Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff appeared this week on Bloomberg TV, declaring that the housing market is “back” and noting that some markets like San Francisco are seeing values skyrocket to unstainable “bubble-licious” levels.
But what caught my ear was Rascoff’s comments, yet again, on the potential challenges facing discount brokerages such as Redfin.
“For most people, buying a home is very infrequent, very expensive, very emotional and highly complex, so they typically need a real estate practitioner, a professional, to help them through the transaction,” he said.
Asked specifically about competition with Redfin and others, Rascoff stressed the differences in the two business models. “We sell ads, not houses,” he said.
Echoing comments made last year at the TechNW event in Seattle, Rascoff noted that “consumers don’t respond” to the message from discount brokerages “because it is too important of a transaction.” He added that it is very difficult for “discount brokerages to gain share” and that they will have a tough go of it.
Zillow’s stock remains near an all-time high, trading at just above $52 per share. That gives the company, which went public at $20 per share in July 2011, a market value of $1.77 billion.
You can watch the full interview here.