Happy 6th Birthday, Zillow!
As we turn 6 today, we can’t help but look back on an amazing 5th year for Zillow.com, Zillow Mobile and Zillow’s websites. It was a year chock-full of Zillow news, including a home giveaway sweepstakes, acquiring two companies, and going public — all of this in between feature releases and additions to the hottest kid on the block — Zillow Mobile, which offers the most popular suite of real estate apps across every major platform.
Let’s do a rundown of Zillow’s accomplishments as a 5-year-old:
Zillow Mobile Keeps Growing
Yikes, where do we start? Zillow Mobile is growing and getting bigger and better every day. Inman News recognized its popularity and functionality by giving Zillow Mobile four #1 rankings. Here’s other Zillow Mobile news in 2011:
- Zillow Launches Zillow Mortgage Marketplace Android App
- Zillow Launches Zillow Mortgage Marketplace iPhone App
- Zillow Adds App for Windows Phone 7
- Zillow iPhone App Expands; Now Includes Zillow Mortgage Marketplace
- New Search Options and Filters Added to Zillow iPhone App
- Zillow Launches App for Amazon’s Kindle Fire
- Zillow Launches Free Real Estate App for Android Tablet
- Draw Your Own Search on Zillow iPhone and iPad Apps
$350,000 Home Giveaway
Perhaps the biggest and most gratifying event of the year was the home giveaway with Pulte Homes. Called the “I Want a New Home! Sweepstakes,” we teamed with Pulte Homes and, yup, we staged a sweepstakes with one lucky winner getting a custom-built home worth $350,000.
More than 120,000 people entered the month-long sweepstakes and on Dec. 20 — just in time for the holiday season — we revealed the “I Want a New Home! Sweepstakes winner. Her name is Valerie from Florida, a recent college grad who double majored in Spanish and sociology. Congrats, Valerie!
Testifying Before Senate Subcommittee
It’s not every day that you’re invited to the nation’s capital to offer ideas for how to deal with the state of the housing market, but Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Stan Humphries was. In September, Humphries traveled to Washington, D.C. to testify before the Senate Subcommittee on Housing, Transportation and Urban Development (part of the Senate Banking Committee) to talk about ways to address the country’s glut of foreclosed properties.
To be consulted on how to help fix the sagging real estate market was a big feather in our cap and Humphries fully embraced the mission, outlining three key points about market recovery. His full written testimony can be found in the Zillow Research section, or his testimony can be viewed here.
After five years of coming to work in jeans, sandals and casual attire, the execs pulled out their Sunday best to ring the NASDAQ opening bell on July 20 — the day Zillow began trading on the stock market under the stock ticker “Z.”
It was a big day for us and a critical milestone for the company. Going public means we as a company can develop more tools and features to give consumers what they need in making smarter real estate decisions and to help provide agents with more marketing resources (see below).
In April, we acquired Postlets, a leading online real estate listing creation and distribution platform. This service helps individual agents, property managers and landlords distribute their listings across 13 real estate and social media websites, for free. Real estate professionals love Postlets because you create a property listing just once, and Postlets distributes it across the Web.
Purchased Diverse Solutions
In November, we purchased Diverse Solutions, an Irvine, CA company that helps real estate agents market their business and improve their websites. For Zillow, this is a way to help connect home buyers and sellers with agents and brokers. We couldn’t be more proud of adding this well-respected company to Zillow.
Zillow Adds Social to Home Shopping
By utilizing Facebook’s powerful networking capabilities, we launched Neighborhood Advice in January, which helps people find the best advice on the best neighborhoods from their Facebook friends. It’s also fun to see your friends mapped across the country, so you, too, can find out “your reach.” How many friends do you have in how many cities? Try it out: Neighborhood Advice.
Other Notable Tidbits…
- We continue to have guest speakers come to Zillow’s Seattle offices and talk and meet our employees as part of the Zillow Speaker Series. The latest guest was Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA).
- We launched Rent Zestimates in March, a tool to help renters and landlords determine a fair estimated rent price.
- Zilllow is People’s Voice Winner and the overall Webby Award winner for the Real Estate category in the 15th Annual Webby Awards.
We Have Jobs!
If you like what you see, come check out Zillow’s job openings. We have 23 openings right now and are looking to fill these seats with the best and brightest. Is that you? Come see if there’s a fit!