Zillow's 'social CEO' sounds off on Twitter, company's future

Inman News

Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff has had quite a year.

Zillow signed agreements in 2012 to acquire four companies (RentJuice, Buyfolio, Mortech and Hotpads) and at the end of the third quarter had 508 full-time employees, up 54 percent from a year ago.

The nation's most-visited real estate website also boosted the number of "Premier Agent" advertising subscribers by 80 percent (to 26,703 as of Sept. 30), unleashed a free online foreclosure database, and launched its first national TV ad campaign.

To help fuel this growth, last year Zillow pulled off a $75.7 million initial public offering -- helping bring back the market for IPOs in the process. The company recently raised another $156.7 million in a secondary offering that closed Sept. 24.

Rascoff, 36, was named to Fortune Magazine's "40 hottest rising business stars under 40."

He's been called a "social CEO." He writes a blog, contributes to LinkedIn's "influencer" program, and Tweets frequently. 

So more than a few industry leaders will be interested to hear what Rascoff has to say about the future, when he takes the stage as a featured speaker at Real Estate Connect New York City, which takes place Jan. 16-18 at the Grand Hyatt New York.

Rascoff says Twitter has become one of his everyday tools.

"It's where the conversation is happening," he said. "I can reach tens of thousands of people with a few key strokes." Three monitors sit on his work desk, he said -- one for "real work," another for email, and the third for Twitter.

"It's time-consuming," Rascoff said of monitoring and being active on Twitter everyday, but it's where he can see "what impressions people are promulgating about Zillow."

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