In the real estate business, word of mouth and good reviews go a long way.
So some real estate agents were surprised and concerned when data like their listings or sales history recently disappeared from popular real estate website Zillow over the weekend.
Zillow shows property listings from around the country and has grown into a major force in the industry. It says it’s the most visited real estate website in the U.S. with more than 200 million visitors each month.
On Thursday night, Zillow said it had restored all past sales and that current listings would be restored to agents' profiles within two weeks.
The issue is related to a technical change at Zillow, the company explained in a blog post. The website recently switched from taking listing information from “thousands of disparate data feeds” to a simplified system using Internet Data Exchange, or IDX feeds.
Zillow said in the post that moving to IDX feeds would ultimately “create a better experience on our platform” for homebuyers and sellers. And the good news was that the data weren’t lost and still showed up in searches, even if they didn't appear on agent profiles.
“Accurate and comprehensive data is central to our mission to simplify and streamline real estate transactions and deliver a more integrated experience to customers,” the company wrote in the post.
One of the affected agents was Kathy Hereford, who has worked in the business in central Florida for 17 years, Bold reported. On Sunday, Hereford discovered that all of 65 sales from the past 12 months were no longer listed.
Hereford told Bold that the incident provided a good reminder of an important business lesson.
“I think it’s really important for people to have other multi-level platforms that they can market their properties on and to just build relationships with clients and work on referrals,” Hereford told Bold. “They all can change what they like to do … We have to keep evolving.”