Numbers present themselves to be more factual than chanting "Buy Now."
Any number presented to those who are not intimate with the industry, creates a confidence of knowing 'something.' From the genesis of 'something' real knowledge, they trust, may grow.
The same citizens will associate the Tax Assessors numbers as another point of FACT. Because "ALL" such numbers are wrapped in word everyone knows, "value" They tend to believe the number has some correlation to value. They are unaware, none of these organizations are using the same lexicon.
Now they have two value data points. The unknowing consumer, believes they are doing research, since the common thread is value and it's synonyms. Then, they really get excited with their efforts when the encounter a precise number. You know the precise number I refer to, the exact midpoint of the value range. People instinctively trust precise numbers. They are however, completely fictitious.
Of course we know they are all fake. Any correlation to these random number generators and real value are solely accidental.
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to extend public education regarding the 'entertainment' quality of these websites. Many real estate agents invest HEAVILY in Zillow and are hesitant to expose the flagrant abuse of public trust Zillow demonstrates on a hourly basis. By your very presence on such a site, by your active participation, AND SILENCE, you defend such behavior. Some on this thread have actually been acknowledged by the CEO of Zillow as a significant contributor to the 'Quality' of Zillow. This recognition was preceded by a plea, after dunes and his crew received props, of 'What about me?" Some appear to be too enmeshed in the darkness to find their way into the light..
So, we can choose to 'tune into it' and be a practicing, active participant in what is clear abhorrent behavior. Abhorrent behavior, as recent history has thought us, presents a feeble deterrent for most real estate professionals. And this will, according to some, build your credibility!!
We have all been witnesses of the consequences Bill suffered when the message exposing Zillow transgressions were made public on Zillow. A thundering herd of mad dogs attacked him here on Trulia. Such subversive action is reflective of the very nature of the organization.
Aggregate websites are for entertainment purposes. Lacking that advisory, participating agents words give creditably. Agents have the opportunity to choose whom they serve with every keystroke. There is no dodging the reality where one stands in the midst of such transgressions against the consumer. These too, should put that Bank of America logo on their advertising. Apparently the smoldering ruins left in that banks wake was someone else's fault. Leaves one to wonder why do some agents ask "Why are agents regarded so lowly in the eyes of the consumer?"
For what will you sell your credibility?