Wednesday, April 04, 2007

The Browser: Zillow and the community

"At its core, the real estate market isn’t national. It’s not statewide, regional or even local. It’s anecdotal. The true value of a home resides in the head of its owner and the heads of its neighbors, because they’re the ones who know about the barking dog across the street, the leaky basement, the quality of the local elementary school, et cetera. That’s the premise beneath the generously funded ($57 million) Seattle startup, Zillow (and the thesis of a piece I wrote a couple months ago). To help further expose that value, the company today introduced a new feature, Home Q&A.
Home Q&A is an homage to Yahoo (YHOO) Answers. Anyone can pose a real estate-oriented inquiry, whether it pertains to local valuation fluctuations, open house traffic, or more idiosyncratic matters. “What’s the sneaky way get on the highway from my neighborhood? What’s that beater truck doing on our block?” says Zillow CEO Rich Barton. “Conversations start with questions, and this is our way to get the conversations going.”"

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