News today from both Om and TechCrunch that US real estate site Zillow has finally developed an innovation that I've been waiting for a while to see make its way to the English-speaking world - passive property sales.
Zillow's new "make me move" facility let's homeowners not exactly put their house up for sale but give potential buyers a nod and a wink that, you know, it might be for sale at the right price. Combined with the "claim your house" feature added two months ago, and already attracting 250,000 claims, Zillow's approach to opening up the US passive real estate market most closely mirrors Finland's Igglo. Of course, Igglo simply catalogued every house in Helsinki and then launched its database onto the market, a more comprehensive approach to the problem - but then, Helsinki has a population of 564,643, a different problem altogether to the US 300 million.
I've noted before how impressed I am at Igglo's articulation as business strategy the old adage that everything is for sale at the right price. Along with Zebo, it is this sort of redrawing of the online sales map to include everything, even things that might not be ostensibly on the table, that will take online classifieds to the next level. Much as - to return to yesterday's theme - LinkedIn has the opportunity to leverage its rich employment data to redefine the jobs market to annihilate the distinction between employees (and indeed jobs) that are available and those that are not, Zillow has a chance to redefine the property market to reflect the reality that everything is, however tacitly, actually in play if you're able to name the right price.