US real estate marketplace zillow.com has released a free iPhone application that allows users to access property values and other information on the move. In what zillow.com calls a “serious upgrade” to “the Sunday house-hunting jaunt”, the application uses the iPhone’s GPS to track nearby properties and provide price information as the user passes by.
The price information comes from zillow.com’s “Zestimates”, recent sale prices, for sale prices and “Make Me Move” prices – an informal feature owners can use to list their homes at a price for which they would consider selling.
zillow.com states that its database currently includes 88 million US homes and 3.4 million for sale listings. The new iPhone application also provides access to any information currently available on zillow.com listings, such as photos, past sales data and agent contact information.
Rich Barton, Zillow co-founder and CEO, said in a press release: “The GPS-enabled iPhone untethers our Zillow users from their computers and puts the power of our database of 88 million homes in their hands when they need it most - while they are looking at homes.”
Early reactions to the application have been mixed. A review from 1000wattconsulting.com questions the accuracy and completeness of the for sale listings available through the application, and suggests the inclusion of features such as nearby amenities and school information and access to foreclosure listings. sfgate.com’s review calls the application “buggy, incomplete and occasionally maddeningly slow” but also admits that it is “easy to use and quickly draws out your inner voyeur”.
Similar applications include casaclick.it's latest GPS and mobile applications which search for listings based on location and realestate.com.au’s sms based property evaluation. However, realestate.com.au's application does not use the iPhone’s GPS and costs $3.95 per sms. It provides either the last sale price for a property or the current median price for an average home in that street.