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Side, a real estate technology company that provides support for agents and teams who want their own consumer-facing brands, announced Tuesday that it has hired a former Zillow executive to serve as company president.
Stephen Capezza will serve as the first president of Side, which has only just now created the role. In a statement, Side said Capezza’s new job will see him drive the company’s “continued growth” as it “pursues its mission to transform the best real estate professionals into companies that are the service leaders in their communities.”
Side CEO Guy Gal added in the statement that Capezza “is the exact right person to help guide Side through the next phase of our growth.”
“He has significant industry experience, and a deep understanding of the specific needs of the top-producing agents and teams we partner with at Side,” Gal added. “I am excited to work with Steve to help thousands more top-producing agents and teams become their own companies in the coming years.”
Capezza most recently worked at Zillow, where he finished his tenure as a senior vice president of business operations. Capezza’s responsibilities included overseeing Zillow’s Premier Agent lead generation program, according to Tuesday’s statement. Capezza spent a total of nearly eight years at Zillow.
Prior to joining Zillow, Capezza worked at Trulia and real estate marketing firm Z57.
Capezza joins Side at a pivotal time for the company. Founded in 2017, Side grew rapidly and ultimately achieved unicorn status — or, a $1 billion valuation — in early 2021. The company’s pitch is that it allows top-performing agents and teams to form their own brands, while Side handles the technology and back office side of the business for them.
However, Side has also not avoided the widespread hardship that swept the real estate industry in 2022 as interest rates rose and tamped down demand for housing. In June, Side laid off about 10 percent of its workforce. It carried out another round of layoffs in October. The cuts were among the many thousands that have taken place across the broader real estate sector over the last year.
Cuts notwithstanding, Tuesday’s statement on Capezza notes that in 2022 Side also appointed Michelle Denogean as chief marketing officer and Carmine “CJ” Napolitano as chief financial officer. They, along with Capezza, are now tasked with guiding Side during one of the most challenging periods for the real estate industry in recent memory.
For his part Capezza expressed optimism Tuesday, arguing that “Side’s platform is the future of brokerage.”
“I’m thrilled to play a role in expanding this unique model,” he continued in the statement, “so that even more agents, teams, and independent brokers across the country can take ownership of their business and careers.”