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Zillow to expand sales force in Southern California

Company to staff new Irvine office with up to 100 employees

Real estate search and valuation company Zillow will open a new office in Irvine, Calif., over the summer, the company announced Monday.

Seattle-based Zillow plans to staff the office with up to 100 employees. According to its most recent annual report to investors, Zillow had 329 full-time employees as of Dec. 31, most of whom had been with the company less than two years.

The nearly 20 employees of Irvine-based Diverse Solutions, a real estate technology provider Zillow acquired in November, will move to the new office. The remaining 80 or so employees will be primarily made up of new sales people, though business development professionals and engineers will also be hired, Zillow told Inman News.

The new office’s sales team will focus on selling Premier Agent subscriptions to real estate professionals nationwide across the Zillow and Yahoo Real Estate websites, the company said. Under the terms of a recently renewed ad partnership, Zillow has the exclusive ability to sell ads to real estate brokers and agents that appear on both sites; Zillow splits revenue the ads generate with Yahoo.

"As Zillow continues to expand the breadth of our services and develop new tools to help real estate professionals grow their business, it made perfect sense to also expand our sales force to Southern California," said Greg Schwartz, Zillow’s chief revenue officer, in a statement.

"Orange County is part of America’s largest real estate market and has created a deep pool of talented sales people with expertise in Internet marketing and software from which to recruit."

The new office is located at 2600 Michelson Dr. The company also has sales offices in New York City, Chicago, and San Francisco. The company moved its headquarters last year to a 66,000 square-foot space at the Russell Investments Center in downtown Seattle.

Zillow went public in July 2011. The company reported its fifth straight quarter of triple-digit revenue growth in the fourth quarter. Last year overall the company reported a revenue jump of 117 percent, to $66.1 million, driven in large part by a 95 percent increase in Premier Agent subscribers, to 15,799 as of Dec. 31.

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