Real Estate Q&A Evolves

Zillow made their Home Q&A more easy to browse through by aggregating into one list the questions and answers on specific properties based on city or zip code. The general pattern for Home Q&A involves the owner and real estate agent exchanging dialogue about the house's features... the agents implicitly dangle a conversation nugget to the owner - for example, saying they represent an interested buyer. The dialogue may also turn to asking about seller representation. Agents are particularly attracted to Zillow's Make Me Move owners who have posted a price on their house, believing they are "fair game" for conversation.

An Opportunity for Co-opetition

Where Zillow Home Q&A focuses on individual houses, the new Trulia Voices counterpart fields broader questions about the neighborhoods. Topically, both products are complementary to the consumer and invite mutual cooperation to increase their market shares. It will take time to build consumer traction to the Q&As as consumers begin to understand how to use them.

Yahoo Answers has so far dominated the Q&A space with a 96% market share as of December 2006... it points to the fact that Q&A is still a recent Web 2.0 / user interactivity concept. The propagation of new Web 2.0 applications follow a typical "don't reinvent the wheel" pattern... first Google or Yahoo create the model, then the Real Estate 2.0 verticals like Trulia, Zillow and Active Rain adopt them. Subsequently, RE 2.0 will validate the concept for eventual adoption by the traditional brokerages.

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  • 6/3/2007 5:57 AM Michael Price wrote:
    Excellent observations Pat. Yesterday was the first anniversary of our blog and I took the opportunity to reflect on where the industry was with regard to implementing some of the tenets of RE 2.0. After some tinkering, I think we're starting to see some effective application of concepts. There's still a very long way to go, but it's gratifying to see some predictions we have all made start to come to fruition.
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