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Updated (11/26/2008) 

With the launch of our Zillow Mobile website, we have discontinued our Zillow Mobile email service.  Please point your mobile web browser at http://mobile.zillow.com/ to get Zestimates and more on your mobile device.

Zmobile_3   I was strolling around Capitol Hill a while back and saw a pretty sweet house I was interested in. How much was it worth? How big was it? The information was out there, but I had to wait until I got home before I could look it up.  That’s when it occurred to me… people should be able to get this information on the go.

So, a few other Zillowites and I started cooking up some ideas in the Zillow Labs.  We came up with “Zillow Mobile,” a new way to get Zestimates and other home details sent right to your cell phone or Blackberry. It’s easy to use – just send an email or text-message to z@labs.zillow.com. Include the address with the city and state or zip (i.e. 123 main st seattle wa or 123 main st 98101), and you’ll get a reply almost instantly with the Zestimate and basic home facts. Remember, it’s still a Labs project, so it hasn’t been fully tested and may still have a bug or two to iron out.

Next time you’re walking the dog and pass by your dream house, check to see if it’s within your price range.  Or, next time you’re out looking at homes with your agent, send us a text to see what Zillow says it’s worth.  Whatever your reason, try it out, and let us know what you think!

  • Aaron

    How can a house value estimate on Zillow decline by over $170,000.00 in less than 2-3 months when other homes in the subdivision have sold over the past 6 months at $150-200,000 more than the estimate in Zillow. Looks like the home has intentionaly been Black Listed or is linked to a home not in the subdivision. The home is approx. same size, has new roof, windows, kitchen, stainless steel appliances, full finished basement with full wet bar, etc.

  • http://www.zillow.com David G from Zillow.com

    Aaron: There is no black list – or any list for that matter.

    If you post the address or a link to the house on Zillow, I’ll review why its Zestimate seems wacky and reply.

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  • http://4mysales.com Barrett Niehus

    I think the Zillow mobile applications will be a great benefit to the market. People would be able to get comparable estimates as they tour various houses with agents in search of the property that meets their needs. Personally, I can’t wait to see it.

    -4MySales.com A Simple System to Close More Sales

  • Anonymous

    Try to get your web-site to work before you start moving to cell phones…..BEYATCH

  • Bob

    The email zetimate doesn’t work when sent from the blackberry. I’ve tried seven different addresses and it seems that the “BlackBerry service provided by Nextel” that is a footer on every email is messing up Zillow…might want to look into that.

  • http://profile.typekey.com/arjunbanker/ Arjun Banker

    Bob,

    Thanks for the feedback, and apologies for the bug – we’re always trying to improve our service. I’ll take a look at your issue & see if I can fix it.

    Thanks,
    Arjun

  • Anonymous

    Hi All,

    I’m afraid that I can’t recommend Zillow to anyone I know looking for houses in Ann Arbor, MI. Seems like the square foot and price information is wrong. See for example:

    http://www.zillow.com/search/Search.htm?addrstrthood=816+granger&citystatezip=48104&mode=search

    and compare to:

    http://www.realtor.com/Prop/1066062609

    I’m also concerned that there is no organized way to update this information. I’ve sent two emails so far and not received any reply.

    I suspect Zillow has a lot of potential — and I’m the kind of early adopter that friends ask about technology and websites. But, so far it just seems broken, at least where I live, and so the mobile version doesn’t help at all.

    Jake

  • David

    Nice 1st step into the mobile space! Zillow has so many opportunities for great mobile apps I can think of (with at least 3 “tiers” of service, functionality… and price?)! I hope Zillow not only comes up with product ideas similar to what I have in mind, but even better as well!

    Some recommendations to improve the user experience of your SMS app from a long-time professional mobile interaction designer:

    #1 Acquire/use a short code (return SMS is from 501 on TMO). Even understanding it’s a Labs project, entering z@labs.zillow.com is extremely difficult and time consuming (esp. without a full keyboard). Worse, many phones will not accept anything but numbers in the “to:” field of an SMS, which means the user has to know/figure out they need to send an MMS instead.

    * Drop the “/” before the address in the return SMS… OR frame the whole address by including a second “/” after the last character in the zip (character allowance permitting)

    * Consider removing the “z@labs.zillow.com” from the return SMS to free up additional characters for data more useful to the user

    * Provide an option to request more info by replying with a particular number (just one more SMS full of interesting but less important stuff, such as date/price last sold for, etc.)

    * Once MyZillow is implemented (though not knowing what that will be), ensure that the user can save a “bookmark” to this property for later use on the PC

    * Space for characters permitting, include info on taxes as that is part of a home’s cost (albeit secondary)… perhaps only on the SMS return for more info per my above point

    * Free up more characters (at some cost of usability as it assumes the abbreviations are understood) and increase consistency with zillow.com by using “BR” insead of “Beds” and “BA” for Baths; the floating dialog on the Zillow search map summarizes this info as follows: “2BR / 1.5BA / 1,820 sq ft”

    * Consider the following (about 120 characters even reserving some extra space – might be space for one more data field even beyond “tax”?):

    xxxx xxxth xxxx xx
    Seattle WA 98115
    Zestimate: $xx,xxx,xxx
    5BR / 4.5BA / 5,560 Sq Ft
    Built 1950
    Tax $xx,xxxx
    More @ Zillow.com

    * Be-ware the searches for multi-million dollar homes – was not able to test what happens

    Good luck, and keep up the great work!

  • http://www.harriscompanyrec.com Curtis Harris

    Love your website.

  • Edward

    Isn’t this the same things as Housefront.com’s service. But they have an easier number than z@labs.zillow.com, its only 46873 to use HouseFront’s texting….so whats up with that?

  • Jeff

    My address is 18 Henrietta st, 14620

    My last appraisal was 45000 and i currently have a gravel driveway and wooden floor in the garage. I am interested in upgrading the driveway and garage to concrete. What amount would this increase my current appraisal.

  • http://www.zillow.com David G from Zillow.com

    Hi Jeff –

    We unfortunately don’t have Zestimate values in 14620 and if we did, we couldn’t attach a value to upgrading your driveway and garage surfaces. I suggest you ask a local expert for their opinion – either a Realtor or real estate appraiser should have good feedback on your plans.

    Philosophically speaking, upgrades to your home only pay for themselves if they increase buyer demand for your house when you come to sell it. Real estate values are largely driven by supply and demand. So, you might also ask your neighbors if they would be swayed by concrete floors.

    Good luck and don’t forget to carve your initials in the setting concrete!

  • G. Swift

    Could you tell me how zillow accounts for exterior influnces when a value is given on a property? Such as a comparable or a subject being located on a busy street, or having commercial influence, or comaprables sales being utilized in your data base that have sales or financing concessions which can not be verified unless you speak to a broker or have MLS? Also, what about the conditions of both the subject and the comparables. How do you make adjustments without knowing the condition of both? Do you take into consideration lot size, topograhpy or if there has been a major economic downturn within the town you are giving a value on? As an appraiser I am interested to know.

  • http://reoassetmanagers.blogspot.com/ Todd

    Zillow, has been awesome for me, I’ve used it for the past 3 years and it has been the first place I start to get a gauge of the market. I think its great that their going mobile. Looking forward to using that service, thank for the helpful info.

    Todd
    http://reoassetmanagers.blogspot.com/

  • Adam

    Mobile website is a start. Blackberry/ iphone app that uses the gps api (map functionality w prices) would be awesome.

  • http://www.mobilephones.name Mobiles

    Looks like a great mobile site, keep up the development.

  • David

    What? No more Zillow email/SMS service? Not everyone owns an iPhone/Blackberry (yet)! An SMS fallback alternative would have been nice.

  • http://www.webuyfromagents.com Dante

    Zillow on a blackberry will revolutionize the way people do business in the real estate industry.

  • Kaen

    Can’t get zillow to work as email from my Blackberry. There’s no text # provided to use SMS. Help!

  • http://www.zillow.com/profile/dianetuman/ Diane Tuman

    Hi Kaen: Can you explain the issues you’re having a bit further?

  • Jerry

    The Zillow iPhone app is great!! How about making a similar one for the BB’s now that the Storm and Torch are out with touchscreen as well??

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