In For sale by owner I talked about the online tools that helped us sell our house. I gave Zillow high marks. Even though our buyers didn’t find us on Zillow — in the end, it was a good old-fashioned drive-by — the service was useful for the reasons I mentioned. But now I’m going to have to subtract some points.
A few days ago I received this email, misleadingly titled Zillow inquiry:
I work for Zillow, the online real estate network. When looking for groups that have cited our brand, I came across your great blog post discussing your marketing strategy when selling you (sic) home and noticed you mentioned Zillow. http://blog.jonudell.net/2014/08/05/for-sale-by-owner/
Would you consider linking the word ‘Zillow’ in the third paragraph within the text as a resource to your users? Here’s the URL to the Zillow City Page http://www.zillow.com/keene-nh/
We really appreciate your coverage and thank you for considering the link on your page. Feel free to use me as a point of contact here if you need any data or content in the future, and if nothing else, I’m just glad to have had the chance to connect!
If this is not the correct contact would you please forward it to someone that can be of any assistance, thanks.
I’m withholding the name because the guy was just doing his job. But shame on Zillow for making that his job. It got worse. A few days later:
Just wanted to follow up to see if you can help with adding the link. Let me know, thanks!
Where to start? First, this is my blog. I choose whether to link the word ‘Zillow’ in paragraph 3, and if so, where to point that link. And now, because you had the gall to tell me how to do that, and then bug me about it, I’m going to point here.
Second, people who need a link to Zillow in order to find Zillow, if such people exist, are not your customers.
Third, consider who you’re dealing with. Zillow’s users are by definition going through a seriously stressful phase of life. We are likely to be emotionally and physically exhausted by the process of buying and/or selling a home, and by preparing to move. We wake up in the middle of the night obsessing about our checklists. You presume to add to our lists? Disrespectful. Bad form. Don’t.