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by CareyBot

ZipRealty Inc. has hired its first-ever president of brokerage operations, former Foxtons North America CEO Van Davis, to help revive the company's downsized brokerage business.Last year, the Emeryville, Calif.-based brokerage eliminated buyer rebates, closed offices in a dozen markets, and embarked on a new strategy of using its popular website to generate leads for other brokers. ZipRealty currently operates as a brokerage in 20 markets, and provides "Powered by Zip" referrals in eight others.Although revenue fell 28 percent last year, to $85.1 million, ZipRealty was still ranked by Real Trends as the nation's 15th-largest real estate brokerage by dollar volume, with its agents handling $3.3 billion in transactions. ZipRealty's referral partners, by comparison, closed $85 milli...