Zillow Launches Social Home-Shopping Experience: Neighborhood Advice

Let’s face it — when it comes time to move, most people ask their friends and co-workers about the neighborhoods where they live, or hang out.  Do they like their neighborhood? How are the schools? Is it safe? Is the commute easy?

Today, Zillow is incorporating this idea of information exchange with the launch of Neighborhood Advice, a social home-shopping experience that we think will be a great tool to help buyers and renters learn about neighborhoods from their Facebook friends.

Here’s how it works:

While looking for homes on Zillow, buyers and renters are asked to activate Facebook Connect.  They will then see circles on a map of the U.S. where their Facebook friends live, or have “checked-in” the most.  The bigger the circle, the more friends in that area. As home shoppers search for homes in a specific city or neighborhood, Neighborhood Advice will recommend Facebook friends who are connected in that area so they can be contacted for personal tips and advice.

For example, if you’re searching for homes in the San Francisco neighborhood of Noe Valley, Neighborhood Advice will identify your Facebook friends who live in Noe Valley, or who frequently “check-in” to places in Noe Valley. Then, you can send these friends a private, direct message on Facebook and ask questions about the neighborhood.

Integrating social media tools and friend networks into the core of the Zillow home-shopping experience is yet another way we are giving our users access to previously hard-to-find, yet sought-after, information.

Take a minute and give Neighborhood Advice a try. Then, go find your friends today.