Zillow

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Zillow Reviews

Updated September 4, 2014
Updated September 4, 2014
212 Reviews
4.2
212 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff
Spencer Rascoff
158 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • The work life balance is generally has gotten a lot better since the startup days (in 12 reviews)

  • Great benefit package, phenomenal colleagues, and lots of free food (in 21 reviews)


Cons
  • You are a telemarketer that has to cold call 100 real estate agents everyday who do not want to be called (in 8 reviews)

  • But I felt that trade off was worth it due to the great work life balance and company culture (in 5 reviews)

More Highlights

21 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews

Sort: Popular Rating Date
  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    You better enjoy calling people.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Inside Sales Consultant  in  Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Inside Sales Consultant in Seattle, WA

    I worked at Zillow full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Great benefits package. All of your medical is paid for, and they also give you an ORCA card so you can get downtown. Great atmosphere. They keep the kitchen stocked with good food, and you occasionally get free lunch from a catering company. Most of the people there are cool.

    Cons

    Their turnover rate is super high for inside sales, and they kinda dont like to talk about it. Of the 12 people in my training class, 1/2 of them quit within 2 months. We had a really great trainer, and we also had a really bad trainer. She would shush people like she was putting a niece in check, and I always wondered why none of her superiors ever addressed her on how unprofessional she was.

    They do give you free lunches often, but you pretty much eat them at your desk because they really frown on someone actually taking a lunch break. One of my fellow classmates was asked if he was ok because he took a 45 minute lunch once.

     They want you to be over 210 minutes on the phone each day which is arbitrary if your making sales. Ive seen and overheard plenty of top sales people barely pick up a phone all day or go over an hour on the phone. They do threaten to take away your inbound calls or emails if you dont meet your time quota, which will ultimately make it harder to make more sales.

    Everything is transparent so you can see peoples sales, minutes and call time anytime you want. They want people to be competitive and make that hot sale. Which is the opposite of what the CEO preaches. We were told to respect that we are asking for real estate agents hard earned money, but when they listen to your calls and critique you for not making a one call close, it makes you wonder what really is the quality of the relationship to the customer.

    Lastly, taking time off is not the best thing to do. It's highly frowned upon, because if your on vacation your not at your desk making sales. End of the month is especially a big NO NO. If your a top earner....your chances probably improve a little.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    They love to say how transparent they are.....but they really aren't. Be more real about your expectations with your incoming class. This job is an emotional roller coaster. When you sell your on a high, and when you ....it feels like a wasted day. If your not selling hot like some of the other salespeople, your gonna be critiqued for one thing or another.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 13 people found this helpful  

    Zillow is a great place to work, for a while.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Inside Sales Consultant  in  Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Inside Sales Consultant in Seattle, WA

    I worked at Zillow full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    There is a long list of positives. Great base salary, strong commission structure if you're a performer, excellent location, nice people, amazing benefits (including stocked snack-kitchen, occasional free lunch catering, company-paid ORCA card, stock options when hired and again upon receiving a good annual review, etc). They start you off with relatively easy sales goals to encourage you. The product works well for some clients. Potential for advancement, if you're a rock-star out of hundreds. Great Monday-through-Friday hours. They've recently announced the purchase of a major competitor, and overall I believe the company's future is bright.

    Cons

    Price points that change wildly - which often infuriates clients. General disregard for their paying customers (not in what they preach, but in their actions and how you're allowed to work with or help them when things aren't going well - which can be often). When their ad products aren't working, they'll blame the customer, then you. Massive turnover of salespeople - they want the top 20% and are more than willing to churn the bottom 80%. Often-changing (downward) commission structures and ever-increasing minimum requirements, with a constant threat of write-ups and termination. Most who are hired and trained are gone within a few months, few make it to 2 years.

    You'll work on a team of about 9-12 fellow salespersons. If you're not top-of-the-top, not just on your team but out of about 200+, don't expect upward mobility. You're held accountable for your cancellation rate, but clients regularly cancel because the product isn't working. Much of your time is spent calling real estate agents who often, literally, tell you how much they hate your company and think it's bad for their industry. You're calling potential customers who've been bombarded by the same calls now for years.

    Commission structure with "accelerators" if you're having a good month vs. your goal, but which has devastating "decelerators" if you're not. You can sell a certain dollar amount early in your career and get paid a strong percentage on it, but sell double or triple that a year later and get paid next to nothing because your commission percentage is tied to ever-increasing minimum monthly sales goals. Also, expect a lot of charge-backs. You'll be selling one-year contracts and will be paid on six months of its value. If someone cancels early, you'll be charged back for the cancellation, which is pretty standard in this type of sales. Your goal is to find clients who the product works for, then get them to buy more and more. Strangely, if a client purchases a one-year contract (for which you were paid on the six-month value only), completes it and stays much longer, but eventually ends that contract and buys another - you won't be paid on the new purchase because they canceled the old one. (That's right... even though the customer completed their annual contract, and then some, the company will still punish you if the client drops that territory/contract by not paying you on the new contract you get the client to enter. In other words, if the client books a year contract, completes it, and leaves there is no charge back. However, if they do exactly that and then buy more from you, you don't get paid on the new sale, which is a roundabout way of getting a charge back!). Your goals and commission percentage are based on your "delivered" sales, so too many of these completed-but-eventually-canceled contracts get deducted from your totals and can really hurt. Naturally, the longer you're there the more cancellations you'll have.

    There are team Sales Managers who tend to be very nice but do very little sales-managing (depending on which one you work for). Overall, it tends to be a motivation-by-fear environment for the majority, but an amazing place to work if you can consistently (and I do mean consistently) deal with the pressure and produce sales. But don't slip! The longer you're there, the stiffer your requirements become. As your book builds and you end up with hundreds of clients, you'll find yourself doing more and more customer service-related tasks, with far less time to cold call (high volumes of cold-calling are required to keep your business healthy). If you're one of the top three or four guys, they'll hire you an assistant so you can keep selling. If you're not, either your sales or your service may have to suffer. They have no problem firing you and giving the sizable book of business you've grown to the next guy so try to keep the plates spinning! Don't, and you're dead.

    You never know, incidentally, what your commission percentage is. It's very difficult (impossible) to look at your sales and figure out how your paycheck is shaping up because of accelerators, decelerators and strange chargeback rules.

    Overall, I'd say this place, in the sales department anyway, is the employer version of a Stepford Wife. Really good in many ways, but look out if you start to see a twitch.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    They will listen to ideas regarding how to improve the company. I don't believe they will listen to ideas regarding advice to management. That said, they have to do far more to improve their position in the eyes of their paying (and potential) customers, and the industry as a whole. Yes, buyers and sellers like to check Zillow out and, yes, advertisers will want to follow. But don't forget who pays you! You need MLS's and agents just as badly as they need you (more, in fact) and their numbers aren't infinite. A lack of respect for them, starting with telemarketing practices and following through to how we treat those who the product doesn't work for, is harming the long-term health of the company. Make all agents, not just those who pay a lot and find success with your product, feel included and important if you truly want to gain acceptance and, therefore, access. I believe the company places high value on most of its employees outside the sales department. Inside the sales department, you're literally only as good as your sales and call-time yesterday. It can make even a consistent producer feel like they're on the outside looking in. Commit to your sales employees, longevity and otherwise, as strongly as you do your other employees, and as strongly as you want them to commit to you. If huge turn-over in the rest of the company wouldn't be healthy, how can it be healthy in sales?

    Once a consultant has proven themselves with you for two years, offer a work-from-home option.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 3 people found this helpful  

    The toughest sales job I've ever had.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Inside Sales Consultant  in  Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Inside Sales Consultant in Seattle, WA

    I worked at Zillow full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Lots of perks- free snacks, drinks and gatherings. Benefits package is good and they offer stock as well.

    Cons

    Long hours with no breaks. There's an expectation of 200 calls a day which is made very clear. They hire a ton of sales folks all at once with the expectation that most will quit.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Zillow Response

    Jun 30, 2014CEO (Spencer Rascoff)

    Hi,
    Spencer (ceo) here. You are right that we have very high expectations of our people. We don't however expect that most of our new salespeople will quit! That's definitely not the expectation nor
    ... More

  4. We want your feedback – Are these company reviews helpful to you?  Yes | No
  5. 3 people found this helpful  

    Great company ok job

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Zillow

    Pros

    This company works really hard to keep their employees happy. Between the snacks, happy hours, prizes and pep talks it is a fun place to work for. The CEO makes it a point to seem very involved in the sales team and I do like the managers. Compensation is fair if your are able to sell.

    Cons

    The company is great but the job sucks. It is not fun to sit on the phone all day and cold call agents who have been called a million times before by the same company. I have done inside sales before, and it was not this bad simply because selling to agents sucks. Zillow is successful and growing fast but it doesn't change the fact that the people you are selling to are tired of getting calls from Zillow. If you like cold calling this job could be good for you because the product probably does work... But it doesn't change the fact your calling the same agents who have been called 15 times before.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Management is pretty good about being transparent about how annoying the job can be. This is probably due to the fact the job has a high turnover rate but sometimes management treats you like you can and will be replaced. Can't say I blame them though.

  6. 3 people found this helpful  

    Poor Management in Facilities

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Facilities Coordinator  in  Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Facilities Coordinator in Seattle, WA

    I worked at Zillow full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Most employees were nice to work with - Nice view - Free benefits

    Cons

    Manager and co-workers in dept

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Need strategic planning and clear direction! Manager too busy to lead team effectively!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Zillow - Software Developer Intern

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Zillow

    Pros

    Projects in Java and Objective-C

    Cons

    Not really a tech company (may not be preferable for software developers)

    Zillow Response

    Feb 23, 2014CEO (Spencer Rascoff)

    "Not really a tech company"? Huh? That's a very odd statement, and disconcerting! True, we have hundreds of non-tech people. But we also have hundreds of tech people! We are a product-first ... More

  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    It's own unique culture

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Software Test Engineer  in  Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Software Test Engineer in Seattle, WA

    I worked at Zillow full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    There's a lot of great things to say about Zillow. They provide their employees the best possible: great benefits, amenities, work-life balance, holiday parties, and a great workspace to name a few. Many at the company are quite talented, and it shows. The charisma the CEO possesses is outstanding, and his influence definitely reaches to all parts of the company.

    Cons

    A mostly sink-or-swim culture. Many like to flex their muscles, and without proper guidance (which is often the case) can cause endless discussions, and at times cause frustration, obstructing productivity. The pay is lower compared to higher tier companies, but the returns in other forms help.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't be a boss, be a leader.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Good Job if it's the right fit...

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Inside Sales  in  Seattle, WA
    Former Employee - Inside Sales in Seattle, WA

    I worked at Zillow full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Zillow has great company benefits, lots of free snacks, and good base pay. The Seattle building is great and has wonderful views.

    Cons

    Quotas are very hard (increasingly hard) to hit and turnover on the sales force is very high. It is a very pretty pretty boiler room. You make tons of calls all day everyday, and real estate agents are not the most fun people to talk to... Talk time is set high, however it is nearly impossible to hit is as a new employee. At least 90% of the calls I made were voicemails leading to a very repetitive job.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Do not push employees too hard and try to make the job more fun.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    hell is this place called zillow

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Sales  in  Irvine, CA
    Current Employee - Sales in Irvine, CA

    I have been working at Zillow full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    have an exit strategy before you start

    Cons

    all you can think of

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Zillow Response

    Nov 21, 2013CEO

    Ouch. Your review bummed me out. I'm sorry that you've had a bad experience at Zillow. It isn't consistent with what most employees think about our company.
    If there is anything that I can learn
    ... More

  11. 17 people found this helpful  

    A Boiler Room by any other name, still smells as rotten...

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Inside Sales Consultant  in  Irvine, CA
    Former Employee - Inside Sales Consultant in Irvine, CA

    I worked at Zillow full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Great benefits (Heath, Dental, 24 Hour Fitness membership- if I'd ever had time to go, stock options), plus "perks" to keep you perky like free espresso, coffee, Red Bull, Monster, sodas, and lunch catered once a week, plus once a month Happy Hours after work with apps and beer. Also, the company flew us to Seattle for the holiday party and put us up at the W hotel.

    A few of the top Inside Sales Consultants DO actually earn a 6-figure income, and even with your base pay and hitting just quota, you can make a decent income.

    Cons

    11-12 hours days with lunch breaks severely frowned upon. Basically, if you take lunch, it's nearly impossible to hit your "call time" of 210 min per day- That's time spent TALKING on the phone- not counting dialing, ringing, etc. Can you say micromanagement?? I loved my job at Zillow for the first 2-3 months I was there. I thought it was the best job ever. This seems to be the path of most Inside Sales Consultants. You are given praise and encouragement and low, manageable quotas during your 'ramping' period of your first 3 months. You literally "drink the Kool Aid" (or Red Bull, in this case) and think Zillow is the Best Place ever.
    Then Reality sets in, as does the stress, micromanagement, constant stream of emails about your talk time being too low. If you enjoy receiving 300 emails per day asking what you are going to sell, telling you to join the next of a never ending stream of call "blitzes," this may be the job for you. Still, I think 6-9 months seems to be the threshold for about 85% of people, hence the turnover rate. This is a HIGH burnout job.
    If you are looking at working for Zillow and not reading many reviews like this, consider this: I recently quit my position to take another job. Several people I that started in my training class have been let go. (Actually from my class of 18, only 3 now remain.) I recently learned that when they are let go for not meeting quota, they are offered a severance pay in return for signing an agreement to not post anything negative online about the company. It seems they are buying the silence of anyone who might say anything non-positive about working there. I signed no such agreement. Just thought you should know this if considering taking the position.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Positive reinforcement always works much better than negative. There needs to be allowance for differences in people's styles. And for Pete's sake, turn down the Techno mus

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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