Zillow Plans To Open API

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Yahoo has been using the API as part of its partnership deal with the Zillow home value tracking website, and Zillow plans to open that up to other developers.

Zillow disclosed its application programming interface will be open sometime in the early fall of 2006. Chairman/CEO Richard Barton and company president Lloyd Frink made the announcement at the Inman Real Estate Connect Conference.

In the company blog, Zillow noted how the API will allow web developers to create applications that draw data from Zillow’s repository. They plan to have their specialized estimates and home value index, called Zestimates and Zindex respectively, available through the API.

A majority of Zillow’s information should be accessible when the API launches. This will allow sites that Zillow might look to work with individually to move forward and use data from the API in their implementations.

Zillow also revealed some extended functionality available to users. Zillow Mobile can deliver estimates on homes to mobile devices either as a text message or an email.

Barton and Frink’s talk about Zillow and its new developments, including the pending API, still could have been much more in the view of Greg Yardley, who attended and blogged about their discussion:

They did a great job setting themselves up to sell ads to lead generators, mortgage brokers, real estate agents, and anyone else interested in Zillow’s audience. And don’t get me wrong, that’s a terrific business model. They’re really going to have to smoke to get a decent return on investment for the $57 million in venture capital they’ve taken, but with the organic traffic they’re generating, the Yahoo deal they’ve signed, and the open API they’ve announced, they’re off to a good start.

Yardley did lament that Zillow did not become the agent of change within the real estate industry, and cut out the middleman and his 6 percent commissions, as some had feared.

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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

Zillow Plans To Open API
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