When Zillow first launched back in 2006, we thought a lot about how we could satisfy the desires of home buyers, sellers and owners — what were they looking for from an online real estate website?
Today, it is also very important for us to think about what real estate professionals need from an online partner, like Zillow, in order to more effectively operate their business — how can we help enhance their bottom line?
In an effort to really get industry feedback, the Zillow Broker Advisory board was formed in July and the first meeting was held at the Zillow headquarters in Seattle last week (a day before our Open House).
The first meeting was a mix of conversation centered around how to better understand Zillow and feedback on current and future Zillow products.
Better understanding Zillow and our present products – Stan Humphries, VP, Data & Analytics, spent time with the Board going deep into how the Zestimate algorithms work and then how we further use these Zestimates to put together comprehensive market reports in 165 local metropolitan areas. He also spent a lot of time talking about Zillow’s home value index compared to OFHEO and Case-Shiller indexes, which was very interesting.
Many of the present products Zillow has for real estate professionals today offer tremendous SEO benefits. David Gibbons, Director of Community Relations, spearheaded a lively discussion around various sites’ SEO policies and also how to using listing syndication to better advance brand presence in the free search results. The brokers in attendance found this discussion to be very helpful.
Update: Post by David on Geek Estate Blog – Are your listings hurting or helping your Google ranking?
Future products – Here is where I need to stay vague, sorry. But suggestions that we received from this core group of industry leaders were highly taken into account and future products will greatly reflect their feedback. Some of these yet-to-be built products were right on target, and some we need to go back to the drawing board and re-work. Thanks to this core group and the people they represent, the needs of industry professional will definitely be taken into account as we look to the future and continue to launch innovative products.
A heartfelt thank you goes out to all members of Zillow Broker Advisory board. We appreciate the time you spent last week working with us to further understand the needs of the industry.