Editor’s note: Tech Profile is a new Inman News feature that provides details about real estate technology companies.

Company name: Zillow.com

Company headquarters: Seattle, Wash.

Number of offices: Five: Headquarters in Seattle, with sales offices in New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Web site: www.Zillow.com.

Contact information: info@zillow.com.

Company description: Zillow.com is an online community where more than 5 million homeowners, buyers and sellers come each month to search for free information about homes, listings and real estate professionals. The company offers automated home-valuation estimates, called Zestimates. About 90 percent of Zillow’s visitors own a home, and two-thirds are buying or selling. Zillow provides numerous free and paid opportunities for real estate and mortgage professionals to market themselves and their listings to these engaged consumers.

Launch date: Feb. 8, 2006.

Current number of employees: 160.

Total funding to date: $87 million.

Sources of funding: Zillow has raised $87 million in venture capital from employees, individuals and several leading investment firms (Benchmark Capital, Technology Crossover Ventures, PAR Capital and Legg Mason Capital Management.)

Management team: Kristin Acker, vice president, product teams; Rich Barton, chairman and CEO; David Beitel, chief technology officer; Lloyd Frink, president; Stan Humphries, vice president of data and analytics; Liam Lavery, general counsel; Spencer Rascoff, chief financial officer and vice president of marketing; Christopher Roberts, vice president, product teams; Greg Schwartz, vice president of sales; and Jorrit Van der Meulen, vice president, partner relations.

Origins of the company: The word "Zillow" is essentially a mashup of two words: "zillions" (as in zillions of data points) and "pillow" (where you lay your head to rest). The company reports that "this represents the yin and yang of real estate, as buying a home is the biggest financial investment most people make, but is also incredibly emotional and personal."

Web visitor statistics: 5 million visitors per month.

Who is your audience? Ninety percent own a home, and two-thirds are buying or selling. Twenty percent are real estate professionals. More than 40 percent have an annual household income above $100,000 and 20 percent have a household income above $150,000.

Revenue model: Advertising. The company does not disclose revenue.

Geographic areas served: Nationwide.

Expansion plans and timeline: Zillow will continue to build tools and features on the site that are intended to help consumers make smarter real estate decisions, help real estate professionals effectively market their services and listings, and help consumers and professionals find one another.

What is unique about your business model? Zillow has an advertising-based model. The company provides content for free and sells ads at both a national and local level around this content. Zillow has a Web page for nearly every home in America and an audience of homeowners who are frequently looking up their own homes. Zillow works with advertisers to identify and reach homeowners in a targeted way — including by ZIP code, address, or by a home’s value. The company reports that certain consumer behavior patterns can aid in gauging what stage of home ownership its users are in and anticipate the ads that might be of most interest to them.

What’s unique or interesting about your office? From 46 floors high in downtown Seattle, Zillow employees have 360-degree views of the Seattle region: Puget Sound, Lake Union, Lake Washington and Mount Rainier, along with both the Olympic and the Cascade mountain ranges. Inside, the office decor was designed to look like a neighborhood, complete with streetlights and street signs in the hallways, and Astroturf in the kitchen. Zillow has a "work hard, play hard" mentality, and employees are encouraged to take a break from their computers every now and then for a quick game of ping-pong, air hockey or even Guitar Hero.

Unique office traditions and rituals: Every time Zillow launches something big, employees receive a polished rock, engraved with the product launch and the date. The rock is symbolic of important "milestones" we’ve reached as a company.

Employees’ favorite nearby restaurant: Sound Soups. "Think ‘Soup Nazi’ from ‘Seinfeld’ (television series) only with much nicer employees," Zillow reports. The restaurant made a cameo on the Zillow Blog.

Company news:
Prudential feeds Propsmart, Zillow
Keller Williams sending listings to Zillow
Zindex: Home values drop 7.7% year-over-year
Blog values Zillow at $225 million
Homes.com shares listings with Zillow

Click here to view more Tech Profile articles.

Information provided by Amanda Hoffman, Zillow spokeswoman, and compiled by Poojar Kumar, Inman News.


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