Zillow is a website started in early 2005 by Rich Barton and Lloyd Frink focused on providing free home valuations called Zestimates. “Zestimates” are home valuations computed using their proprietary formula. Around their Zestimates service, Zillow has built a marketplace for home buyers and sellers to list their homes.
The site and service launched February 8th, 2006, and within two days they had served their millionth visitor. Over the course of the year Zillow set out to expand their site’s features, incorporating a heat map and 3D view into their service. Zillow was facing other competition at time with the launch of Real Estate ABC and the existing housing search site Trulia.
On July 18th, 2006, Zillow landed a big deal with Yahoo to serve as a data point on Yahoo’s real estate and search sites.
Toward the latter half of 2006, Zillow added the ability to claim and correct your home valuation, a much needed feature as the service grew in relevance. In one month, over 100,000 homes were claimed. The period also saw the site opening up its services with the release of a mobile application, API, “Make Me Move” price, and the ability to post listings on the site for free.
In 2007, Zillow relaunched with more social features, including a questions and answer feature, and user posted photos of their homes.