obama-headshotGet your real estate questions ready. President Barack Obama wants to hear from you, and he’s turning to Zillow to connect with home buyers, sellers and renters.

In a first-of-its-kind move, President Obama plans to sit down with Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff and talk real estate, fielding questions online from Americans about all their concerns to buying, selling or renting homes.

The event, which will be live streamed at 10 a.m. on Wednesday via Yahoo, is titled: Zillow Presents: A Better Bargain for Responsible Homeowners: President Obama Answers Your Questions.

The event will take place the day after President Obama’s housing policy speech in Phoenix. Rascoff will moderate the discussion, taking questions via #AskObamaHousing. Users also can submit a video question to the president via YouTube, Instagram or Vine.

Spencer Rascoff
Spencer Rascoff

Zillow declined to offer details on the planning process of the event, or how it came about. But the company last year hosted a Google+ Hangout with Housing Secretary Shaun Donovan.

But the prez is an entirely different ballgame, and this appears to be a huge opportunity for Zillow to elevate its brand even more. (You may recall it is in the midst of a huge national TV ad campaign).

Zillow’s shares soared this morning, whether or not on this news, we do not know. However, the company just topped $93 per share. That means Zillow, which went public at $20 per share in July 2011, is now valued at more than $3.2 billion.

“I’m thrilled for Zillow to host this discussion and help connect U.S. homeowners and renters with the President for a better understanding of how housing policy can impact their future,” said Rascoff in a statement. “Zillow exists to help homeowners, renters and prospective buyers make smarter choices about real estate. As the President tours the country talking about economic policy, and discusses housing in particular this week, this is an apt time for consumers to ask the questions that are important to them. We are excited to be able to use social media to open this virtual roundtable to Americans across the country.”

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  • EdwardSnowden

    Q: Why does Zillow work with NSA to spy on Americans?

    • Guest

      Probably because they were legally required to, like everyone else. Is this all going to fast for you?

  • Burrito Wrap!

    Since the Obama administration has been carefully ducking the question, I hope that Spencer Rascoff asks one question directly related to housing market. I would hope that he asks, flat out, whether President Obama plans on nominating Janet Yellen or Larry Summers for the Fed Chair.

    If he asks that question, and doesn’t get a response, I would hope that a second question is asked. I would hope that the second question would be how much impact does the selection of a particular Fed chair have in the overall housing market.

    • guest

      I don’t understand either of your questions. He’s not going to announce an appointment in advance. And trying to determine how much influence a particular Fed Chair has on overall Fed decisions is virtually impossible to answer, though one assumes it’s substantial. Generally speaking people tend to ask questions a President can and will answer, not ones they know in advance he can’t.

      • Burrito Wrap!

        A couple points, you stated that, “how much influence a particular Fed Chair has on overall Fed decisions is virtually impossible to answer”.

        I disagree with that. Recent history has shown that both Greenspan and Paul Volcker had a huge amount of personal influence on Fed decisions – and that’s not even mentioning our current Fed Chairman, who was an academic who specialized on the Great Depression. Obviously the background of the Fed Chairman is important, and I don’t believe it is impossible to answer whether or not their backgrounds will play a role in how they make decisions.

        Volcker himself played a large role in Obama’s first run for President, and Obama praised Volcker’s personal toughness for raising interest rates back in the 1980s.

        Your second point. You said that, “Generally speaking people tend to ask questions a President can and will answer, not ones they know in advance he can’t.” I disagree with that also, it’s usually the non-answers to specific questions that are more memorable than the question themselves. Remember when Bush was asked, back in 2004, by an NPR guy what regrets or mistakes he had made in Iraq? Bush stumbled and couldn’t answer the question.

        Considering that the back and forth over Janet Yellen and Larry Summers has been reported in the press for some weeks now, it’s clear that there must be competing visions for the next Fed Chair within the administration.

        it’s clearly appropriate to ask a simple question as to whether or not the non-decison on the Fed Chair pick is having any impact on the housing market. If the economy weren’t doing well at the moment, it’s doubtful that there would be a debate.

        And, if the President were to be sitting down with financial journalists, the first question would probably be, “is the indecision on not naming the next Fed Chair having any role in the economy?”

        • guest

          You seem to have missed the “though one assumes it’s substantial”. The point isn’t that it’s not there, but rather that it’s not quantifiable and therefore no President would attempt do so.

  • Orange T-Shirt

    I hope he asks about these distressed properties in Detroit.

    I’ve read articles like this lately:


    What’s the point in even selling these? If the government were to buy any distressed properties, wouldn’t it make sense to buy these, pay the back taxes, and then tear the building down? Wouldn’t it be better to have this as a dirt field than as a vacant home?

  • http://www.extendedresults.com/ Patrick Husting

    Home ownership is at its lowest point since 1997 according to bloomberg. It could really be an inventory problem, but people don’t sell when they are under water. First Amazon and now Zillow. Can anyone guess what technology company is next? We need consumers to spend more and purchase homes. :o)

    Why is Zillow’s stock up? Feels like a bubble. 4,600+ P/E totally doesn’t make sense… RedFin’s technology and presentation is way better.

    • Guest

      Not necessarily bad. Far too many got in who should never have been there. More important would be trajectory after whatever new equilibrium is established. Oh, and some people are being forced out even if they’re underwater because certain banks are being less receptive to working out more flexible payments. Not sure what your Amazon and now Zillow comment is about? On the PE comment, you could make the same argument regarding Amazon. Unfortunately “markets can remain irrational a lot longer than you and I can remain solvent” applies.

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