Online real estate service Zillow.com celebrated its first anniversary with last week's launch of Home Q&A, which includes features that connect buyers and sellers in a community atmosphere. HomeQ&A is essentially a platform that enables those buyers and sellers (and real estate agents) to ask and answer questions about particular properties.
Site visitors can also now create their own profile pages that contain photos and contact information. They can also add an unlimited amount of photos to a specific home's Web page. If a house is for sale, visitors can indicate that and also include the asking price. Zillow.com also launched EZ Ads, a tool that enables real estate agents and home sellers to purchase ads targeted to a specific region (by zip code).
While many online content providers are still investigating the potential value of online communities, Zillow.com certainly hasn't wasted any time adding such a feature to its service. It will be interesting to see how quickly Home Q&A develops and if buyers and sellers utilize this new community they've been offered. If it works in this market, will it work in yours? This is definitely a development the online database publishing community needs to keep an eye on.