Zillow announced Zmart Zearch and…

…I’m not zeeing much different.

Maybe because I’m on a mac (using Firefox)… Or maybe because I’m searching in “The Valley” of LA… Or maybe because I simply don’t remember what searching by neighborhood was like on Zillow before… but I’m lot seeing much that lives up to the hype around Smart Search:

“In fact, we think it’s so different that we have patents pending on the technology and infrastructure behind how this all works. “

I honestly don’t doubt that 25K man-hours were spent developing this new search tool, so please tell me what I should be looking for!

9 responses

  1. Dustin,

    Been playing with it for the last 30 minutes myself. Not zeeing much my zelf. Perhaps my time would be better spent dinking around with my new BB curve 😉

    The neighborhood profiles look as if they could be an interesting overview of resourceful data. Not much supporting info. there however. Could be empty shells to fill.

  2. Glad to hear I’m not the only one who didn’t see much… My take is that there were some major improvements to the algorithms, but not much that is transparent to the user.

    Realtor.com went through a handful of backend improvements while I was there, but we didn’t make a big deal out of it (except to investors) because the changes were often transparent to consumers.

    By the way, guess who the Zillow team hopes will start filling those empty shells… 😉

  3. I guess Redfin isn’t the only company out there with better PR than product. I looked at Zillow today and it honestly looks worse than before. I typed in my home and my last one and it took me to different zipcodes. I didn’t expect them to have Chelan County, WA data yet, but was surprised about Zillow forcing me to another zipcode.

  4. Hey Dustin. The major difference in Zillow’s search interface is that we now group search results into regions. Depending on how far out the user is zoomed on the map, we display aggregate search statistics at the state, county, city, neighborhood, or zip code level so that people can quickly narrow in on the region they are most interested in.

    Regarding why you are not seeing the new functionality at its finest, our tech team is currently working on a couple technical issues that came up as a result of the release — one of which affects Mac Firefox users. I’ll let you know when that issue is resolved so that you can take another look and let us know what you think when the site is rendering properly for Mac FF users.

    If you’d like to send me the specific addresses you were looking for, I can investigate a little bit further. Feel free to e-mail them to me (drewm at z dot com) or just post a follow up comment here.

    Thanks for your patience while we work through the kinks in the new software.

  5. Drew- Thanks for your offer. Zillow will get to my neck of the woods eventually, I’m not in a hurry.

    I am actually quite content with being the authority on home prices in the area even if I don’t have any top secret algorithms or fancy mapping programs.

    I’m not trying to be hostile, but when you become relevent to my market, then I will be happy to help you tweak your product. For now, I’m glad the consumers have one less source of misinformation for me to contend with.

  6. Drew… Thanks for the feedback.

    Today, when I load Zillow, I’m starting to see the aggregation of data by neighborhood and/or city depending on zoom level. As well as the highlighting of the area when I mouse over. VERY COOL and definitely not something that was working last night. I look forward to playing around more!

  7. Drew – the aggregation at a birds eye view is nice. Any chance of seeing San Francisco’s map drawn a little differently (ala the MLS map) so we don’t have so much blend. Maybe this is hyper critical at this point, but most locals would be if they saw there home listed in the “wrong neighborhood”.

  8. Brad-
    We are definitely planning on getting user feedback so as to improve neighborhood boundary lines over time. For now, you can leave feedback in Zillow Discussions, but we expect to have a better way for the community to give input in the future.

    Here’s the “Sticky” thread addressing the topic of neighborhood boundaries – http://www.zillow.com/forum/site/ViewThread.htm?tid=759

  9. […] December 19, 2007 by Dustin …working much better today than yesterday. […]

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