Real estate web site Zillow.com continues to add community features to its site, the latest were launched last week. Among them were individual neighborhood pages (containing more than 130 U.S. cities and more than 6,500 neighborhoods). The pages contain local demographic and real estate information, but that content is designed to be enhanced by local individuals who want to add photos and other local news. The pages will also serve as a forum for individuals to ask or answer questions about neighborhood real estate.
Other new features include Zillow Discussions and Polls. The discussion feature is a forum that enables Zillow community members to communicate about real estate-related topics (such as real estate investing and hiring an agent) on a national scale. The poll function enables Zillow users to create a survey on any topic and post it on a local or national level. Votes by the Zillow community will be seen immediately.
Zillow has also personalized its home page for registered users or individuals who have previously visited to include their home neighborhood, city or recent search area.
Through these new offerings, especially the neighborhood pages, Zillow is building reference content into its site. This will accomplish two goals: increase user value and improve the site's search engine rankings. It's certainly a smart move by a site that is quickly making a name for itself in the real estate market. By continuing to make the site more interactive, Zillow is able to further engage its current visitors. The Web today, as social networking grows in leaps and bounds, is all about making connections and Zillow is definitely helping those visitors make those contacts. It's been a busy 2007 for Zillow and it probably won't slow down. Expect further content and connection enhancements throughout the rest of the year.