters are well treated and very much appreciated on the boards. In fact, that is how I found my last agent in Phoenix. On the other hand, agents that are condescending to posters or there to spew the NAR party line will find the board very hostile. If you aren’t more professional and better read than your average Zillow board member, maybe you should abstain and stick to Trulia. Zillow’s easy to use format should be a starting place for realtors to educate clients not the end of the conversation. Zillow has much more available to consumers other than the Zestimate, but agents who fear educated clients continue to bash the Zestimate instead of embracing a cooperative effort to find the client the best match available. Zillow is one tool available to find the buyer the perfect match.

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Austin

Austin tops the list of best places to buy a home

When looking to buy a home, taking the long view is important before making such a huge investment – where are the best places to make that commitment?

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Looking at the bigger picture

(REALUOSO.COM) – Let us first express that although we are completely biased about Texas (we’re headquartered here, I personally grew up here), the data is not – Texas is the best. That’s a scientific fact. There’s a running joke in Austin that if there is a list of “best places to [anything],” we’re on it, and the joke causes eye rolls instead of humility (we’re sore winners and sore losers in this town).

That said, SelfStorage.com dug into the data and determined that the top 12 places to buy a home are currently Texas and North Carolina (and Portland, I guess you’re okay too or whatever).

They examined the nerdiest of numbers from the compound annual growth rate in inflation-adjusted GDP to cost premium, affordability, taxes, job growth, and housing availability.

“Buying a house is a big decision and a big commitment,” the company notes. “Although U.S. home prices have risen in the long term, the last decade has shown that path is sometimes full of twists, turns, dizzying heights and steep, abrupt falls. Today, home prices are stabilizing and increasing in most areas of the U.S.”

Click here to continue reading the list of the 12 best places to buy a home…

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Housing News

Average age of houses on the rise, so is it now better or worse to buy new?

With aging housing in America, are first-time buyers better off buying new or existing homes? The average age of a home is rising, as is the price of new housing, so a shift could be upon us.

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aging housing inventory

The average home age is higher than ever

(REALUOSO.COM) – In a survey from the Department of Housing and Urban Development American Housing Survey (AHS), the median age of homes in the United States was 35 years old. In Texas, homes are a bit younger with the median age between 19 – 29 years. The northeast has the oldest homes, with the median age between 50 – 61 years. In 1985, the median age of a home was only 23 years.

With more houses around 40 years old, the National Association of Realtors asserts that homeowners will have to undertake remodeling and renovation projects before selling unless the home is sold as-is, in which case the buyer will be responsible to update their new residence. Even homeowners who aren’t selling will need to consider remodeling for structural and aesthetic reasons.

Prices of new homes on the rise

Newer homes cost more than they used to. The price differential between new homes and older homes has increased from 10 percent traditionally to around 37 percent in 2014. This is due to rising construction costs, scarcity of lots, and a low inventory of new homes that doesn’t meet the demand.

Click here to continue reading this story…

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Housing News

Are Realtors the real loser in the fight between Zillow Group and Move, Inc.?

The last year has been one of dramatic and rapid change in the real estate tech sector, but Realtors are vulnerable, and we’re worried.

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Why Realtors are vulnerable to these rapid changes

(REALUOSO.COM) – Corporate warfare demands headlines in every industry, but in the real estate tech sector, a storm has been brewing for years, which in the last year has come to a head. Zillow Group and Move, Inc. (which is owned by News Corp. and operates ListHub, Realtor.com, TopProducer, and other brands) have been competing for a decade now, and the race has appeared to be an aggressive yet polite boxing match. Last year, the gloves came off, and now, they’ve drawn swords and appear to want blood.

Note: We’ll let you decide which company plays which role in the image above.

So how then, does any of this make Realtors the victims of this sword fight? Let’s get everyone up to speed, and then we’ll discuss.

1. Zillow poaches top talent, Move/NAR sues

It all started last year when the gloves came off – Move’s Chief Strategy Officer (who was also Realtor.com’s President), Errol Samuelson jumped ship and joined Zillow on the same day he phoned in his resignation without notice. He left under questionable circumstances, which has led to a lengthy legal battle (wherein Move and NAR have sued Zillow and Samuelson over allegations of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and misappropriation of trade secrets), with the most recent motion being for contempt, which a judge granted to Move/NAR after the mysterious “Samuelson Memo” surfaced.

Salt was added to the wound when Move awarded Samuelson’s job to Move veteran, Curt Beardsley, who days after Samuelson left, also defected to Zillow. This too led to a lawsuit, with allegations including breach of contract, violation of corporations code, illegal dumping of stocks, and Move has sought restitution. These charges are extremely serious, but demanded slightly less attention than the ongoing lawsuit against Samuelson.

2. Two major media brands emerge

Last fall, the News Corp. acquisition of Move, Inc. was given the green light by the feds, and this month, Zillow finalized their acquisition of Trulia.

…Click here to continue reading this story…

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