Zillow Mobile: SMS-Integrated Data Access

Zillow Mobile is a potentially market-changing new SMS mobile twist on the Zillow real estate service. Send a text message from your cell phone to z@labs.zillow.com containing  a U.S. house address (i.e., 9650 La Jolla Farms Rd, La Jolla, CA), and you will receive a return message moments later with the house’s Zillow-estimated price, as well as its construction date, square footage, and so on.


  1. I went to this zillow site and every house on my street is wrong. From the square footage to appraised value to the configuration. My square footage is off by 40% and the listing configuration is inaccurate.
    I remember some time ago I read where they had outsourced this data to India to have inputed into their database. I’m not sure if they pulled it from tax listings or what but it’s a novel concept developed around the mania of housing and real estate as the unassailable investment. Now, all it will be likely used for is to follow the foreclosure market.

  2. FWIW: I have occassionally put my home address in a web site (Truillo….I think is one) and others. They give a prompt response with a lot of detail…THAT IS CORRECT ONLY UP TO 7 YRS AGO. There are many homes I know/see that were expanded in the last five or more years from say three or four bedrooms and baths to five or more bedrooms/den/another bath/etc. and these new services still list them at the lesser bedrooms, baths, etc.
    I wonder if it has to do with county databases that are available, or someother shortfall.
    In summary: The prompt response with a price is great…although many times it is for a totally different property.

  3. Game-changing?
    Who of the home buying age is proficient enough with SMS to type all that into their phone?
    Isn’t all this info much easier to find and digest in front of a old-fashioned 20″ LCD monitor and keyboard?

  4. “Home buying age?” Surely anyone under the age of 40 is proficient with SMS, and plenty of people over 25 are buying houses, so that’s a pretty broad segment.

  5. Bill Gates understands this just like you do, John K. It’s not for nothing Microsoft dominates the software market.
    Gizmodo interview with Gates
    Relevant excerpt:
    The idea [is] that there are some natural form factors. That is, having a full-sized screen if you want to write a letter or do your homework. A full-sized screen tends to be better than a pocket-sized screen. So when people always talked about m-commerce�that you would be driving home and couldn’t wait to buy a new refrigerator
    and so you would just buy it on your mobile phone and not wait to see the comparison and information on a full screen�I never really did get what that was about.
    Each device should play its own role…