Zillow cut the ribbon Wednesday on a new southwest hub that will serve as the operations center for its year-old Zillow Offers platform. The 25,000-square-foot Scottsdale office currently employs 140 people, but Zillow plans to hire an additional 160 later this year.
When Zillow Offers, the company’s direct-to-consumer home buying and selling platform, launched in Phoenix last April the company was running all operations out of co-working space in downtown Phoenix.
The new office serves as a testament to how briskly Zillow Offers has grown – to a place where an offer is requested every 5 minutes – according to Joshua Swift, senior vice president of acquisitions and operations.
“What you’re seeing is the result of the rapid expansion across the country of us trying to offer Zillow Offers to that many more consumers,” Swift told Inman. “We’ve seen huge consumer demand at the top of the funnel of people requesting offers.”
“Because we’re seeing such strong consumer demand, we’re trying to grow this thing as fast as possible,” Swift added. “Being here locally in Phoenix and being able to hire that talent so quickly, we’re able to keep up with that demand and expand it across the country.”
The jobs Zillow is looking to fill include recruiters, corporate counsel, human resources, project coordinators, analysts, loan originations, business operations and employee trainers. Positions range from entry level to director, and not all positions require a college education.
There’s no specific internal mandate to hire locally, but Swift told Inman that there won’t be much of a need for Zillow to go outside of the Phoenix area that’s already so deep with real estate talent.
“There’s a deep pool of real estate talent in the area that have deep expertise,” Swift said. “There’s really no need for us to really go much outside of Phoenix to find that local real estate operations talent.”
The new operations hub feels more like a modern tech space than an investment or operations center, according to Swift, who said it has all of the amenities you would think of in a,“trendy, tech-type office.”
The office has a “home feel” so it’s decorated to feel like you’re working in a home. The office is broken down into three different sections that are representative of different neighborhoods in the Phoenix area. There’s also collaborative space, recreational areas and training areas.
“It’s kind of a metaphor for the meshing that we’ve done of this operations-centric Zillow Offers with the tech culture of Zillow,” Swift said. “What we’ve done here is really mesh the two together and that’s reflected in the style, decor and layout of the office.”
Zillow is just one company inside the more than 550,000 square-foot, “Galleria Corporate Center,” a re-purposed shopping mall that’s been turned into office space in the heart of downtown Scottsdale. Zillow is just one tenant among others including Yelp and Weebly.
Swift said Zillow could continue to expand within the space if needed.
The space is also just two miles down the road from iBuyer rival Opendoor’s Scottsdale office.
The new office still pales in comparison to Zillow’s presence at its headquarters in Seattle where it currently boasts approximately 2,000 employees, according to a Zillow spokesperson.
The ribbon cutting was well-attended by Arizona elected officials, including Governor Doug Ducey.
“Arizona wants to be the place where these technologies come to evolve and flourish,” Ducey said in a statement. “I thank Zillow Group for their investment in our state and look forward to growing our 21st-century economy together.”
Zillow isn’t currently receiving any tax incentives for opening the new hub in the Phoenix area, but it’s something the company is continuing to discuss with the governor’s office and the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, Swift said.
“If you look at Phoenix as a whole, they’re very pro-business growth,” Swift said. “Governor Ducey’s made a lot of new additions recently [that are] pro-business and specifically around the tech industry as a whole.”
Zillow Offers has been live for nearly a year and it’s grown to eight markets since it first launched in Phoenix — expanding into Las Vegas, Atlanta, Denver, Charlotte, Raleigh, Houston and Riverside — and it plans to be in 14 by the fall of this year.
From the time it launched to the end of 2018, the company purchased 686 homes and sold 177 of them. The platform hasn’t been without its critics, however, with many in the industry worried about the growing presence of the real estate giant’s move deeper into the real estate space.