Zillow’s mortgage tool: 2 years later

Consumer platform offers choice, anonymity

I always found it a lot of fun visiting and looking up my house. I type in my address and a satellite photo appears of my property bunched in with my neighbors' homes -- along with a price box superimposed on the roofs. Also, another bigger box pops up with pertinent information: price estimate, monthly payment, square feet, year built, etc. What could be more fun than this, other than seeing a higher price on your home than the one you might be viewing right at that moment? As great as Zillow is for getting a price estimate of your home, I could never figure out the Web site's game plan, i.e., how it created revenue. Because the Web site attracted a lot of eyes -- almost everyone you know probably has peeked at Zillow at one time or another over the past couple of years -- it garners a good deal of advertising. That's certainly a good thing for the owners of Zillow, but, as a consumer, once you found your house and read the basic data, you moved on. So as a util...