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Zillow Adds Reviews to Zillow Connect

zillow-icon-newZillow does it again.

I won’t write an essay, but adding reviews to their API is a brilliant move.

They just took a massive step toward winning the race for consumer trust.

About Drew Meyers

Founder of Geek Estate Blog / Geek Estate Labs. Zillow Alum. Travel addict & co-founder of Horizon. Social entrepreneurship & microfinance advocate. Fan of Red Hot Chili Peppers and Kiva.

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  • Doesn’t this whole thing make you nervous? How do they screen from fraudulent reviews or competitors posting false stuff? I think that this would be more of an issue than bummed out customers.

    In most industries, people who write reviews are angry customers who want to vent. Thus you end up with more bad reviews than good. Happy customers EXPECTED to have a good experience and when they do, they don’t naturally take to the internets to write about it.

    The solution, of course, is that agents will have to get actively involved in ASKING for their happy customers to write reviews for them. It seems that agents are already better at this than other businesses like restaurants are. They’ll have to double down in this regard though.

    In the end, one good thing that will certainly become more prominent is that agents who take overpriced listings “just to get a sign in the yard” hoping to glean buyer calls…well, when they do that and the listing doesn’t sell, the sellers will write them bad reviews. This, in turn, make it more difficult for these agents to get listings in the future and do it again.

  • Agreed. Consumers read reviews for everything else, from plumbers to pediatricians, so why not real estate agents? Are agent reviews a perfect tool for agent discovery, comparison and selection? No. Will consumers use them anyway? Yes. Agents can either embrace reviews and make them work for them, or fight them and be left behind. And, to your point, Zillow will now get free branding on agent websites. Very smart move.

  • Reviews are scary for agents. They’re already here, though. Either wait for consumers to start reviewing you on Yelp without your knowledge (and get blackmailed by their sales system), or start getting reviews elsewhere.

    The question many are asking is–should an advertising portal be the home for reviews? The question is irrelevant to most, because right now, it is the dominant location. Zillow already built a well-designed review system. You can’t escape it by disliking it.

    Could NAR/Move do something similar and have the same success? They’re certainly not as engineer-heavy as Zillow, but the adoption might have less of a barrier. There’s still a significant portion of membership that vehemently dislikes portals, but there are also many who would oppose NAR facilitating the reviews. It’s going to be an interesting year in this space.

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