To further develop its relationship with real estate brokerages, real estate marketplace Zillow Inc. has added another industry vet to its team: Chris Crocker, former regional vice president at Realogy subsidiary NRT LLC, the largest brokerage in the U.S.

Crocker will join Zillow’s industry relations team as vice president of strategic partnerships, where he will focus on cultivating relationships with brokerages and help with product development.

From 2004 to 2011 at NRT, Crocker managed the day-to-day operations and marketing for NRT-owned Coldwell Banker Real Estate "stores" in the Southwest, including more than 100 branches with more than 6,000 agents.

Chris Crocker

Immediately before joining Zillow, Crocker did a stint as vice president of operations at Equator LLC, a software-as-a-service provider that helps loan servicers manage transactions like foreclosures and short sales.

He has also served on the board of directors and the strategic planning and finance committee for the California Association of Realtors.

"Chris’ industry experience will advance Zillow’s goal of creating strong partnerships with real estate brokerages across the country as well as help improve Zillow’s product development initiatives," said Spencer Rascoff, Zillow CEO, in a statement.

"As the leader in mobile real estate and software tools for agents, Zillow has a unique advantage to partner with agents and brokers to help them thrive in the new economy," Crocker said in a statement. "I’m excited to help Zillow expand our products and programs that benefit consumers, agents and brokers."

Crocker joins a growing industry relations team at Zillow. In February, Zillow hired Bob Bemis from his CEO position at the Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Services, one of the largest MLSs in the U.S., to be vice president of partner relations. A month later, Zillow added real estate broker and blogger Jay Thompson as director of industry outreach and social media.

Other members of the partner relations team include Brad Andersohn, whom Zillow hired in 2010 when he was community manager at the online real estate professional network ActiveRain Corp. Sara Bonert, vice president of broker services and Andrew Wild, director of brokerage sales, round out Zillow’s partner relations team.

Relationships with brokerages are becoming increasingly important for portals like Zillow as listing distribution firms like Point2 and ListHub tighten their data policies and others in the industry challenge the accuracy of their listings.

In November, Zillow announced that 48 brokerages now participate in its Zillow Pro for Brokers program, which, in exchange for a direct listing feed, have their visibility on the portal enhanced.

And last July, Bemis caused a minor stir when he sent a note directly to 50 of the 200 MLSs Zillow gets data from via ListHub requesting direct listing feeds, citing accuracy as a goal.

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