Industry News

Zillow adds photos of homes to site

Also tweaks algorithms that calculate estimates

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Photos of homes and neighborhoods will now be served up along with home prices by Zillow, and the home valuation site has also tweaked the algorithms that calculate its estimates. "We're adding close-up aerial photos that show houses and properties at a 45-degree angle," said Spencer Rascoff, chief financial officer of Zillow. The new feature comes from MSN Virtual Earth and will be available in a few major cities to begin with, then throughout the country, he said. Zillow launched its beta site in February, offering consumers free information and valuations on more than 60 million homes in the United States. In addition to the other changes, the updated site now has data on more than 65 million homes, with enough data to make estimates on more than 47 million. Mapping features have become widespread in real estate Web sites, with many real estate brokerages and other entities offering mashups of Google Earth, Google's equivalent to Virtual Earth, to help consumers locate properties ...