Zillow revenue tops $1B in 2017

Premier Agent earnings rose 26% year-over-year

Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff (Credit: Pixabay, Wikimedia Commons, Twitter)
Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff (Credit: Pixabay, Wikimedia Commons, Twitter)

Listings giant Zillow Group generated more than $1 billion in 2017 revenue — cracking the billion-dollar mark for the first time.

Boosted by agent advertising dollars, Zillow said last year’s revenue jumped 27 percent to $1.077 billion. Revenue from Premier Agent — which accounted for 70 percent of the company’s annual revenue — jumped 26 percent to $761.6 million. The Seattle-based company had a net loss of $94 million.

“We’re in growth mode,” CEO Spencer Rascoff said during an earnings call Thursday. “The market opportunity in front of us remains massive.”

In 2017, Zillow changed the pricing for Premier Agent to an auction-based model. (In New York, for example, that’s meant agents pay more to advertise.) Zillow said the number of Premier Agents nationwide spending more than $5,000 per month grew 70 percent compared to 2016.

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In New York, StreetEasy has faced pushback from some agents over the advertising program. Over the past few months, however, a growing number of the city’s top firms have jumped on the bandwagon via Premier Broker, a corporate version of the program.

On Thursday, Zillow also launched a seventh consumer-facing brand dubbed Out East, which is focused on the Hamptons. The new portal replaces Hamptons Real Estate Online (HREO), which it acquired last year for an undisclosed amount.

Rascoff said Zillow is focused on geographical expansion, but it isn’t likely to roll out additional local portals. “Will you see another brand in Boston or Miami anytime soon?” he said. “Unlikely.”

“The Hamptons are definitely a unique opportunity,” he added, noting the total value of homes in the Hamptons is around $200 billion. “The market size is huge.”

As for international growth? It’s a “distinct possibility,” Rascoff said. “I don’t have anything specific to announce right now.”