I know that Vanessa Fox’s move to Zillow doesn’t necessarily mean she’s single-handedly responsible for any improvements to the real estate site, but the latest update sure looks like it has her touch.
As you know Vanessa was a key part of Google’s Webmaster Tools–that cool dashboard that provides a check-up on the health of your web site as it relates to Google. Now it appears Zillow is getting something very similar.
The initiative, officially launched today, will enable homeowners to "claim" their homes and correct errors or eliminate omissions displayed on a Zillow profile regarding their properties.
When that happens, Zillow takes note and those changes help the company create internal portraits of homeowners, profiles leveraged in Zillow’s new Home Direct Ads program.
"We opened up the database for owners to say, ‘You know what? You got my square feet wrong,’ or ‘I just did an addition,’" said Greg Schwartz, Zillow’s VP of sale. "It also allows owners to prepare an estimate of what the home’s real value is."
Zillow is betting that a homeowner’s pride–hey, I just renovated the kitchen–will spur them to give Zillow more accurate information about them and their home. Zillow will then be able to use this information to better target the ads it shows alongside home listings.
UPDATE: Zillow tells us that this is an old feature. Shame on ClickZ for not fact checking. We, on the other hand, always check our facts…oh wait, nevermind.