We’ve created more than 6,500 new Neighborhood Pages in 134 cities across the country (with more to come). We’ve seeded these pages with some pretty amazing demographic data—including telling characteristics about the residents of these neighborhoods. However, the bulk of the content on the Neighborhood Pages we have left up to you, the Zillow community. Use the neighborhood discussion forums to meet your neighbors, talk about local news, publicize events like garage sales and get the inside scoop by asking questions of residents who know the area best. You can also share your photos of the neighborhood and check out the real estate in your area – from homes for sale to local Make Me Move prices to the most talked-about homes. To find a Neighborhood Page, you can access via any one of the 70+ million Home Detail pages and look for the link right beneath the address.
Bloggers tracking this kind of thing question whether people will come and populate the site with their postings. Time will tell. From The Real Estate Bloggers…
Now the problem with all forums or microsites that require user input to thrive is gaining that critical mass. There is no way Zillow is going to be able to staff people to manage each locales page without throwing big money at it. And Topix has the automated local news side of hyperlocal figured out and they are muddling along.
What will determine the critical mass is if enough people will come and stay to discuss local issues on a regular basis. Some real estate agents will, but to be honest I am not sure that homebuyers want to sit around and watch real estate agents talk shop. And for the real estate agents to come to Zillow and change their voice so what they write is a big leap, if they wanted to do that they would have a blog and be dominating the local SERPs that way.