EM Group Chat #144: Insights From Starting Zillow With The Co-Founder & Former CEO Spencer Rascoff

Group Chats
Spencer Rascoff

Recording of the Everything Marketplaces Group Chat #144 (11/14) with Spencer Rascoff. Spencer has some really incredible experience as the Co-founder of marketplaces like Hotwire, Zillow, and more recently Pacaso. Spencer has also been on the board of notable companies like TripAdvisor and is an active angel investor in over 75+ startups.

0:06 Intro
1:19 Spencer's background
2:20 Starting Hotwire as an early travel marketplace
6:40 Spencer's biggest learnings from Hotwire
9:41 The founding story for Zillow
12:37 How Zillow solved for the cold start problem with Zestimate
18:01 Some of the pivotal moments for Zillow
21:55 How Zillow made 17+ acquisitions with other startups like Trulia
25:43 How marketplace founders should think about legal & regulatory considerations
28:04 Starting Pacaso as a marketplace for secondary home co-ownership
31:30 How Pacaso sells secondary homes through their co-ownership model
32:24 The biggest mistakes founders make when building in real estate & housing
35:08 Defensibility for marketplaces at scale like Zillow
36:29 How Pacaso is building a brand & network effects
37:50 Group Q&A on how Zillow managed relationships with agents & brokers
40:42 Group Q&A on how Spencer evaluates marketplaces when investing in them
42:22 Group Q&A on why SEO is often overlooked
46:00 Group Q&A on auction pricing with real estate & housing marketplaces
48:27 Parting advice

Spencer on Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/spencerrascoff
75 & Sunny: https://www.75andsunny.vc
Dot.LA: https://www.dot.la

You can also find this group chat in audio format as an episode on our new Everything Marketplaces podcast on Apple Podcasts and Spotify. You can also connect with marketplace founders & leaders from our group chats in the Everything Marketplaces community.