Jeremy Wacksman is Chief Marketing Officer at Zillow. Jeremy is in charge of consumer marketing in this role and oversees strategy and product management for the company. He is a mobile first innovator, where prior to joining Zillow, Jeremy drove marketing and product management for Microsoft’s Xbox LIVE and consumer mobile effort. Prior to working at Microsoft, he has also worked in sales and product management for Trilogy Software. I had the opportunity to interview Jeremy while working at International Business Times. Here are some interview highlights:
Jennifer Lynn: Mobile has been driving a wave with both disruption and innovations within the real estate industry. What are some challenges you see with these factors and competition in the market?
Jeremy Wacksman: We see that disruption and innovation as an opportunity. Zillow got its start innovating in the real estate category, creating an unparalleled level of transparency to empower consumers to make smarter decisions about homes. The smartphone and tablet ecosystems create additional opportunities for innovation, as they raise the bar of consumer expectations. We want our apps to be fast, smart, personalized. Before the smartphone, Zillow was a reactive search engine. Come to the front door, enter a search term, and then we provide value. Today, the Zillow app is centered around you to proactively help you find your home.
Jennifer Lynn: With 27 mobile apps, how did you come about envisioning mobile apps develop in your strategy?
Jeremy Wacksman: Our suite of 27 apps are built to help consumers at all stages of the home lifecycle – renting, buying, refinancing, and improving/designing – and we offer a set of apps to help professionals connect with those consumers. Each line of apps is unique, and intuitively designed to have things that meet specific consumer needs, depending on what their end goal is – whether that’s quickly answering what they can afford to buy with our mortgage calculator, sitting on the couch browsing home design inspiration with Zillow Digs, or actively shopping for a home.
Jennifer Lynn: Zillow’s apps are also available at Google Play. What excites you about the future with Google apps?
Jeremy Wacksman: Google continues to push innovation in both the smartphone and tablet world – and a great example of that is Google Now. They are turning the smartphone into an intelligent personal assistant, connecting directly to apps with intent, predicting what people need when they need it, and doing it across multiple devices. A few years from now, I can’t even imagine what opening an “app” on “Android” will be, given their ability to evolve the platform and change the way we interact with technology.