RISMEDIA, April 10, 2007–Real estate Web site Zillow.com has announced the launch of ZillowTM Home Q&A, among other new features aimed at further opening the site up to community contributions. Home Q&A is the ability for anyone to ask questions and share information and insight about more than 70 million U.S. homes.
"The release of Zillow Home Q&A enables anyone to ask any question about any home for the Zillow community to answer," said Rich Barton, Zillow CEO. "This is the next step in our quest to help make everyone smarter about real estate – a quest that began with publishing ZestimateTM values last year as a starting point to answer the critical question, ‘How much is this home worth?' Since then, we have enabled homeowners and agents to update home facts, post homes for sale, and set their Make Me MoveTM prices. Over half a million people have made these contributions so far, and we've only begun to scratch the surface in helping people get answers to critical real estate questions."
Visitors to Zillow.com can now "ask a question" or "answer a question" about millions of homes, right on that home's Zillow Web page. Anyone can rate answers as "helpful" or "not helpful," and each contribution links back to a user's profile page – telling visitors, for example, if the question was answered by a local agent or other real estate professional, or if the contributor frequently answers questions within the Zillow community.
"Today, some of the most colorful and important information about homes and real estate is trapped inside the heads of local experts – agents, homeowners and neighbors," said Lloyd Frink, Zillow president. "By allowing people to freely ask questions and share information online about homes, we hope to unlock, for the community as a whole, a powerful vault of data – such as an agent sharing insight into a neighborhood, or a potential buyer asking the shortest commute route downtown."
In addition to Home Q&A, other new features announced today include:
Anyone – agent, homeowner, buyer – can create free profile pages with photos, narratives or contact information. All site contribution links back to the user's profile page.
Anyone can now indicate whether a home is for sale and at what price. Prominent space on the page is reserved for homeowners and listing agents who might subsequently enter information on that home.
Anyone can now add an unlimited number of photos to any home's Web page – for example, historical photos of homes, before-and-after shots, or neighborhood photos.
Additionally, today marks the launch of Zillow EZ Ads, a self-service, low-cost and geographically-targeted way for agents, other professionals and home sellers to buy ads on Zillow map pages for specific ZIP code searches. The ads take a few minutes to create and can be bought easily with a credit card. EZ Ads can link to profile pages, homes for sale on Zillow or outside Web sites.
More than 150,000 real estate agents currently visit Zillow.com each month; these professionals have some of the most useful knowledge to share with the Zillow community. With many of these new features, Zillow is now providing a free platform for these professionals to answer questions and contribute to conversations, interacting with the millions of buyers and sellers who visit site. All contributions – whether Home Q&A, a wiki edit to the Real Estate Guide, home posted for sale or EZ Ad – can link back to a professional's Zillow profile page.
In addition to community ratings of answers, any content on Zillow.com can be flagged for review by Zillow's customer service team. Contributions deemed not constructive or off-topic will be removed.
One of the most-visited U.S. real estate sites on the Web, Zillow attracted 4.1 million unique visitors in March 2007, just over a year after the site's launch. Nearly 90 percent of Zillow visitors own a home, and half (54 percent) plan to buy or sell in the next two years. Zillow's growing database has data and Zestimate values on more than 70 million U.S. homes. Other community features previously launched include the ability for homeowners to update and edit information on their home, and post an owner's estimate. Since this feature launched in fall 2006, close to 600,000 homeowners have claimed their homes.
For more information and commentary from the Zillow team, or to ask a question about the new features, visit the Zillow Blog at www.zillowblog.com.
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