After more than three years at Trulia as Chief Economist, Dr. Jed Kolko has announced that later this spring, he will be leaving Trulia, and says that he hasn’t decided upon his next move, but will be “catching [his] breath after this amazing ride ends.”
In a personal note emailed out today, he praises Trulia, asserts that he has the support of Trulia leadership (and Zillow’s leadership, who recently acquired Trulia), and alludes to it being his decision.
“From day one, Trulia’s leaders have encouraged me and the rest of the Trends team to call it like we see it and run as fast we can,” Dr. Kolko states. “I’ve gotten to work with dedicated, creative colleagues who pushed me out of my comfort zone and let me push them out of theirs. The best part of my job has been being able to work with and learn from smart reporters who are passionate about the same issues that I am. My decision to leave was a tough one, especially now that we are part of a company I’ve long admired, but made easier for me by the understanding and support of both the Zillow and Trulia leadership.”
So what of the Trulia Trends team?
Dr. Kolko notes that the Trulia Trends team will remain Trulia’s voice on the housing market, and that his colleagues will continue writing and talking about real estate, “uncovering serious trends and fun insights on the Trends blog.”
What fascinated us is how Dr. Kolko’s email addressed Zillow. “Even as part of the same parent company, my team will stay friendly rivals with Zillow. They’ll continue to come up with research that will be different from Zillow’s and sometimes will kick their butts. (Yes, they know I wrote that.)”
He concludes, “I just hope that whatever I do next, like my time here at Trulia, turns out to be even better than I ever imagined. Thank you for having been part of it.”
A personal note to Dr. Kolko
It is extremely rare that we write about personnel changes, whether coming or going, unless it indicates something broader like a pending IPO or a fracturing company (both of which may impact your bottom line). We have reached out to Zillow directly to ask if they care to add any context – what does this departure have to do with the Zillow acquisition of Trulia, how will it impact it, are they seeking a replacement, and how will they address continuity? This story will be updated as they provide comment.
So why write about Dr. Kolko’s departure? Simple. We’re fans. There, I said it. There are very few people in the industry with his level of insight, foresight, and ingenuity. During his tenure at Trulia, we looked to him for clarity, and an agenda-free look at the numbers as he developed out new ways to look at complex data. He was never stumped by any of our questions (which is not always the case with economists), and he has one hell of a sense of humor.
Dr. Kolko, it is our hope that you remain in the housing tech industry so that our paths remain intertwined. You’ve always taken one of the most thoughtful and thorough looks at a very complicated sector, and we are grateful for your being such an amazing resource to us all. Good luck, and don’t go far – Redfin, maybe? They’re looking IPO-ish these days!