- The site offers a laboratory for Zillow Group to test new search features.
After teasing the venture in March, Zillow Group has launched RealEstate.com, a listing portal that targets millennial home shoppers.
The site offers a laboratory for Zillow Group to test new search features, while revealing the real estate giant’s view of the data that matter most to the latest crop of homebuyers.
Here are seven nifty features that set the site apart.
1. ‘All-In Monthly Pricing’
Taking a page out of TLCengine’s book, RealEstate.com features homeownership cost estimates that go far beyond monthly mortgage bills. The site’s primary search filter centers on these estimates, prompting users to sort listings based on their monthly budget and anticipated down payment.
On listing pages, a property’s “All-In Monthly Price” beckons in a font that’s larger than the displayed list price, while a closing cost estimate sits just below.
The All-In Monthly Price can be adjusted by mortgage type, but also factors in property taxes, homeowners insurance and utilities, along with private mortgage insurance and homeowner association fees, if applicable.
The feature suggests Zillow Group believes millennials want to cut through the noise and get down to business.
2. Zestimate range
Seeming to follow that same line of thinking, RealEstate.com’s home value estimates make it abundantly clear that they are, indeed, just estimates.
Listings offer a large module to the home’s Zestimate.
But unlike the Zestimates displayed on Zillow, large “low” and “high” estimates flank the Zestimate.
The range covered by these estimates can be vast (the estimate range for a $1.8 million property, for example, was about $1 million). This emphasizes to visitors that — as Zillow has repeatedly emphasized — Zestimates are merely a starting point for understanding a home’s value.
3. More love for listing agents and advertisers
RealEstate.com also calls even more attention to listing agents and agent advertisers than Zillow and Trulia.
The agent contact form is bigger and cleaner than the versions that appear on Zillow Group’s flagship search portals.
“Contact Premier Agent” forms with a prominent “request info” tab flank list price and All-In Monthly Pricing. The listing agent shows up first, followed by three agent advertisers.
4. Every listing search result is a photo gallery
Prospective buyers on property search sites normally must click on a listing search result to see additional images, but RealEstate.com lets users scroll through a property’s listing photos straight from the search results page.
In essence, each listing search result — represented by a conspicuously large image — is its own photo gallery. This mobile-first, quick-hit design may help users shortlist properties with more efficiency.
5. Neighborhood data
Trulia remains Zillow Group’s most neighborhood-centric search site, but RealEstate.com sprinkles in some local data that speaks to its target audience.
Listing pages show the local average age, homeownership-to-rental ratio, median year homes were built and the percentage of college graduates and married residents.
This data ensemble seems designed to answer the question:
“Is this neighborhood hip, family-friendly — or both?”
6. Utilities estimate
The utilities cost estimate that’s baked into RealEstate.com’s All-In Monthly Pricing estimate also gets a panel of its own on listings, showing a basic score along with a breakdown of monthly gas, water and electric bills.
The estimates are provided by UtilityScore, which Zillow Group previously tested on HotPads, one of its rental sites.
7. Chinese and Spanish versions
Users can easily switch over to versions of the site that feature Chinese and Spanish translations. Listing copy remains in English.