Score one for open and honest dialogue.
Regular readers will know that a few days ago I played around with Zillow, and found the newish Internet-based service to be a flawed way to price your property.
That prompted a visit from David at Zillow, who made several thoughtful comments about the workings and role of Zillow. Please read the whole back and forth linked to above–I don’t want to try to summarize it all here, because there’s a lot going on there. I think it’s fair to say that we have both learned from the debate, and I can certainly see how, as Zillow gets more and more refined, it could be helpful in some situations.
David encouraged me to think of Zillow as a starting point. Part of one of my responses included this:
You describe in your last comment how this tool could work hand in hand with a professional, as a resource to be further refined–i.e. a starting point. You acknowledge that guys with laptops in Seattle may not have the best grip on the information on the ground in NYC. But on Zillow’s website, it seems to me you are promoting the idea that homeowners need no further resources to price their homes. You use the word “nirvana” to describe the last step of the Zestimate.
Yesterday, David responded:
You are correct that “nirvana” doesn’t support our message; that page is being rewritten and will change on the site within the next few weeks. Thank you for bringing this to my attention; ironing out these kinks is exactly what our Beta phase is for.
You know what that made me think? I’m impressed. That’s integrity. That’s honorable. And, I believe, that’s good PR: because that kind of open and honest dialogue can’t help but make Zillow look good.