Many moons and several bad hair styles ago, I wrote about the fun that could be had Playing Zillow. Today, Zillow went from fun to a downright rip-roaring time with the introduction of the Zillow Professional Directory.
From Zillow’s press release today:
The Zillow Professional Directory helps consumers interested in buying, selling or conducting home renovations, to find and connect with a local professional to fit their needs.
This is a great concept. What’s not to like? In order to encourage agents and other industry professionals to participate in the site, and to reward those who help feed the data base, they have created the Directory. It is a hierarchical listing of agents by region. Sure, you can search by name, but the default sort is by number of active listings on Zillow and by level of “contributions.” For instance, Steve and I are shown as having five listings on Zillow. This number appears embarrassingly moderate at first blush, at first blush that is until you realize that one is temporarily withdrawn and two others are pending. Oh, well. I am no longer hair-on-fire motivated to keep my postings current. Going from a five to a two would absolutely kill my rankings.
As for the contributions, a quite impressive 476 in our case, these don’t represent past listings, but instead every entry we have ever made for every listing we have ever posted. Each photo, for instance, counts as one contribution. These can add up quickly if you post a lot of photos, as we do. (If you are shopping for professional at this moment, I probably shouldn’t have told you this. Never mind. I am a BIG contributor! Let’s just leave it at that.)
So, I ran over to Zillow to bask in my glory as a Scripps Ranch Neighborhood Specialist, an “All-Star” as Zillow likes to call me. But I immediately encountered a little problem. It seems that a certain lazy, lazy agent never had gotten around to completing her profile. I suppose I was just too busy worrying about promoting my client’s homes. Realizing that this kind of thinking gets me nowhere in the eyes of the new directory, I edited my profile to promote my areas of expertise to all those in need of my professional services at this moment.
Now (drum roll), I will use the illustrative method in demonstrating that Zillow’s new brainchild is Ztupid.
A search for a Scripps Ranch, San Diego agent gave me this:
Number one is an agent team who works in Temecula which, if you are new to these parts, is in another county. Coming in at the number two spot we have a versatile agent team from, you guessed it, Temecula. Granted, Temecula is only a 45 minute drive (and a different MLS system), but they must be putting some miles on the ol’ Lexus! Here, from their profile, are the areas they serve:
Riverside County, Los Angeles County, and San Mateo! OK, you make it to San Mateo in a day, but you would definitely want to stop for lunch.
Keep in mind, this isn’t sour grapes. After all, they have more listings, more years in the business and far more contributions. I still managed to eke out fifth place. But this got me thinking. While it’s hard to break into the San Diego field, there are some areas ripe for the pickin’. And, apparently, we aren’t restricted to cities we have actually visited. So, with a simple series of key strokes, I was able to OWN Kodiak, Alaska. (Allow me to apologize in advance to Art. Your top spot will soon be restored, even though you don’t live anywhere near Kodiak.)
Then I remembered the time I replaced our kitchen faucet. Plumbing’s not so hard, so search for a plumber in all of San Diego, and I am there to help!
Silly as this sounds, lots of agents are doing it — because they can. So, to my Boise Blog friend Phil Hoover, who’s number five in Boise now? And to the Phoenix Real Estate Guy, Jay Thompson, I may be on Gilbert’s Page Two, but I didn’t see you when I looked up. Besides, when you need a Gilbert plumber, who are you going to call?
(Note to my friends at Zillow: I will correct my profile soon, but so many others won’t, I suspect. Oh, and you might want to delete the user “I.M. Burr” who currently holds the number two agent spot for Kodiak, Alaska. He’s not real.)