Zillow announced that its Home Value Index which for years has been used by academics and media alike as a measure of house price movements will now be available via Bloomberg Terminals, that lifeline for professionals to the core metrics of the US and world markets.
This is in one sense just another point of distribution for Zillow data, but in another sense it is a further demonstration of how Zillow keeps on “nailing it” when it comes to data and just as importantly public profile.
I am reminded of a tweet from Mike Simonsen a few weeks back that really resonated with me.
There should be an HBS case study on the Zillow PR machine.— Mike Simonsen (@mikesimonsen) August 7, 2013
I agree with his sentiment – Zillow seem to be highly effective at garnering media coverage and that is purely as I see it based outside the US – if I was living in the US I am sure it would be more visible. Their major coup in hosting the President at a housing Q&A was a case in point designed to not only capture the headlines and the profile but also to capture that valuable ground of being a trusted and respected commentator and analyser of the property market. They developed the role of an in-house Economist before anyone else and this set the ground work work that is now paying handsomely – enough for them to proclaim that for the past 5 months they have been able to predict accurately the monthly Case Shiller Index numbers ahead of time from their own data.
From here the opportunity for Zillow only multiplies as they sit on such a mountain of data pertaining to the property market and the consumers who are fascinated and perplexed by it. They like any smart portal can leverage this data to drive home brand profile and competitive advantage.
It is so important in today’s business world where the trusted brand is the one that delivers real value not the one who shouts loudest through advertising. There is so much to recognise in Zillow’s strategy that can be a foundation for other portals.
The subject of data generated by portals and accessible by portals is a key theme of the forthcoming PPW conference in Barcelona in November – join us to hear leading portal executive share their experiences and discuss approaches to this key area of business.