Side taps Zillow alum as first president

Stephen Capezza joins white-label brokerage startup to drive national growth

Side's CEO Guy Gal and newly appointed president Stephen Capezza (Getty, Side)
Side's CEO Guy Gal and newly appointed president Stephen Capezza (Getty, Side)

Side, the six-year-old startup that provides white-label services for brokerage teams, has tapped a Zillow veteran to drive national growth as its first president, the company told The Real Deal.

Stephen Capezza is joining the firm after nearly eight years at Zillow, where he held a variety of senior sales positions, including overseeing sales for the company’s cash cow agent-advertising program, Premier Agent, which was used by 150,000 agents and generates $1.2 billion revenue annually. Prior to Zillow, he was at Trulia, which was acquired by Zillow in 2015.

Side is headquartered in San Francisco, but Capezza will be based in New York City. A key mandate for him will be national growth, Guy Gal, CEO and co-founder of Side, said in an interview.

“At a traditional brokerage, a president is typically a glorified recruiter. That is not why we hired Stephen Capezza as president,” Gal said. “He is serving more so in the capacity of running a tech company, with driving operations in a day-to-day role.”

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In an interview, Capezza said he’d scale growth for the long term, not just for short-term victories.

Side was embraced by venture capitalists when it launched in 2017 with a business model where it offered its proprietary technology to handle agent teams’ back office operations. The company now works with over 500 agent teams across the country, and was most recently valued at $2.5 billion after a June 2021 funding round.

The company has managed to lure some top brokers across the country, including the New York and Miami-based Alexander Team, which defected from Douglas Elliman in June; Ben Bacal, who left Rodeo Realty in 2019; and Meital Taub, who left First Team/Christie’s International Real Estate in November.

This year, Side announced other C-suite hires, including Michelle Denogean as chief marketing officer and Carmine Napolitano as chief financial officer.

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