Since launching its online real estate directory in 2006, Zillow has revolutionized the real estate industry. It has become the No. 1 real estate marketplace in the United States, dynamically displaying all homes for sale in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) directly to consumers.

Here’s why home sellers, home buyers and savvy real estate agents love Zillow:

• Lists all homes for sale directly from nationwide MLSs directly to homebuyers

• Provides incredible wealth of information about all of these homes for sale

• Allows consumers to compare homes, features, and figure monthly payments

• Delivers a database of more than 100 million U.S. homes not currently for sale

• Receives 36 million unique monthly visitors as of January 2020

• Connects potential homebuyers and sellers with local real estate agents

• Displays excellent educational information to homebuyers, renters and sellers

• Allows agents to promote themselves to local and country-wide consumers

• Suggests a “Zestimate,” Zillow’s unique home value estimate, determined by their algorithms, for every property that is displayed

• Includes for sale by owner offerings (FSBOs) and rentals in addition to MLS listings

• Offers a very easy to use format that is loaded with facts, figures and photos

• Moves real estate from an exclusive activity to one that is open and accessible.

As Zillow has grown, it has acquired several other real estate online directories and real estate-related businesses including Trulia, Street Easy, Hot Pads, Diverse Solutions, Mortgage Lenders of America, RentJuice, etc.

And now Zillow has entered the business of buying homes as well through Zillow Offers. I don’t know how that will work out, as it appears that home sellers can sell their home faster, for a higher price, and receive more proceeds by working with local real estate agents.

Today, Zillow and its subsidiaries are known as Zillow Group. I have heard it said and read in real estate articles that Zillow is called the “Facebook of Real Estate.”

Nearly every homebuyer and seller I speak to when listing and selling properties is on Zillow before, during and after becoming clients of mine. They rely on Zillow to tell me what homes they want to see, or they look on Zillow to see their home’s activity.

So what’s NOT to love about this Zillow real estate powerhouse? Perhaps only their Zestimates. Seems to me a local agent would have a better idea about local home values.

Larry Stoller is a broker and Realtor with Real Estate Five of the Lowcountry.,,