Newsmakers 2011: Spencer Rascoff lifts Zillow to new heights with a personal touch

Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff at home with his son

Spencer Rascoff successfully guided Zillow to a blockbuster initial public offering in July, a significant milestone for the fast-growing online real estate company. And while that achievement alone would have warranted Rascoff’s inclusion as a GeekWire 2011 Newsmaker, it’s the little stuff that’s most impressive about the 36-year-old Internet executive.

On Monday, Rascoff posted this message on his Twitter account:

“Responding to a high schooler who emailed me asking about @Zillow  strategy for a school assignment.”

You’d think that the CEO of a publicly-traded company — especially one who welcomed a new daughter on Labor Day weekend — wouldn’t have time to respond to high school students about the intricacies of Zillow.

But that’s just Rascoff’s style. He’s been described as one of the hardest working men in Seattle technology. The former executive at Hotwire and Expedia routinely answers questions in the Zillow forums, helping real estate agents and consumers better understand how to get the most out of the site.

Rascoff’s attention to detail is paying off. There were almost too many major milestones to count for Zillow in 2011.

Consider this: The company turned its first profit; purchased its first companies (Postlets in April and Diverse Solutions in November); topped 25 million monthly unique visitors; and is on pace to more than double revenue this year.

Rascoff and team Zillow ringing the opening bell on Nasdaq

Zillow is also now the second most visited online real estate Web site in the country, overtaking Realtor.com last month, according to Hitwise. Amid all of the changes, Zillow moved to more spacious digs in downtown Seattle.

It’s certainly been a busy year for Zillow. Rascoff, who took over the CEO reins from co-founder Rich Barton last year, has lifted the company to new heights through a very personal touch.

As an example, here’s his most recent Tweet, responding to a newcomer who just discovered Zillow.

“…Welcome to @zillow! Better late than never.”

Newsmakers at the GeekWire Gala

We’ll be recognizing more than 20 Newsmakers of 2011 during the GeekWire Gala, Dec. 8 at the Great Hall at Seattle’s Union Station. We’ll introduce a new Newsmaker every weekday leading up to the big event.

The night is also a celebration of “Geeks who Give Back,” recognized in a special GeekWire 2012 Calendar that will be given to attendees, with a share of sponsorship proceeds going to the Child’s Play charity.

Tickets are available here for the event.

Thanks to our sponsors Zillow, Bing, Filter, Facebook and Barokas PR for helping to make this special evening possible.

Contact Rebecca Lovell, rebecca@geekwire.com, for sponsorship opportunities.

  • http://twitter.com/spencerrascoff Spencer Rascoff

    Looking forward to the Geekwire Gala!

    • johnhcook

      Me too. We’ll be there, and we’ve got some fun surprises in store :)

  • http://visumrealestategroup.com Seattle Condos

    Congrats, Zillow for becoming the second most visited online real estate Web site in the country!