Zillow: Friend or Foe?

5 Replies

So we have a 4 br 2.5 ba rental listed on Zillow (Hot Pads/Trulia).  I noticed it's "Zestimate" is $2700/mo. but we've been getting $3345 for the past 6 years.  Today I managed to send in a message to Zillow and will wait to hear back on Monday how they came up with their number.  However it's got me thinking about the risk/reward of their platform.  I wonder if the low Zestimate is turning off our potential candidates.  Any thoughts out there??

@Mike Savage Zillow is just for reference . Sometimes they are really close other times a mile off especially for home values . The rents they list are generally higher than what the market is * in my area atleast . Home values are based off tax assessments with recent sales also factored in . Zillow is good if you have no idea of an area it atleast gives you an idea

Zillow mostly goes by room count and square footage, and then uses the local $/sq ft to calculate. Zillow has no idea if you just did a $200k renovation or if it's structural unsound. There maybe some naive candidates out there, but I think it's easily explained.

It sounds like you're more interested in the phsycological implications of this form of information delivery rather than the algorithm Zillow uses? I've often think of this too, as the RE industry SLOWLY moves into modern technology the automated data is sure to have faults. It's inaccurate. High or low, it results in subsequent educating and it's you who's left having to correct it to your potential candidates. That being said; I think you'd rather be high than low when it comes to attaining tenants. And since SFH's aren't valued widely by rent roll you dont have much to worry about for valuation. I am curious how Zillow response and how this pans out. Let us know.

hi all. So I got a tenant finally moved in mid December after a 5 month vacancy. We've never had more than a 2 week vacancy for the past 13 years! I also dropped the rent to $2990. Just trying to wrap my head around what is really going on in this market. I see tons of out of state license plate while i'm sitting in terrible traffic during mid day. This is a very desirable SFH with a view, great schools, ultra low crime area. etc. I find it hard to believe I was just shootin fish in a barrel all those years in the past but more importantly I want to learn from this lesson for my next vacancy or even to get the motivation to buy more properties. I definitely am on the sidelines now after this year. Listening to lots of Bigger pockets money podcast and asking what my investment goals are. Curious what other PNW members think of the market. LOTS OF CRANES AND new apartments going up.