If you see bands of young people wandering the neighborhood streets of Capitol Hill snapping pictures with their mobile phones this summer, don’t worry — you’re not photobombing any selfies. Seattle-based online real estate company Zillow tells CHS it is experimenting with a possible new site feature to include better imagery of homes for the company’s listings.
But instead of employing satellites or camera cars — or professional photographers, for that matter, the company is taking a much more sneakers on the ground approach. A company spokesperson tells CHS that people spotted around Capitol Hill with Zillow badges and camera phones at the ready are taking pictures of the exteriors of neighborhood homes to be added to the Zillow site in a test to gauge interest in having even more pictures to look at as customers search for homes.
The summer hires have been given firm instructions not to take pictures of anything but the exteriors of the houses, to respect “everybody’s privacy,” and to remain on public property — sidewalks, streets, etc. — where the First Amendment rules.
In addition to Capitol Hill, the Zillow rep said you can expect to see the photo collectors in other neighborhoods “in certain ZIP codes” around Seattle.