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Zillow, an online real estate service, is announcing this morning a new partnership with 11 newspaper publishing companies representing 282 newspapers nationwide. The partnership is what I call a reverse partnership. When customers place ads in the newspapers (offline and online), they will soon be able to also add their listing to Zillow.
Zillow and the newspaper companies said they expect to launch the alliance and roll out the new features in the first half of 2008. More newspaper companies are expected to join the network prior to launch.
From the release, "Reading the weekend real estate section is a ritual that many enjoy and to brokers and agents, the paper is a core marketing tool. Now, the process of real estate discovery will be further integrated into the online world. We are honored that this consortium of newspaper companies has chosen Zillow as the partner to fast-track their presence in the digital real estate world," said Lloyd Frink, Zillow president. "Research shows that 80 percent of home buyers use the Internet in the home-buying process. That, combined with Zillow’s audience of engaged real estate enthusiasts, creates a huge opportunity for local brokerages looking to expand their reach online."
I keep going back to something that Marc Andreessen said at TechCrunch40: Distribution is king. Zillow just made a pawn to bishops knight move today. While newspapers are out of style, the real estate section is still one of the most read sections.