I’m sure everyone has performed a Zillow com real estate search for homes in their area.
The website is remarkably useful.
Many people (including my self) find them selves “window shopping” on Zillow.
It’s a lot of fun.
There’s nothing like a free tour of a prospective new home from the comfort of your own home.
My friends and I will look at the least expensive homes available online on Zillow and debate whether or not it’s worth buying over renting a more expensive home.
We go back and forth and have a lot of fun with the debate.
One of my friends swears he’ll never pay rent his entire life!
He says he plans to pay cash for the least expensive home available.
The starter homes we find on Zillow are pushing the boundaries on how inexpensive a home can really be.
I am on the flip side of the debate.
I’m okay with paying rent so long as it’s not long-term.
My plan is to rent while saving up to purchase a medium sized home in the future.
Most people I know don’t have a huge fortune sitting around ready for a big home purchase.
Others I know:
Simply aren’t sure if the area they live in currently is where they’d like to settle down.
So, they rent.
To each their own.
Of course, once you are ready and in the market for your first home purchase:
Zillow and a few other sites can definitely help you to obtain a feel for the housing market.
Here’s the next step that people take:
They find a real estate agent that can help them navigate towards their first home purchase.
It’s exciting and rightfully so!
Houses are not cheap.
They represent a significant amount of emotional as well as financial investment.
Just make sure to have fun and enjoy your self during the process.
Here are some of the hottest facts on Zillow for you to enjoy right here:
Zillow is actually quite a young company.
It was founded in the year 2006.
If the success of Zillow has shown us anything:
It’s the remarkable speed by which useful information can propagate on the internet.
Good for Zillow and their real estate database!
Zillow is structured as a media company that earns revenue through advertising.
It’s quite a sound business model that many people have employed in the past.
The business model generates profit for many companies including Zillow.
Google’s revenue is primarily based on advertisements.
Zillow decided to employ a strategic move by announcing a partnership with over 180 newspapers.
The partnership would see the launch of co-branded real estate sites emerge with some of the biggest names in publishing.
Here’s how the partnership worked out:
Zillow would supply newspapers with real estate listings and gain a share of the profits in return.
Yahoo Inc. and Zillow saw the strength in one another’s companies and decided to form a partnership.
The move would create a colossal giant in the internet real-estate advertising network.
Hey, if your friend is good at running laps:
Why not run a relay?
In 2011 Zillow decided to acquire Postlets.
Postlets allows individual real estate agents, property managers and landlords to create listings and send them to 13 real estate and social media Web sites.
If you ask me:
That seemed like a smart move by Zillow.
In November of 2011:
Zillow announced that it had acquired Diverse Solutions for $7.8 million in cash and stock.
The company was based in Irvine, California and provided assistance to real-estate agents in the form of marketing their business and improving their personal websites.
In 2012 Zillow acquired the popular online real estate search engine RentJuice for $40 million.
RentJuice is a service that helps landlords, property managers and rental brokers market their inventory and client relationships.
At the time of the acquisition:
RentJuice was being used to manage one million rental units and their rental listings.
In 2012, Zillow advanced further by acquiring Buyfolio.
Buyfolio is an online and mobile collaborative shopping platform that allows homebuyers to search, track, organize and discuss for-sale listings with their real estate agent or friend.
This would be Zillow’s fourth acquisition so far.
HotPads is a company that launched in 2005 and focuses on the online rental real estate market.
This would put the company in hot water with Zillow.
In 2012 Zillow announced that it had acquired HotPads for $16 million.
I’m sure the tea that day was served hot.
StreetEasy is a New York listings site that had about 1.2 million monthly visitors in 2013.
That same year:
Zillow paid $50 million in cash to acquire StreetEasy and expand its coverage of the New York market.
This was a strategic move by Zillow intended to give the company a local foothold into one of the country’s most concentrated and biggest real estate markets.
Retsly is a Vancouver-based startup that helps developers access real-estate data from multiple listing services.
In an effort to expand its reach and influence:
Zillow acquired Retsly in 2014 for an undisclosed amount.
Just because you’re based in one country doesn’t mean you can’t acquire companies in another country.
In a move that shocked the online real estate community:
Zillow announced publicly that it would go on to purchase Trulia for $2.5 billion in stock.
All of a sudden:
Zillow had become the “Facebook of Homes.”
DotLoop is a technology company that enables real estate professionals and their clients to conduct transactions online.
This streamlines the real estate process for both the buyer and seller.
Zillow picked up on this and liked the service so much that they decided to acquire the company in 2015.
In 2016 Zillow announced it would acquire Naked Apartments (New York City’s largest rentals-only platform) for $13 million in cash.
In addition to listings and renter tools:
Naked apartments provides users with various free and paid marketing and business management services for NYC real estate professionals.
Zillow has an extremely large database when it comes to real estate.
Some estimate Zillow’s database to have over 110 million homes across the United States on file.
This is not confined solely to homes that are for sale.
That’s a lot of homes to have on file for sure!
Perhaps the most iconic feature of Zillow is its ability to grant users a “Zestimate” or an estimate of the value of their home.
This is based on Zillow’s proprietary formula and is intended as a useful starting point in determining a home’s value.
Keep in mind:
Zestimates are not substitutes for an official appraisal.
Around the same time as the financial crises of 2008:
Zillow teamed up with Microsoft to allow users to get detailed aerial views of millions of U.S. homes.
The service is powered by Microsoft’s Virtual Earth mapping technology which Zillow hopes will allow users to more clearly see architectural designs, points of interest, etc.
Even in the face of a financial crises:
Technology continues to improve!
Before you sign your lease:
Research what is a fair rental price.
Zillow hopes to give renters a fair advantage through “Rent Zestimates” which provide estimated monthly rent prices for around 90 million homes.
Now, that’s useful!
What are your thoughts on Zillow?
Do you have any plans to sell, buy, or rent a home any time soon?