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Top 10 Cool Tools to Share - A Zillow Update and Review

When I joined Zillow about 6-7 weeks ago, many friends and associates here asked me to keep them posted about my new position over at Zillow.  So far, it's been an incredible blast and the time has simply flown by.  I'm really enjoying the priviledge of getting to be in both places, Zillow and here on ActiveRain.  So what's been going on and what have I been doing?

In my recent adventures and explorations of, I've come across some really cool tools (10 to be exact) that some of you may not even know exist.  I didn't.  I'm sure I'm missing quite a few others, but I wanted to at least update you and mention these.  In my sincere and honest opinion, these are some of the most exciting and easy to use, and will deliver the most value.

Here you go, take a moment to look into these, I think you'll find them to be really cool tools.

1. Zestimates

What is a Zestimate?  I remember when the Zestimate was launched many years ago. Since then, many questions have been asked. Is a Zestimate an appraisal? My Zestimate is too low or too high, what gives?  How does Zillow come up with a Zestimate?  How accurate is the Zestimate overall? Here's the answer to all these questions and more.  Once you view and understand the Zestimate and how to use and discuss it with your clients and prospects, you'll see why I added it here.

2. Zillow Advice and Discussions

Whether you get or give "Pro-to-Pro" advice or local "Consumer Direct" advice, Zillow advice is one of the best places you can spend some time on the site. Got a question?  How about contributing to a discussion or starting a discussion of your own?  All Zillow asks is that you follow the Good Neighbor Policy when engaging with other real estate professionals and consumers.

3. Real Estate and Mortgage Widgets

This is one of the more exciting tools since I'm a real widget and gadget kinda guy.  Using some of these widgets and incorporating them into your sites and blogs can increase your traffic, bring more value to your readers, and provide you with co-branding on the Zillow site.  There's quite a few Real Estate and Mortgage widgets, take a look and see which ones will be right for your website or Blog.

4. Premier Agent

The Premier Agent membership on Zillow is exactly that. PREMIER.  Now that I've had some time to really investigate the program, evaluate the process, and witness first hand the results that members are experiencing, I stand behind the program 110%.  How can putting willing and able buyers agents in front of thousands millions of contacts that are looking at Real Estate and Loans ever be a bad thing? 

Basically, Zillow's Premier Agent Program connects buyers and sellers to agents. Flat out, bottom line!

5. Industry Directory

The Zillow Directory is the place for every face in the industry.  If you are not a member of Zillow and not in the Directory, it could be the single most grave mistake you'd ever make in real estate.  It takes 30 seconds to join, it's easier than checking your email, and it is absolutely free. If you haven't joined the directory, GO HERE TO JOIN.  Then come back after...

6. Zillow API data

Zillow API is a powerful tool that allows you an endless amount of possible data providing opportunities.  Here's one of my recent posts about API.  It empowers both the provider and the receiver with a great deal of value and on many levels.  Explore what you can do with any API, then think of the potential of what accessing and delivering Zillow API data might do for your business.

7. Zillow Academy 

Zillow Academy is ALL ABOUT real estate training and having a learning and support campus available to the industry.  To be honest, this is where I have been spending a great deal of my time, but don't tell Sara or Spencer that.  Seriously, they have helped and supported me in my efforts to put this all together.  It's starting to come along nicely. It's going to become one of the finest learning centers on the web.

8. The Zillow Profile

Like any site or network out on the web, (at least any worth their salt), you should need to have a decent profile setup.  That includes right here on ActiveRain. (hint hint)  Profiles on any site should always be evolving and changing, just like you do with the times.  Take advantage of the tools and options that come with many of these free opportunities and especially, make sure your Zillow profile has "Got It Goin On!"

Mine needs work too but it's not a shadow-face. lol Seriously, with no profile there's a lot to be missed...YOU!

9. Mortgage Market Place

What are today's rates?  Can I qualify for a loan?  My area is not like yours, that loan isn't it?  Wonder if we can afford that house or not?  Come check out the Mortgage Marketplace, it's kinda like a farmers market.  You can walk around and check out all the fruits, vegetables and goodies that will feed the needs of your specific appetite.  Plus you can get help

There's nothing you won't find and if there is, let me know and I'll make sure it gets to the right ears.

10. The Zillow Blog

Did you know that Nicole Kidman... well, maybe I should just let you read for yourself.  Where do they come up with this stuff?  I have to admit that Diane Tuman is one of my favorite bloggers over there.  The stuff she comes up with and with Whitney and Lauren's contributions, there's never a boring or dull moment on the "Z" Blog.  You'll get the insides and the outside scoops when you RSS feed the Zillow Blog.

That's it for now.  If you have any questions or comments, just ask or call me anytime.  I'll report and update you on more later but until then, have a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday.  I look forward to seeing many of you at the Real Estate Marketing Summit and Town Hall meeting in San Diego at the end of the month. :-)



"Learn More. Get More. Do More. Be More."

Comment balloon 48 commentsBrad Andersohn • November 23 2010 08:41AM


Good Morning Brad

Thanks for the post and Zillow information. I am going to re-blog this. Have an awesome Thanksgiving.

Posted by Patrick White, Driven to bring New Yorkers home (Home Driven Realty, Inc) almost 10 years ago

I just joined the directory as you suggested. I had not really explored Zillow and will do so now. I found this really worthwhile- thank you and Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted by Ellie Shorb, Realtor DC, MD & VA Luxury Home Expert (Compass Real Estate) almost 10 years ago

I am going to look into Zillow. Thank you for the heads up on the possibilities.

Posted by Deanne Olivas, Your Home Matters (eXp Realty) almost 10 years ago

Brad, I must admit I didnt realize Zillow had so many great useful resources....I love the widgets since your webinar and have used a few of them already, and will continue to!  Thanks again!

Posted by Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®, Giving Back With Each Home Sold! (RE/MAX Realty Center ) almost 10 years ago

Congratulations on your new position! Zillow continues to make a postiive difference in my business due to customer inquiries. In fact, I had one in my email this morning! Have a great Thanksgiving. I look forward to your updates and posts here.

Posted by Emily Medvec, Realtor | Serving Santa Fe & Northern NM (eXp Realty LLC) almost 10 years ago

The guys ( and gals ) at Zillow are super smart and have built some pretty cool tools. But, I must say, the smartest thing they have done recently is to hire Brad Andersohn! :)

Posted by Nick Bastian, Real Estate Agent - Tempe (Realty Executives) almost 10 years ago

I can't believe I missed one of my FAVORITE TOOLS on Zillow!!

It was actually one of the tools that inspired me to begin thinking about doing a post like this, I feel like a schmuck right now.

A huge percentage of the traffic that comes to Zillow over the weekends does it via the mobile apps offerred for iPhone, iPad, the Android and Windows mobile.  It's the Zillow Mobile Tools - is it too late to make this the TOP 11 Post? Awh, that just doesn't sound right. lol~

Every agent in this industry is mobile and should therefore have the Zillow app on their mobile device... period.

Posted by Brad Andersohn, ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876 (Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty) almost 10 years ago

Hi, Brad

Regrets Department:  

I opened a Zillow account a couple of years ago under "Fred Griffin".    I was "Zillow All-Star" and was fairly active on Zillow. 

One day while Answering a Question, I had an Oops! moment and gave incorrect advice.  Zillow would not allow me to modify the post.   In my annoyance,  I canceled the account.   Regretted it ever since.

I did open a New Zillow Account under Frederick Griffin, but have done very little with it. 

Thanks for this post...  it encourages me to "Get going again" on Zillow.

Posted by Fred Griffin Tallahassee Real Estate, Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker (Fred Griffin Real Estate) almost 10 years ago

I signed up for answering RENTAL questions and I am getting more LANDLORD or Would-be LANDLORD questions than TENANT questions....very interesting to see how other areas of the country are catching up to VA with property owners wanting to RENT their UNSOLD homes

Posted by Wallace S. Gibson, CPM, LandlordWhisperer (Gibson Management Group, Ltd.) almost 10 years ago

Patrick - thank you for the reblog, and I hope your Thanksgiving is warmed by the laughter and joy of family.

Ellie - thanks, you'll find there's a lot more to discover than I mention here. Happy Turkey Day :-)

Deanne - if you have any questions or need any assistance, just let me know.  I love being able to help.

Kristin - there's even more, thanks for checking it out.  I find new and cool stuff everyday there.

Emily - thank you, and I love hearing stories like yours. I'm blessed to hear them as often as I do and I think others are blessed to be the ones sharing them.  I hope to bring more awareness to these tools and all the other tools so many of my associates here can benefit from them just as you are. Congrats and I know you'll be "thankful" during this "ThanksforGiving" Holiday season.

Nick - Thanks my friend, what a nice thing to say.  I hope you and your family have the best Thanksgiving EVER!!

Fred - thanks for sharing that with me.  Times have changed, the company has changed, people change, Zillow is and will be ever-changing so I'm glad that experience is behind you.  Moving forward, I'm here to help any way I can and if you ever want something changed or done, just let me know. Do "get going again" and I'd be happy to show you around the place if you ever need.  :-)

Posted by Brad Andersohn, ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876 (Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty) almost 10 years ago

I just finished registering...Thanks for the post Brad...Enjoy your day.

Posted by Ernie Steele, Call me, let's get started!!! 717-273-3774 (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Homesale Realty) almost 10 years ago

WOW Brad ~ You just about covered everything including #11 in your comments.  I heard in a blog the other day that Zillows App was the best about everyone else.  I do use Zillow as much as I do Trulia.  Maybe its time I go brush up on some of those cool tools you told us about.  I didn't know you can change a Zestimate.  Congrats on your new position and I am so please that you are still here too!  I will Re-Blog this too because I don't want my friends to miss this post.

Posted by June Tassillo, Let me help you with the next phase of your life! (Owner/Broker RE/MAX Elite Realty) almost 10 years ago

Brad -

About two and a half years ago (man, has it been that long!) I wrote a similar post called 10 things to do on Zillow.  It is a trip to read this post now and see how far we've come.  The two things that really stick out to me is that mobile apps hadn't even been invented back then and our ad platform is light years better. 

Thanks for laying it all out here, to help people get started.  This is a great list for an agent new to Zillow.

Agents - Be sure to sign up for Brad's webinars!  Find them at  The information he gives out there is AWESOME! 


Posted by Sara Bonert, Real Estate Internet Marketing (Zillow) almost 10 years ago

Brad - you are such a generous soul. Many thanks for all taht you do for our community. Zillow is blessed to have you on board (they DO know that, don't they??!!). I know I need to do more. Now if they could just get their act together about duplicate posting of listings or ones that have sold or expired, I'd be a real happy camper.


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (eXp Realty of California, Inc.) almost 10 years ago

Brad, Thanks for all the Zillowishishness.  I've already been over to the directory to make sure I"m there.

Posted by Susan Brown (Keller Williams NE, Kingwood Texas (Humble & Atascocita too)) almost 10 years ago

Jeff - I have a meeting this afternoon, but I'll call you after.  There are a couple things I want to share that will help with this.  Another one of the discoveries I made in snooping around Zillow, just haven't had the chance to post about it yet.   I'll call your shortly. :-)

Posted by Brad Andersohn, ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876 (Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty) almost 10 years ago

I Have been a long time user and primer agent on zillow and i am very active in my contributions. its the best kept secret around.

Posted by Victor T. Gurrola, Diamond Bar Real Estate Professional (Remax Realty 100) almost 10 years ago

Good to know!  A thumbs up from you about something means alot. I just sent them an email asking for some more info. Thanks

Posted by Curt Baumgarth, CDPE Realtor Serving the Valley of the Sun. 480 26 (Century 21 All Stars) almost 10 years ago

I've never really checked out Zillow, except Zestimates on my iPhone once or twice. This post makes me want to check it out a little more in depth. Thanks, Brad.

Posted by Eric Michael, Metro Detroit Real Estate Professional 734.564.1519 (Remerica Integrity, Realtors®, Northville, MI) almost 10 years ago

Wish you luck, but sorry to hear the news. My concern is that AR and Zillow are getting VERY cozy and I am not sure that helps us as agents. Each one will have to decide for him or herself.

Posted by John Elwell, You Deserve a Full-Time Agent, Not Reduced Results (CENTURY 21 Bill Nye Realty, Inc.) almost 10 years ago

Brad - I've been on Zillow a long time, but could not figure out how to add my blog...  Can you explain?  Thank you (sorry if I missed it)

Posted by Wendy Rulnick, "It's Wendy... It's Sold!" (Rulnick Realty, Inc.) almost 10 years ago

Brad, it was great to meet you (if briefly) in New Orleans.  Hope everything worked out with the Mac that crashed on you.

I plan to spend some time this holiday weekend taking another look at my Trulia account.

Posted by Eric Kodner, CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 - (Madeline Island Realty) almost 10 years ago

I have to say Brad that Zillow is not a place I have spent much time, perhaps its time to visit and get re-familiar again.

Posted by Steve Scheer, Highlands Ranch Real Estate - Denver Real Estate (Realty Oasis - Metro Brokers) almost 10 years ago

As always, thanks so much for sharing!  I love your business card on the QR reader... cha cha cha!

Posted by Kerry Lucasse, Your Urban Nest Atlanta Real Estate Consultant (eXp Realty - Urban Nest Real Estate Group) almost 10 years ago

Thanks, Brad... Great to hear from you again!  Glad to know you're enjoying this opportunity.

Posted by Margaret Woda, Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation (Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.) almost 10 years ago

Thanks for the informative post today.   I enjoyed it.

Patricia/Seacoast Nh & ME

Posted by Patricia Aulson, Realtor - Portsmouth NH Homes-Hampton NH Homes (BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY HOME SERVICES Verani Realty NH Real Estate ) almost 10 years ago

Interesting and informative post....I learn something everyday.

Posted by Damon Gettier, Broker/Owner ABRM, GRI, CDPE (Damon Gettier & Associates, REALTORS- Roanoke Va Short Sale Expert) almost 10 years ago

Thanks for the cool tools. I signed up to be a premier agent, but have yet to take advantage of it all. Thanks for the tips.

Posted by Buki Burke, (805)377-0236, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services CA (Ventura, California) almost 10 years ago

Hey Brad,

I'm glad to hear that you are having fun and finding new little ways to help those that utilize Zillow to enhance their business. You're doing much better than Spencer & Sarah. Great work!

Posted by Greg Nino, Houston, Texas (RE/MAX Compass, formerly RE/MAX WHP) almost 10 years ago

Hi Brad

I always enjoy reading your posts, and always learn something.

Thanks for the 10 cool tools.

It is good to know about them.


Posted by Phil Leng, Phil Leng - Retired (Retired) almost 10 years ago

Brad, you are changing the face and perception of Zillow...well you and Sara. LOL

Did you read the post on 1000 Watt? yesterday?

Now if we could just find a way to get those old listings off the site, not just Zillow but Trulia....

Happy Thanksgiving Brad to you and Debra, I know you have a lot to be thankful for. Loved seeing you at NAR and hang off the balcony?

tee hee

Posted by Missy Caulk, Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate (Missy Caulk TEAM) almost 10 years ago

Hi Brad, Waiting for another webinar from you over there...when is the next one?

Posted by Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400, Long Island Home and Condo Specialists (The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803) almost 10 years ago

WOW!  Someone slapped a gold star on this post, I'm honored... thanks. :-)

Victor - I totally agree, sorry for not keeping it a better secret for you.

Curt - let me know if you need any help with anything, still learning all this stuff, but getting comfortable now.

Eric - make sure you check it out, there's more to lose but plenty to gain.

John - not clear what you mean, can you elaborate or be specific?  Thanks.

Wendy - Do you mean your AR blog?  Give me a ring and I'll help you with what I think you're trying to do.

Eric - great seeing you at NAR too.  The hard-drive died so I moved to the "cloud" where it's all good. :-)

Steve - how about I give you a personal virtual tour after the holiday?  Seriously.  Let me know.

Kerry - thanks for taking the time to read and comment. You scanned my card?  Cha Cha Cha.  lol~

Margaret - having more fun than one person should be allowed, if I was having any more fun, I'd be twins!

Patricia - thanks.

Damon - and don't ever stop doing that either.  If you come to AR everyday, you can't NOT learn.

Buki - then we need to talk.  I can give you some quick tips to take advantage of your premier status.

Greg - I'm glad you've decided to read my blog on AR regardless of your previous comment saying you wouldn't since I joined the Zillow team. (haha) Seriously, I will eventually convert you to a Zillow advocate even with you kicking and screaming all the way.  (lol) and just for the record, Spencer and Sara know more about Zillow than I will probably ever know.  They have worked hard to build this company and are also my friends and co-workers, so I respectfully ask that you show them both the respect they've earned and both deserve.  I know you have it in you. Thankz.  (Big Smile!)  :-))

Phil - thank you.  There's more than 10, comment #8 was a BIG ONE I missed, but I'll share more as I discover and find them.

Missy - from the short time I have been at Zillow, I realized that many agents will go in and update their MLS or sites where their Listings are housed, but then forget to go in and change the feed or feeds that come into Zillow.  An example was an agent here on AR that called me last week who said the Listing on Zillow was SOLD!  Why is it still there?  We looked and she had sure enough changed the status on her MLS but had NOT changed the feed coming to Zillow for her RealBird account.  I see this time and time again, all I can do is try to better educate folks to do this and to be the ears and eyes for Zillow to reach out and see what we can do better for both Agents and the consumers. 

Larry and Sheila - you can sign up for any of our future classes coming up at Just click on any month, any day and register.  Looking forward to having you join us.

Not sure I'll be back this way before Turkey Day so just in case, Happy Thanks"GIVING" to everyone. Be safe and enjoy!~


Posted by Brad Andersohn, ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876 (Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty) almost 10 years ago

Good things!   When will it be in Canada????

Posted by Li Read, Caring expertise...knowledge for you! (Sea to Sky Premier Properties (Salt Spring)) almost 10 years ago

Hi Li - Great question! BTW- Nice to see you again here on AR too.  

Zillow does have the desire to go internationally one day, but it is long term aspiration right now.  However, when that day comes, Canada seems to be one of the more obvious places to move into first.  Happy Holidays to you and your loved ones.  :-)

Posted by Brad Andersohn, ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876 (Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty) almost 10 years ago

With just 36 days left in 2010, Zoey the Cool Cat and I just wanted to stop by and wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving. Hope it’s a great one, with lots of fun and food with family and friends!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted by Not a real person almost 10 years ago

Brad, I just stopped by to wish you a belated Happy Thanksgiving!  We ran the Austin Turkey Trot yeaterday and here is what we caught for dinner...Not really, I would not know where to begin as far as preparation! Heck, I am thankful I could pick up a bird from the local market! ;-D

Russell's trotting Turkey

I hope you had a good one and...maybe even  decide to skip the whole "Black Friday" shopping madness and actually relax!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (Realty Austin, Austin Texas Real Estate) almost 10 years ago

Brad Congrats again on the new position;  with your involement with Zillow I will take a closer look.  I have the same question as Wendy #22, I got frustrated and gave up.

Posted by Jennifer Fivelsdal, Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection ( JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571) almost 10 years ago

Hey Jennifer - are you trying to add your AR Blog to Zillow or did you just want to put an RSS feed or a link?  Guess I'm not sure what you're trying to do with your AR Blog over on Zillow?  There are discussion groups, multiple levels of advice, forums etc. but Zillow is not really a blogging platform per se. 

I think there's a common misconception of the difference between an AR or Wordpress Blog, and the different areas to engage with other pros and consumers on Zillow.  Zillow has many consumer direct paths and opportunities and is all about connecting willing and able agents to those consumers who are frequently visiting the site. 

Here's my farming analogy: Blogging is like planting those ever important seeds, Zillow is more like harvesting the crops. Both very important in business today, but two different tasks and totally different seasons for the farmer. Let me know if you need my help  :-)

Posted by Brad Andersohn, ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876 (Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty) almost 10 years ago

Thanks Brad, I became a Zillow agent after going to my first Rain Camp.   Hammer into our Active Rain friends, CLAIM your listings on Zillow.  If you don't I'll get your calls.    What gets me is when I get calls from agents and I explain Zillow to them. Use Zillow my fellow agents. Is a great tool. I wouldn't do with out it or my MLS.

Posted by KAREN SANCHEZ, ...Marketing your home like no one else will. ( Hamilton Landon Real Estate) almost 10 years ago

Hey Karen - Thanks.  I just had a great idea....  I will be contacting you when I get back from the Real Estate Marketing Summit in San Diego this week, I want to see if you'd be interested in helping me with a little project.  I'll contact you sometime after next week if you're available and interested.

Posted by Brad Andersohn, ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876 (Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty) almost 10 years ago

Brad, thanks for another WOW post!  I look for your posts and always learn something.

Posted by Barbara Hensley, Homes for Sale in Rockwall County, Texas (RE/MAX Properties) almost 10 years ago

Brad, thanks for another WOW post!  I look for your posts and always learn something.

Posted by Barbara Hensley, Homes for Sale in Rockwall County, Texas (RE/MAX Properties) almost 10 years ago

Each point was useful for me . Thanks Brad!

Posted by Rob Rieder (Karin Kay Properties) almost 10 years ago

I've tried a few of these and I should probably try a few more of them. Thanks for sharing the great tools available to us.

Posted by Tina D Saporito, Your Dedicated Palm Desert, CA Realtor Since 2005, Call (760)799-8460. (Ronald Christopher & Associates. Proudly serving Palm Desert, La Quinta, Indio, Rancho Mirage, & Palm Springs.) almost 10 years ago

I need to up my Zillow presence--thanks for a review of services available.

Posted by Norma Toering Broker for Palos Verdes and Beach Cities, Palos Verdes Luxury Homes in L.A. (Charlemagne International Properties) almost 10 years ago

I love these 10 things.  I include a "zestimate" in all my listing presentations (even if it's wrong), because I already know that my client (or future client) has gone there & seen it :)  Thank you for this list.

Posted by Christina ONeal, Realtor - Ripon California (At Home Real Estate Group) almost 10 years ago

Barbara - glad you're finding my posts here on AR useful, thanks.

Rob - 10 out of 10? WOW, thanks!!  :-)

Tina - it was my pleasure.  You should try each of them to see which work best for you, if not all of them.

Norma - would love to see more of you over there.  I am just starting to discover and use many of these myself.

Christina - you bring up a great point, everyone should have the Zillow mobile apps on their phones just like the consumers do.  It just makes sense in my opinion.  Thanks for reading and commenting.

Posted by Brad Andersohn, ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876 (Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty) almost 10 years ago