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Meet Zillow, Your Transferee’s Digital Realtor

Zillow Helps Transferees RelocateHouse hunting is hard. Especially for a transferee handling a laundry list of other obligations at the same time. If a home finding trip is included in the transferee’s specific policy, great! If not, why not offer them as much assistance as possible without increasing policy costs? Simply referring transferees to Zillow.com can make their process of finding a home at destination a much simpler process. In fact, we’ve been known to use the site and application ourselves when we start the home finding process for our transferees.

The great thing about Zillow is that it does all of the heavy lifting for the use. Once you get to the site, a transferee can simply enter the city name or zip code of their destination. Next, users have the option of selecting “for rent,” “for sale,” “make me move,” or “recently sold.” The “make me move” selection is unique because it includes properties that aren’t technically on the market—yet. The owner has listed prices he/she would consider selling for, giving transferees an opportunity to entice them to sell. Viewing recently sold properties is also helpful because it can give transferees an idea of what they will need to spend on housing in the new location.

Once set up in the program, Zillow users have the option of inputting a minimum or maximum price that they are willing to spend on either a home purchase, or monthly rent. Similarly, they can customize their desired number of bedrooms, bathrooms, square footage, lot size, year that the home was built and days listed on Zillow. Further, transferees can continue to narrow their search by specifying their desired home type, whether it be singly family or multi-family. They can also sort by features including listings that include photos, allow pets, have on-site parking, have in-unit laundry, etc.  As criteria are entered, an aerial view map and descriptions are automatically updated with listings that match transferee needs. In a way, Zillow is acting like a digitized Realtor.

Zillow can do more than just help find a home though, which is perhaps its greatest benefit to transferees. Users can use the site to compare mortgage rates and lenders, ask real estate questions to licensed professionals and find local information on their new home city. Check out their new video below:

 

Video courtesy of Geekestateblog

It all looks great on a desktop, but most transferees in the middle of relocating are more likely to be on the go than sitting at their computer. Luckily, there’s Zillow mobile application that works almost identically to the full site. It’s free to download and has the “current location” capability to search for listings matching a transferee’s saved criteria if they find themselves in a neighborhood they happen to fall in love with at destination. The app is available on iPad, Blackberry, iPhone, Android, Windows phone, Kindle Fire and Android Tablet.

Both the full site and the mobile app allow users to set up a free account to save searches, create favorite lists of properties, and set up notifications on new and updated listings. It’s important to note however, that your transferees should not put all their eggs in one basket. Zillow was only created seven years ago, so when specific criteria lead to few or zero results, it isn’t because there is nothing out there – it’s because so far there are more Realtors who don’t use Zillow than there are that do.

Of course, nothing will ever replace the personal attention a transferee will receive on a company-sponsored home finding trip. We do believe that one-on-one consultation with a local Realtor is the best way to introduce your employee to their destination as it sets the tone for a more successful relocation. That said, we do understand that some companies, especially those with a lump sum relocation program, can’t always provide every relocation service for every transferee. This is just one of the many tools relocation managers can share to help their employees without adding extra costs.

This post is authored by Rebecca McKinney, marketing coordinator for XONEX Relocation. Stay tuned to read more relocation blog posts from Becky. In the interim, click the link to learn more about Becky and her household moving experiences.

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RICK CALANNI
VP of Business Development Northeast Region

 

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