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The real estate industry revolves around something deeply personal that we can all understand: A place to call home. Whether the goal is to help people rent, buy, sell or improve a home, every company and function within our industry ultimately serves this basic human need. At Zillow Group, we operate a portfolio of home-related brands, including Zillow and Trulia, the two leading real estate websites.1 Some think of our brands primarily as advertising platforms, but we bring much more to the table:

We’re an avenue for technology. We’re helping change the way consumers shop for homes by giving them online access to real estate whenever and wherever the conversation arises—through their smartphones, tablets and even wearable technologies like the Apple Watch. We’ve also introduced new ways for real estate professionals to market and promote their brands digitally, connect with home shoppers and maximize business opportunities.

We’re an avenue for information. We’ve made complex real estate data more approachable for consumers, helping them become more comfortable and confident about homeownership. Whether it be our in-depth studies on market trends, negative equity reports, or analyses of neighborhood appreciation as it relates to the proximity of a Starbucks2, we offer data that is both useful and interesting. We also provide a platform for consumers to research homes and find the local professionals who can help them rent, buy, finance or sell a home.

We’re an avenue for fun and inspiration. Through blogs, email marketing and social media, we help fuel a conversation around real estate: news stories on the tiny home movement, modern mansions that resemble fairytale castles, creative home improvement ideas, and tips and advice that inform real estate decisions. Moreover, tens of millions of consumers use our suite of mobile apps, spending hours flicking through houses and fantasizing about their dream home.

Zillow Group will continue empowering consumers with information, data and technology that enables them to make smarter decisions about real estate—while helping these better-informed consumers connect with real estate pros. This is part of our mission as a company, and we believe we’ve enhanced the conversation between consumers and professionals. Even with this new dialogue, the roles of real estate professionals remain more important than ever, and we’re partnering with the industry to play our part—supporting agents, brokers and MLSs—as they play theirs.

Errol Samuelson is chief industry development officer, Zillow Group.

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