The Real Deal New York

No Zestimate for Zillow CEO’s pay

Company's median employee pay in 2017 was $121,790
By E.B. Solomont |
Research by Christian Bautista
April 12, 2018 09:00AM

Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff

Lucky for Spencer Rascoff, Zillow Group isn’t relying on a Zestimate to calculate his paycheck.

The CEO of the Seattle-based listings giant pocketed $7.9 million in 2017, including a base salary of $717,286, according to regulatory filings. That’s up from $3.5 million in total earnings in 2016. Rascoff, 42, earned a much-heftier $16.9 million in 2015 — but that year’s compensation included stock options that vest over seven years. It was also the year Zillow closed on its acquisition of Trulia for $2.5 billion in stock.

The company, which owns New York City listings service StreetEasy, pulled in a record $1.077 billion worth of revenue in 2017 — up 27 percent year-over-year.

“We’re in growth mode,” Rascoff said during a Feb. 8 earnings call. “The market opportunity in front of us remains massive.” Revenue from the company’s controversial Premier Agent advertising program — which StreetEasy debuted last year — jumped 26 percent year-over-year to $761.6 million in 2017.

But Rascoff isn’t the only one with a happy bank account. Zillow’s CEO-to-worker pay ratio is 65 to 1, with the median employee taking home $121,790 a year, according to filings.

At Realogy — the largest brokerage conglomerate in the country, the CEO-to-employee ratio was far higher at 1:159.

Former CEO Richard Smith — who was succeeded by Ryan Schneider on Jan. 1 — took home $9.1 million in 2017 while the median employee salary was $57,295.

Douglas Elliman Chairman Howard Lorber, meanwhile, pocketed $10.6 million in 2017, according to filings for the firm’s parent company, Vector Group. The CEO-to-employee ratio there was 1:153, with the median employee salary coming in at $69,597 in 2017.

Vornado Realty Trust CEO Steve Roth, another well-paid real estate executive, took home $10.5 million in 2017, according to filings. The median salary for Vornado employees was $75,320 last year.

In 2016, Rascoff purchased an estate in Los Angeles for nearly $20 million — $1.6 million higher than the Zillow Zestimate.