Zillow keeps the focus on the ‘big pie’: audience

Leading listings portal makes all-out push for growth

Future-Proof: Navigate Threats, Seize Opportunities at ICNY 2018 | Jan 22-26 at the Marriott Marquis, Times Square, New York

How did Zillow, the operator of the nation's most visited real estate portal, grow revenue by 69 percent in one year? It doesn't hurt that the housing recovery helped boost traffic to the firm's sites by 66 percent from a year ago in July, with 61 million unique visitors using mobile devices and the Web in July. But the Seattle-based website operator was not counting on the resurgence of interest in real estate alone to drive growth. During the second quarter, Zillow boosted spending on sales and marketing by 163 percent from a year ago, to $32.9 million. That's about 70 cents of every dollar that came in the door in April, May and June -- a record $46.9 million. Zillow's investment in brand advertising included the launch of a second TV spot and a national TV ad run in June, part of its first advertising campaign, "Find Your Way Home." The company's investment in growth, plus a one-time $7.1 million expense -- an "acceleration of share-based compensation expense ... r...