Zillow Launches Hot or Not for Real Estate

I’m going to disagree with Dustin (see Zillow gives us some remodeling porn), Zillow’s new Dueling Digs game isn’t that much fun.

But I suspect I’m not the target market for this sort of game. Online real estate is strictly a utilitarian activity for me (wow, the presbyterian Scot in me really comes out with that sentence).

I use the tools of Real Estate 2.0 to evaluate the market and to help me find a new home to live in. I don’t really go for the whole real estate porn thing — I get my kicks in other ways…

(Motorcycles and snowboarding, people – keep your minds out of the gutter.)

But Zillow definitely seems to be angling for that market (the real estate obsessed) though. So I guess if you we’re to boil down each of the Big 3 Real Estate 2.0 search sites’ audiences to their core, you’ve got:

  • Zillow – For the Real estate porn junkies
  • Trulia – For the Real estate search nerds
  • Frontdoor – umm… for people who watch HGTV?

While I tease them all a bit, I do think that’s pretty close assessment. Correct me if I’m wrong, by all means.

And I do think Dueling Digs is a smart move for Zillow. It’s a very savvy commercial move since it gives them some additional unique sponsorship opportunities by leveraging a pretty deep asset (their listing photos) that otherwise adds little to the bottom line.

I noticed for example, John Deere was sponsoring the yards section. One could easily see a brand like Behr sponsoring the living spaces section or Kohler sponsoring the bathrooms section too.

But more than just an ad play, they’ve also added some interesting community angles to it too where the votes are all tallied together to see which is the most popular bedroom or bathroom. From Zillow® Blog:

Your votes are then tallied with other players’ so you can also see what the Zillow community likes the most — which kitchens are most popular, for example. We have millions of home photos on Zillow and users are adding even more every day, so you can expect to stumble upon new pictures — and new inspiration for your own home – each time you play.

(How’s that for bragging rights – I have the most popular bathroom in America!)

It sounds like Zillow knows their user base and knows what they want. And while the game doesn’t do much for me, I do think they will find an audience for this.

The good news for Zillow too is that that audience does seem to be growing. Despite a period of relatively flat growth, they’ve seen a recent uptick (according to Compete anyway). Interestingly, at the same time, Trulia’s recent fast climb seems to have stalled.

For more on online real estate games, read Realius Lets the Games Begin.