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« Zillow Retreats?? | Main | Google Real Estate Beta Site Update »

April 11, 2007

Comments

David G from Zillow.com

Hi, it's David from Zillow,

It's nothing new or newsworthy that we don't delete houses from our database. As a society, we took the decision that this information should be part of the public record. If you want to argue for reversing that decision, be my guest but note that it is not specific to Zillow. If you called your local government asking to have your home removed from their website, you would get a similar answer.

Teresa Boardman

I was surprised by the home owner reaction. I would think everyone would want their home in Zillow. I can't wait to see what my neighbors will say about mine but suspect that they won't say anything. :( You see I have this boat in my backyard that is being restored and I just can't apologize enough for how bad it looks. Everyone has been nice enough about it but they are thinking gee the Boardman's place looks bad . . . when are they going to sail that boat oughta there?

Danilo Bogdanovic

There's one thing about accessing public records through the government, which is not out to make money off of that information. It's another to just blatantly advertise it for the sake of making a business (Zillow) more successful and profitable. It's even worst when you force home owners to make a special trip to Zillow to "claim" their home and that you won't let them remove their listing from your database.

What about all the people that don't even know about Zillow? What about the people who don't have access to the internet? Will their homes get used as bait by agents/brokers for leads? Will they have comments made that they will never know were made and can't do anything about it? Will you continue to use their homes to generate traffic in order to make money?

Zillow is hiding behind the cloak of "public information" for the sake of profit, plain and simple.

And I doubt that anyone can say anything bad about you, Teresa. And I may have to "claim" your house and boat and take it out as it warms up a bit more :)

David G from Zillow.com

Teresa -

Very good point. Complaints that "my house is not on Zillow" outnumber inquiries like this one by more than 10,000 to one. Homeowners absolutely want to see their homes on Zillow.com and many get quite irate that we're taking so long to get to them.

The boat sounds like a fun project.

Danilo -

If Zillow is profitable it will only be because consumers and professionals have found value in our website. That's the beauty of the free market. No-one is hiding behind anything; there is real consumer demand for the information, tools and (3rd party) expertise that consumers and professionals find at Zillow.

Danilo Bogdanovic

To those who want to be on Zillow, great! Thank you for making those consumers happy.

To those who don't, why do you force them to be on Zillow and refuse to remove their information? Based on your own words, this was not an isolated incident/request so you have obviously refused more than one homeowner already and more are sure to ask that they not be on there in the future.

"Free market" you say? It doesn't sound like one when you force people to have their property and information on your site.

jim beam

HAHAHAH Renters WIN yet again!

Danilo Bogdanovic

You think? Check out this post on Sellsius - http://blog.sellsiusrealestate.com/funnyordiecom/renters-pay-your-landlord-or-else/2007/04/17/

David G from Zillow.com

Danilo -

It's public data. It makes no sense to exclude select properties from any public record. Remember that public records are not intended to only serve the interests of the individual who owns the subject property. If you think that's unfair, you're obviously entitled to your opinion.

It's actually not that common that owners get confused about this and ask us to delete their address. What is common (at least 10,000 more so), is that owners whose homes are not on Zillow ask as to please add their house to our database.

Danilo Bogdanovic

So you say "too bad, it's public data" to home owners after giving the opportunity to those who are not the true home owners or agents the ability to falsely "claim" or say someone else's home is for sale when it's not?

And you say the same to them while you take the profits to the bank after forcing them to constantly monitor their property on Zillow?

And you call not letting people try and solve the problem by not being on Zillow in the first place fair and a "free market"?

You must really think that everyone is stupid if you believe that they'll think that the answers you've provided are logical, fair or legal.

socorrosultan

every one has its choices, whether to be in zillow or not or everywhere else. let's respect it. peace.

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