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Do We Need Neighborhood Advice From Zillow

Within the past few months there has been some palpable contention towards third-party syndication sites in our industry. It has led many to drop support for them altogether.

However, these actions haven’t seemed to phase companies like Zillow. They recently launched their Neighborhood Advice feature within their home search platform.

Let’s face it — when it comes time to move, most people ask their friends and co-workers about the neighborhoods where they live, or hang out.  Do they like their neighborhood? How are the schools? Is it safe? Is the commute easy?

Neighborhood Advice

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So, what is Zillow’s Neighborhood Advice? Basically, it’s a social home-shopping experience to help buyers and renters learn about neighborhoods from their Facebook friends.

It’s a fairly simple idea that takes the conversation many have with their friends and family offline, about the home buying experience, online.

It doesn’t take a crack team of coders to know that people talk about the largest purchase they’ll ever make, with their social sphere. But, what Zillow has done, is bring this experience into the ever-expanding Facebook Social Graph.

What’s In It For Me

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No question this is a feature many consumers will use. Leveraging Facebook is a smart move on Zillow’s part, and with the average user becoming more comfortable with “checking in”, it can only get better.

But, that does beg the question, what’s in it for the real estate agent?

According to Zillow, Neighborhood Advice will not only show agents that it pays to friend your clients on Facebook; but also, that agents can use this feature to gain more insight into their buyer’s habits.

Action!

If you ask me, I see this feature somehow being interrogated into the Premier Agent package on Zillow – similar to buying area codes.

So, if Sally Consumer uses Neighborhood Advice, in you own a particular area she is interested in, she can send a message to you right on Facebook. There is no concrete evidence to back that up, but it definitely sounds plausible.

So, what are your thoughts? Do you see this feature catching on?

2 comments… add one

  • Neighborhood information online is a bit like listings: it is information the consumer will often want to browse before ever speaking to an agent. Services like Nabewise are a step ahead on this.

    If others answer the nabe lifestyle questions, agents can focus on what we do best. So I think this is a net positive!

    • We actually did a story on Nabewise. It’s a fantastic service. I think that Zillow is going to do well to leverage their name, and Facebook’s Social Graph, to try and scoop some of what Nabe is trying to do.

      Thanks for joining the conversation Ray.

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