Zillow announced today that Errol Samuelson will be joining the company as its Chief Industry Development Officer. He’ll be reporting directly to CEO Spencer Rascoff, and will be charged with forging partnerships between Zillow and players in the real estate industry, including brokerages and Multiple Listing Services.
Samuelson will also provide executive oversight on Zillow’s business-to-business products, including Diverse Solutions and AgentFolio.
“We’re thrilled for Errol to join the Zillow family. We’ve long admired Errol for his leadership as well as his perspective and approach in advocating on behalf of the real estate industry to embrace and leverage evolving technology and times,” Rascoff said in a press release. “We place tremendous value on fostering great partnerships and building innovative products that support our industry partners, and Errol is the right person to lead this new role.”
It’s a big move for Samuelson, who was the Chairman of Realtor.com, one of Zillow’s major competitors in the real estate space. In his time as Chairman, Samuelson pushed for greater adoption of new technology, even as some members of the industry were angered by his efforts.
In his new role at Zillow, Samuelson will be charged with the tough job of brokering agreements between the company and other parties that frequently consider themselves at odds with the Seattle-based real estate company. It’s a tough job, but Samuelson is saying that he wants to ensure that Zillow and its partners can get along.
“We’re in the midst of an exciting era in real estate, and I look forward to working with Zillow and the real estate industry to ensure that Zillow is the absolute best partner it can be,” Samuelson said. “My first priority will be to listen, and incorporate the industry’s feedback to evolve Zillow’s technology and partnership programs.”
Samuelson will be taking over those responsibilities from Greg Schwartz, Zillow’s Chief Revenue Officer, who will remain at the company, and will be in charge of Zillow’s other industry-related services.
Bob Bemis, who joined Zillow as its Vice President of Partner Relations in 2012 and was also charged with trying to improve relations between Zillow and other parts of the real estate industry, lasted only a year and a half in the role, leaving in August of last year.
Trulia made a similar hire last month, bringing on John Whitney, the former Vice President of Industry Relations for online listing aggregator ListHub, as its Director of Business Development for its Industry Services group.