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. The demand for information was so great that the website crashed due to overloaded servers the first day it was launched. The need for specialists and real estate professionals to access information on houses is a now a thing of the past.
The real estate industry isn’t immune to the growing force of the internet. In order to change with the times real estate agents need to embrace change and use it to their advantage. Greater than 50% of all real estate agents manage their own personal website. Greater than 90% of real estate agents use email to communicate with their clients or conduct business.
The information given by Zillow is above and beyond what most people are able 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.
Another great tool for Zillow users are the maps and satellite view showing all available houses near the user. There’s even a tool for showing how long a house has been on the market which can give insight on whether or not people are interested in the listing. Tools that provide timelines as to how long a specific house has been on the market can be of great use to users and real estate agents alike. Zillow can provide a wealth of information from square footage, to lot size, and every important detail you may need to know. However, the most important tool Zillow provides is the convenience to use the site from home without having to pick up the phone. Americans have busy schedules so a website designed for their convenience is an important commodity.
The question remains as to whether or not Zillow, and sites similar, will one day dominate the real estate market, or will real estate agents and brokers evolve with the times. 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 real estate agents wish there was more they could have done to provide information to clients in a better, more easily accessed, manner. Some feel that it’s the brokers and real estate agents fault for not providing information in a similar manner to Zillow before sites like these were made.
Sites like Zillow are an example of how the internet can change an industry and innovation is important for remaining on top. Real estate professionals need to monitor their competition to stay competitive in the age of information. In this ever growing world websites like Zillow serve as a reminder to always look forward and strive toward innovation.
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