Former realtor.com President Errol Samuelson says his surprise move to Zillow last week was fueled by the portal’s commitment to fortifying its relationships with multiple listing services, associations and franchisors.
Individual conversations with each of Zillow’s execs about their interest and vision for working with the industry convinced him to make the move to Zillow from his positions at Move Inc. — which included chief strategy officer and president of realtor.com — Samuelson wrote in a Zillow blog post.
“For me, these conversations with Zillow’s management were pivotal,” he wrote. “I saw a sincere desire to partner with the industry, and I wouldn’t have considered joining the team if that wasn’t the case.”
Industry consultant Rob Hahn characterized Move CEO Steve Berkowitz as furious, but confident in the wake of Samuelson’s surprise departure last Thursday. He also noted that the move is likely to put to rest any speculation that Samuelson was in line to be the next CEO of the National Association of Realtors.
Barclays analyst Chris Merwin, who covers Zillow, noted that he expects Samuelson will help improve the accuracy of Zillow’s listings over time as it gets more direct feeds thanks to the relationships Samuelson helps foster.
Merwin said that Samuelson has “an impressive background of industry credentials that should make it far easier to build bridges with the real estate agent community,” StreetInsider.com reported.