New homes get a boost from Zillow

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According to Builder Online, on Thursday morning,, the online real estate database, introduced a new search function on its website that’s giving greater visibility to new homes that are available in markets around the country.

Zillow’s site has 22 million viewers per month, and the goal of this launch “is to give more exposure to new homes for all consumers, not just those who come to the site predisposed to buy a house,” says Greg Schwartz, Zillow’s chief revenue officer, last week. (Builder agreed to delay posting its story about the launch until Zillow had worked out the technical details.)

The first stage of this launch includes changes to Zillow’s website and mobile application, through which Zillow receives about 30% of its weekend traffic.

When Zillow’s viewers call up a market, they can now get a clearer picture of the new and existing homes that are available in the market being scanned. Before, that distinction was less clear, and viewers had to dig deeper into Zillow’s site to come up with detailed information about a particular house. For example, the older version might show a model, but not indicate how many available new homes in a given area that model represented. “We want to show every home to every shopper,” says Schwartz.

Perhaps as important is the enhancement to Zillow’s search function that groups new homes by their community or neighborhood. (A map that Zillow provided to Builder shows these houses inside of a green-colored area that indicates the boundaries of the neighborhood.)

Zillow has been working on this “discoverability enhancement” for a year, says Schwartz, with Beazer Homes and PulteGroup as the willing guinea pigs.

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