More shakeups at StreetEasy as public face Sofia Song departs

New York /
Dec.December 16, 2013 12:52 PM

Major shifts continue at StreetEasy since the company was acquired by listings giant Zillow. On Friday, the company’s longtime head of research and communications, Sofia Song, left the firm.

She is the third high-level executive to be pushed aside or leave in the four months since Zillow paid $50 million for the city’s leading residential listings website.

Before Song, the real estate community was shocked when Michael Smith, company co-founder and CEO, was replaced in September with Susan Daimler, the general manager of Zillow New York, which includes StreetEasy; and around the same time Robin Allstadt, company chief operating officer, departed the firm. In addition, Zillow shuttered StreetEasy’s expansion websites in South Florida, Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia.

It was not clear where Song would end up. She did not respond to a request for comment. Two sources close to Song said she was not immediately joining another company.

Song was a popular voice for the firm, and for many in the public relations, journalism and real estate industries, she was the public face of the company. She joined StreetEasy in 2007.

“Sofia was on the front line of StreetEasy’s efforts to win over the [New York City] real estate market,” Jonathan Miller, CEO of appraisal and analysis firm Miller Samuel, said. “She was a data maven. I’ve long appreciated her efforts and her expertise will be missed, and she will be successful wherever she ends up.”

While Zillow has executed successful acquisitions in the past, the changeover period is often rocky, as with any merger, Miller said.

“When a big firm — Zillow — takes over a little firm — StreetEasy — the highest brand risk is the transition period they are going through right now,” he said.

Last week, Song notified reporters through emails and conversations at the firm’s holiday party Dec. 11 at Umami Burger in the West Village that Lauren Riefflin would replace her in public relations matters, but did not divulge that she intended to leave the company.

A spokesperson for Zillow said the firm does not comment on employee matters, but added, “Sofia’s contributions to StreetEasy over the past six years have been instrumental in building the company into the real estate powerhouse that it is today. We wish her all the best.”

All eyes are now on the developers behind StreetEasy, insiders said, as programmers are in high demand in New York City.


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