The biggest name in search has teamed up with the Internet’s most popular real estate portal.
Zillow is now powering real estate search and listings for Google Now, an intelligent personal assistant that’s an extension of Google’s search app for mobile devices running on the Android operating system.
When users enter keyword search terms that indicate they are home shopping, or make frequent visits to real estate sites, a new Zillow "card" for Google Now provides information on nearby homes for sale and open houses.
While users are attending open houses, Google Now will identify their location and automatically pull additional information about the home.
"This is a glimpse into a not-too-distant future where ‘search’ — with its form fields, drop-downs, filters and work — seems as insane as pulling over to use a pay phone," said Brian Boero of marketing, design and strategy consulting firm 1000watt, in a blog post. "What you want will come to you in context because you have, through actions passive and deliberate, taught a big brain in the sky a little bit about who you are."
The partnership between Zillow and Google "scrambles" assumptions about listing syndication, Boero said. For years, brokers have thought about providing listings to sites like Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com as feeding websites or mobile apps that compete with their own, he said.
"But no broker has a Google Now," Boero noted. Still, as third-party listing portals take listings into new territory, Boero thinks they need brokers more than ever.
"As the listings pipeline extends into new territory there is more of it to sabotage," he said.
Nevertheless, Boero says to stay tuned for similar developments. Apple, for instance, might look for a partner to incorporate real estate into the iOS operating system.