Zillow to grow workforce by 40% in 2021

Listing giant was one of first to let employees WFH indefinitely

Zillow CEO Richard Barton (iStock, Getty)
Zillow CEO Richard Barton (iStock, Getty)

Zillow is staffing up to take on the white-hot housing market.

The listing giant and iBuyer said it plans to hire 2,000 employees this year — increasing its remote and in-person workforce of around 5,500 by 40 percent.

Despite volatility in 2020, the company said the hiring was sparked by “a year of impressive growth across the business and a historic year in the real estate industry.” The new jobs will be in Zillow’s tech, mortgage, product and software development departments.

After weathering several bleak months last spring, Zillow is among the real estate companies benefitting from the surging housing market — including casual, online home shopping.

The company reported 9.6 billion visits to its mobile apps and websites in 2020, an increase of 1.5 billion visits from 2019. Although it suspended its instant home-buying program last spring, it has since resumed operations.

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Zillow's Dan Spaulding and Rich Barton (Images via Zillow)
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Zillow's employees can work remotely forever
Housing sale-to-list price ratio nears 100% in February. (Unsplash)
Home sale prices near 100% of asking prices

Across industries, job growth is gaining momentum, thanks to the vaccine rollout and gradual reopening of businesses. In February, the U.S. economy added 379,000 jobs and unemployment fell to 6.2 percent, according to the Labor Department.

Last spring, Zillow cut costs by 25 percent but avoided mass layoffs. In July, it became one of the first companies to allow most of its employees to keep working from home indefinitely.

Zillow said thanks to its “Distributed Workforce Model,” it hired close to 1,500 employees since March 2020, or 28 percent of its current workforce.

In recent months, Zillow has been in rebuilding mode after suspending its iBuying program. It finished the year with a record $46 million in profits during the fourth quarter of 2020. For the full year, its revenue grew 22 percent to $33 billion and losses narrowed to $162 million from $305 million in 2019.