Interesting to note that Zillow has purchased Postlets, one of my favorite real estate tools.
Postlets allows one to create an easy online webpage for a new listing and allows one to syndicate them to other websites, if so desired.
It also has a great tool when creating the listing to hover over the Zestimate, as one enters the actual sales price of the property.
I don’t syndicate my listings there, for a variety of reasons, but I do use the Postlets code to create “stand-alone” websites on my own website, Seattle Dream Homes.
I don’t want to re-create the wheel, and I’d rather be selling real estate or playing with the kids than writing a bunch of code, so I create a page in Postlets then use that code and build upon it to create a unique page for each one of my listings.
Here are a few examples of using Postlets code to create interesting and dynamic pages that I host on Seattle Dream Homes:
Madison Valley Enchanted Gardens
Capitol Hill Vintage Home
Lake Forest Park Modern Home
What this does is create a separate page I can direct buyers to, without taking too much time to make and it creates original content for my page.
If I don’t delete it, the info does stay on the Postlets website, but like I said, I rarely syndicate it to all the sites that Postlets offers, as then one loses control and a broker may not get referrals from any inquiries that the listing may generate.
I do pay the minimal amount per listing to upgrade, as then I can add more photos easily without re-writing the code to add more spacing and frames, but after that it’s easy to remove any items I don’t want.
I do hope that Zillow adds some support for paid subscribers. There is no email, chat line, phone number, no way to contact anyone at Postlets, either for praise or complaint. They probably got tired of hand-holding ignorant customers, but if one pays for the service, I think there is an expectation of at least a little support.
Other than that, I don’t see a lot of room for improvement, though some of the templates offered are a little dated. And it would be nice to have a separate page to view the templates first, without having to click on each template to view.
Some commentators have mentioned that Zillow is tired of begging for listings and they see this move as taking control of syndication, but then Zillow would be advised to remove the option for having the listings syndicated on Trulia and Yahoo Real Estate. However, the deal seems to specify that listings will continue to be syndicated to those and 11 other sites.
As John Cook in Geek Wire notes, this is the first acquisition for Zillow and this may be part of their preparation for launching an IPO.
So my advice is to use Postlets, but don’t use it the way intended. And my advice to Zillow is not to change something that already works.