Yahoo! Real Estate and Yahoo! Search have partnered with the startup Zillow to help push out its Zestimates (Zillow contrived property value estimates) to the masses. I recently encountered them integrated into the new Yahoo homepage as a Featured item (as shown below).
According to a post on the Yahoo! Search blog, the integration is a mashup of several of Yahoo's services. It uses Yahoo! Search to perform the search, Yahoo! Maps to display the location and even offered links to Yahoo! Answers for users looking for additional home value information. Using Yahoo! Maps is new to Zillow since its core product uses Microsoft's Live Local mapping solution which offers "Bird's Eye View." I highlighted Zillow and the feature in this post I wrote for TechCrunch comparing the online mapping services. The "Bird's Eye View" feature helped Zillow get some early buzz so I wonder if Yahoo has anything similar in the works.
This appears to be a great partnership for Zillow and meshes with its mission:
"To give as many consumers as possible access to free real estate information."
Yahoo draws a lot of traffic and this deal puts Zillow in the spotlight but clearly the service is not yet perfect. In performing a few searches on homes in my local area the I encountered many empty search result sets as the search could not find the property I requested. Also some Zestimates are displaying some fuzzy numbers which are not correct. However, if Zillow can patch up these types of empty result sets and tighten its fuzzy numbers, Zillow is in a position to become "the source" for online property information.