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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

January 18, 2012 at 9:00 PM

Zillow adds Facebook real estate tools

Zillow is adding a new feature that connects the site with Facebook, so home shoppers and renters can look where their friends live or ask questions about neighborhoods.

Called “Neighborhood Advice,” the feature launches if Zillow users agree to activate Facebook Connect. Then they’ll be able to see where their Facebook friends live or “check in” the most, Zillow said in a release.

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When using the Seattle-based real estate site to shop in particular cities or neighborhoods, Neighborhood Advice will suggest Facebook friends in the areas. Then users can send messages to their potential new neighbors, asking for advice.

It’s similar to the way home shoppers ask friends, family and co-workers about different neighborhoods, Zillow Chief Executive Spencer Rascoff said in the release.

“Neighborhood Advice takes this further and deeper by allowing shoppers to quickly and easily tap into their broader online social network as they shop for homes on Zillow,” he said.

It could be handy for people relocating to places where they don’t know anyone, though there’s no substitute for stepping away from the computer and exploring the real world where you want to live.

I wonder if the biggest users will be the thousands of Facebook employees who may finally cash in and buy houses, if the company goes public this summer.

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