4realz Exclusive: Realtor.com unleashes the Zillow killer and you…

…didn’t even notice:

new home values tool on Realtor.com

Apparently, Realtor.com launched their answer to Zillow recently without much fanfare!

The first thing to note is that the new tool mixes estimates for home values along side listings from the Realtor.com database. This would have been unthinkable just a few years ago, but even with an announcement from NAR, the blog world has been silent. (And I’m told by someone-in-the-know that it has been live with a link from Realtor.com for a few weeks already!)

The part that seems to be missing is accuracy of the listings.

For example, the VERY first comparable I tried shows a home value estimate that is clearly way off base… The home at 26227 Adamor Road in Calabasas, CA which recently sold for $575K is listed on Realtor.com with an estimated value of $925,399 and Zillow with a zestimate of $564,000.

Recently sold home on Realtor.com

OUCH! If I was a REALTOR trying to sell a home on Adamor Road, I sure would be pissed if REALTOR.com was estimating homes were selling in the million dollar range, but actual sales were closer to the $600K range! A “beta” label only goes so far!

The second example I tried (by simply typing in Seattle, WA and then zooming in randomly until I could see a listing) was the home at 7352 26th Ave in Seattle, WA showed a recently sold price of $880K, the Realtor.com home value is $690,000, while the zestimate is $900,500.

For the third example, I decided to head further east to Chicago (no real reason other than NAR is located in that area). I randomly landed at 1729 N Melvina Ave in Chicago, IL which recently sold for $225K. the Realtor.com home value is $218,183, while the zestimate is $247K.

Results:

Two horrible estimates and one decent estimate out of three tries. It makes sense that the realtor.com team has not made a PR push around this feature yet! 🙂

On a related note: Things get even more interesting when you think that NAR took on a similar project (was called “Gateway”, now called “Real Estate Channel”) to aggregate home information across the country. These types of projects are not cheap… so why create duplicate efforts?

A fascinating conversation about NAR/DOJ…

I really want to thank the industry titans who participated in today’s podcast:

As well as all the people who listened in and provided wonderful chat commentary throughout the podcast. There were so many great names that showed up that I can’t wait to get many of you on future podcasts!

I thought if I gave us a half-hour we’d be able to cover the subject completely… but with the crew above, we were flying along after an about an hour when I decided to pull the plug in order to save some energy for next week! 😉

And if you missed the live call, don’t worry, you can still catch all the recored action here:

That was so much fun, I know we’ll do that again… Hopefully soon! 😉

Live Podcast: What does the DOJ/NAR Settlement mean to REALTORS?

I’m totally excited about the live podcast that is set to go live in a few hours!

Earlier today, I was at an caravan event with a large group of REALTORS… When the agents found out I was an internet guy, many of them kept asking me for insight into the settlement between the DOJ and NAR and how it was going to affect their online business. However, like many of the agents, I have more questions than answers, so I decided to use this opportunity to put together a podcast where some great guests can talk through the implications of the settlement.

With that background, I’m extremely excited that the following three guests have agreed to take part in a 1/2 hour roundtable discussion at 4pm (PST) today:

The podcast will be streaming live at TalkShoe and I encourage you to join in the conversation live!

Initially, I’m only going to have the mics turned on for the guests to cover the basics, but assuming that we have some time beyond that, I’m looking forward to opening up the mic to others on the line (That means you!).

And if you have some specific questions you want to be sure get addressed, leave a comment below and I’ll do my best to work it into the agenda! Hope to hear from you at 4pm!

UPDATE:

CRT looking for social networking experts to…

submit proposals for a special session at NAR in Orlando!

I have lots of ideas, but I think it could be particularly interesting to submit a proposal for a discussion along the lines of “learning from success.” My idea would be to show a few different examples of how people are generating leads by using (non-blogging) social networks like LinkedIn, Flickr, Facebook, YouTube, etc. and tie everything together in some general themes of what it takes to be successful.

I have enough good examples in my back pocket to put a presentation together, but I could ALWAYS use better examples… Are you an real estate agent or mortgage broker who has found a way to tap into a particular online community who wouldn’t mind sharing your story? Let me know!

Not only is Prudential rumored to be giving their…

listings to Trulia, but they just announced that they are giving all their listings to FrontDoor.

I can’t help but look at these announcements from the perspective of the Move team… And the fact that two large brokerages companies (Prudential and Realogy), representing a substantial portion of US listings, appear to have made the mental leap of faith that they are best off syndicating their listings as widely as possible, should serve as one of the clearest warning signs yet that the clock is ticking for realtor.com. My take is that Move and NAR will need to agree to do something interesting with realtor.com soon or risk loosing significant market share going forward.

(Prudential news via Joel)

In hiring another eBay exec as CTO, is Move looking to become…

… a mini-eBay?

We know that eBay Real Estate has largely failed to win over public interest beyond the occasional newsworthy listing (like when a town comes up for auction!), so I think it is an interesting question to ask what an eBay team might do differently this time assuming they had Move’s focus and resources…

(back story)

Bob Hale gives a fascinating presentation about…

HAR‘s success in building up a consumer-destination site for Houston real estate listing information. The presentation (*.pdf) is well worth a read and Chris McKeever of NAR’s CRT does a great job summarizing the highlights

But the slide that stuck out the most for me was HAR’s local market share:

HAR Traffic Stats for Houston

It goes without saying that 57% market share for a MLS site is very impressive and takes someone leading the ship who can create a product that meets the needs of local consumers.

The 1st 4RealzEd event was yesterday and…

4ealzEdI think I’ve recovered enough now to actually post about it! 🙂

Despite our best efforts to be prepared, the day started off a bit rough with a nearby mudslide taking out power in our building in the morning (meaning no hot coffee and no projector) and a 9-car pileup on a nearby freeway slowed me down tremendously. AHHH

So, to say it started rough would be an understatement… But once it started, things seem to get on a roll quickly.

I started with an overview of consumers expectations in a web2.0 world to set expectations for the day… Jim followed up with presentation on optimal features and design for a real estate website. Then it turned back to me for a presentation on social networking… lunch… then another presentation by me on creating value through blogging about communities. And we returned for the day’s finally with Jim giving a engaging presentation on measuring and tracking marketing results to ensure a positive ROI.

All around, it was a wonderful day! And, maybe they were just being nice, but the attendees who talked with me said only good things about the education.

Because I promised attendees I would give them a list of all the sites I mentioned in my presentations (so that they wouldn’t have to ask me to spell out each URL), here is the list for everyone’s benefit.

Consumer Expectations in a Web2.0 World:

Engaging in Social Networking to Earn Clients

Using Blogs to Build Communities

I wasn’t tracking the sites that Jim mentioned, but there were not nearly as many of them in his presentations…

And thanks again to all the bloggers who have helped spread the word about the event, the sponsors who helped us keep the price low and all the attendees who made the day possible!

I received some incredible feedback from all three groups, which is going to lead me to make some changes to the upcoming events (I’ll announce those early next week!). Great stuff all around. Thanks again to everyone!