In this article, Amy Begg, NEDRA's president (for a little while longer, at least!) and Managing Director of Prospect Management at Harvard University shares with us a new way to use two very familiar tools: Zillow and Excel. Embedded links in the article will take you to the resources you need to do this bit of property value magic.
Prospecting Using the Zillow Macro
by Amy Begg
Yes, yes, Zillow isn’t perfect (but it is a lot of fun), and in densely populated cities it doesn’t work well. But what if you could screen a list of addresses in a moment to help you prioritize where you start? And yes, of course, this is only one data point and doesn’t replace a wealth screening, but what if you could add these values to filter your work?
Below is a step-by-step guide to help you implement this macro into Excel. (Courtesy of Nhu Huynh, Assistant Director of Prospect Management at Harvard University)
Creating Zillow accounts:
You need to create a Zillow user account.
Then you need to create a Zillow Web Services (ZWSID) ID to make your API calls:
• Each ZWSID can run up to 1,000 addresses per day; thus, each person should create their own ZWSID as the ID is embedded in the VBA macro code in Excel.
• Again, you’ll need to submit a “URL” or website in order to obtain a ZWSID.
Creating the Excel macro:
• After you open the document, you have to confirm that you want to “enable” the macro.
Updating macro with your ZWSID
• Once you obtain your ZWSID, you need to enter it in the macro.
• To update the macro, click on View ->Macro ->View Macro ->Edit.
• See below:
• In the Excel document, the street address along with the apartment or unit number (for example 8 Apple Court Apt 3) needs to be in one cell and not split between two cells or columns.
• Thus, you need to need to combine the cells' content using either a simple “&” formula or “concatenate” formula.
Running the macro
• Once you have the addresses in the macro formatted properly, go to
View ->Macro ->click on “ZillowXML”->then Run. The macro should automatically run. It will skip over addresses it cannot find.
• Some addresses such as PO Box addresses or building names (i.e., "Chrysler Building”) do not work in the macro. Only actual street addresses work.
• With this macro you can only run 1000 addresses a day and no more.
• The macro starts from row 3; accordingly, if you run the macro until row 500, add an additional 400 rows of addresses, the macro will run from the row 3.
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