Have you heard about the recent Zillow situation? iBuyers have been purchasing homes from consumers who are looking to sell quickly and conveniently, using algorithms and user data to determine what price to pay. After minor renovations, they place the house back on the market for an elevated price. Zillow recently announced that they will no longer be taking place in this arena after failing to keep up with the dynamically changing housing market. So, what does this have to do with your data?
What does this mean?
When first logging onto Zillow, they request you enter the city you are searching for a house in and then you have the opportunity to provide more clarifying details. This means they have data on what homes people are searching for, what neighborhoods people are interested in, how much homebuyers in certain areas can afford and also what homes people are clicking on and liking. They also have regional data and they track all types of trends. Zilllow was able to make really precise calculations on how much they should pay for a house and still turn a profit.
They were using all of this collected data on home values and customer interest to scoop up hundreds of properties right out from underneath the individuals that were using their product. They would buy, flip and sell for a profit, driving the prices of homes up.
While tools like Zillow are extremely helpful in the homebuying process, we must be mindful consumers. We assume big companies like Zillow wouldn’t use input data against their consumers, but we have seen that to be the opposite. Here at Rownd, we believe businesses should show customers empathy for their privacy needs. A great privacy experience starts with transparency!
Interested in learning more about Rownd? Visit us at rownd.io for more information!