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Zillow Lays off 25% of Workforce

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It’s true, I’ve just been informed and have confirmed that Zillow has laid off 25% of its staff. This comes on the heels of a rough week already including Redfin, and various other tech startups. Rich Barton says this is preventative:

The unprecedented economic events that are playing out on a global stage began in our own industry and have made a prolonged recession likely, in our judgment. We are a young company that is not yet making a profit. Despite having sizeable cash reserves, we deemed the responsible course was to meaningfully reduce expenses, so that Zillow emerges from the other side of the recession in a very strong position, even if the recession lasts many years.

We’re being told that for obvious reasons the Zillow family will keep intimate details inhouse as this is a difficult time for the associates involved- we’ll bring you the latest as we get it. Our thoughts and prayers are with anyone struggling during this difficult time.

Benn Rosales is the Founder and CEO of The American Genius (AG), national news network for tech and entrepreneurs, proudly celebrating 10 years in publishing, recently ranked as the #5 startup in Austin. Before founding AG, he founded one of the first digital media strategy firms in the nation and also acquired several other firms. His resume prior includes roles at Apple and Kroger Foods, specializing in marketing, communications, and technology integration. He is a recipient of the Statesman Texas Social Media Award and is an Inman Innovator Award winner. He has consulted for numerous startups (both early- and late-stage), has built partnerships and bridges between tech recruiters and the best tech talent in the industry, and is well known for organizing the digital community through popular monthly networking events. Benn does not venture into the spotlight often, rather believes his biggest accomplishments are the talent he recruits, develops, and gives all credit to those he's empowered.

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Ben Goheen

    October 17, 2008 at 1:58 pm

    It all seems inevitable in the current market. Redfin doesn’t cover my market so I can’t say I’ve ever used it. Zillow had a lot of publicity but received a ton of criticism from Realtors and appraisers for the inaccuracy of zestimates.

    I’ve personally found much more value in Trulia and will be sad if the same happens to them. I used many of their products, some with better success than others. The Publisher Platform was an incredible free national home search tool. The guys who helped integrate it with my site were very patient and worked hard to make it perfect – couldn’t have been happier with the service. When I was one of the first people to use Trulia Pro I got a phone call and email from the co-founder saying ‘thanks.’ When I decided to stop using it I got a phone call (not just a canned email) from a rep asking for feedback so they can improve the service. So from my experience Trulia seems to have customer service nailed down. Is that part of the reason Zillow and Redfin had to lay off 25%, probably not. But it sure wouldn’t hurt them to look at Trulia and take some notes.

  2. Jay Thompson

    October 17, 2008 at 2:03 pm

    Everyone I’ve met from Zillow has been a exceptional — smart, dedicated and just a good person. I wish those that have to leave, and those still there, all the best.

  3. Jim Duncan

    October 17, 2008 at 2:15 pm

    I echo the above sentiments – my thoughts and prayers are with those at Zillow and elsewhere through these times.

    Viability aside, these companies and the people in their employ, have helped to redefine our industry. For that, thank you.

  4. Jonathan Bentz

    October 17, 2008 at 2:45 pm

    Never good news to hear a company has to lay off a large number of people like Zillow had to. Hopefully they can come out of this stronger as a company and remain in a good position for future success.

    As Jim Duncan said, these people have helped redefine the RE industry and likely gained invaluable experience in marketing on the internet. Success will no doubt follow the people who come out of the woodwork at Zillow.

  5. Debbie Small

    October 17, 2008 at 6:19 pm

    Sorry to hear this. I was just beginning to feel more comfortable with Zillow too.

  6. Glenn fm Naples

    October 18, 2008 at 5:44 am

    My hopes and prayers are with those individuals losing their jobs at Zillow.

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Austin

Austin tops the list of best places to buy a home

When looking to buy a home, taking the long view is important before making such a huge investment – where are the best places to make that commitment?

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Looking at the bigger picture

(REALUOSO.COM) – Let us first express that although we are completely biased about Texas (we’re headquartered here, I personally grew up here), the data is not – Texas is the best. That’s a scientific fact. There’s a running joke in Austin that if there is a list of “best places to [anything],” we’re on it, and the joke causes eye rolls instead of humility (we’re sore winners and sore losers in this town).

That said, SelfStorage.com dug into the data and determined that the top 12 places to buy a home are currently Texas and North Carolina (and Portland, I guess you’re okay too or whatever).

They examined the nerdiest of numbers from the compound annual growth rate in inflation-adjusted GDP to cost premium, affordability, taxes, job growth, and housing availability.

“Buying a house is a big decision and a big commitment,” the company notes. “Although U.S. home prices have risen in the long term, the last decade has shown that path is sometimes full of twists, turns, dizzying heights and steep, abrupt falls. Today, home prices are stabilizing and increasing in most areas of the U.S.”

Click here to continue reading the list of the 12 best places to buy a home…

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Housing News

Average age of houses on the rise, so is it now better or worse to buy new?

With aging housing in America, are first-time buyers better off buying new or existing homes? The average age of a home is rising, as is the price of new housing, so a shift could be upon us.

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aging housing inventory

The average home age is higher than ever

(REALUOSO.COM) – In a survey from the Department of Housing and Urban Development American Housing Survey (AHS), the median age of homes in the United States was 35 years old. In Texas, homes are a bit younger with the median age between 19 – 29 years. The northeast has the oldest homes, with the median age between 50 – 61 years. In 1985, the median age of a home was only 23 years.

With more houses around 40 years old, the National Association of Realtors asserts that homeowners will have to undertake remodeling and renovation projects before selling unless the home is sold as-is, in which case the buyer will be responsible to update their new residence. Even homeowners who aren’t selling will need to consider remodeling for structural and aesthetic reasons.

Prices of new homes on the rise

Newer homes cost more than they used to. The price differential between new homes and older homes has increased from 10 percent traditionally to around 37 percent in 2014. This is due to rising construction costs, scarcity of lots, and a low inventory of new homes that doesn’t meet the demand.

Click here to continue reading this story…

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Housing News

Are Realtors the real loser in the fight between Zillow Group and Move, Inc.?

The last year has been one of dramatic and rapid change in the real estate tech sector, but Realtors are vulnerable, and we’re worried.

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Why Realtors are vulnerable to these rapid changes

(REALUOSO.COM) – Corporate warfare demands headlines in every industry, but in the real estate tech sector, a storm has been brewing for years, which in the last year has come to a head. Zillow Group and Move, Inc. (which is owned by News Corp. and operates ListHub, Realtor.com, TopProducer, and other brands) have been competing for a decade now, and the race has appeared to be an aggressive yet polite boxing match. Last year, the gloves came off, and now, they’ve drawn swords and appear to want blood.

Note: We’ll let you decide which company plays which role in the image above.

So how then, does any of this make Realtors the victims of this sword fight? Let’s get everyone up to speed, and then we’ll discuss.

1. Zillow poaches top talent, Move/NAR sues

It all started last year when the gloves came off – Move’s Chief Strategy Officer (who was also Realtor.com’s President), Errol Samuelson jumped ship and joined Zillow on the same day he phoned in his resignation without notice. He left under questionable circumstances, which has led to a lengthy legal battle (wherein Move and NAR have sued Zillow and Samuelson over allegations of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and misappropriation of trade secrets), with the most recent motion being for contempt, which a judge granted to Move/NAR after the mysterious “Samuelson Memo” surfaced.

Salt was added to the wound when Move awarded Samuelson’s job to Move veteran, Curt Beardsley, who days after Samuelson left, also defected to Zillow. This too led to a lawsuit, with allegations including breach of contract, violation of corporations code, illegal dumping of stocks, and Move has sought restitution. These charges are extremely serious, but demanded slightly less attention than the ongoing lawsuit against Samuelson.

2. Two major media brands emerge

Last fall, the News Corp. acquisition of Move, Inc. was given the green light by the feds, and this month, Zillow finalized their acquisition of Trulia.

…Click here to continue reading this story…

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