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Zillow Group (ZG) Set to Expand Headcount by 40% in 2021

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Zillow Group (ZG - Free Report) recently announced that it will be hiring more than 2,000 employees across United States in 2021, representing a 40% increase in its workforce.

The hiring spree is being driven by a “historic year in the real estate industry” as well as strong momentum seen across business, noted the company.

Most employees will be hired for the upcoming roles in mortgage and loans, product and software development and technology categories. The positions will be both hybrid and remote and will be open to candidates from all over the country.

Amid COVID-19 crisis, last year, Zillow Group had adopted the Distributed Workforce Model under which the company’s employees can work in various work set-ups like remote, office and hybrid. Per management, this distributed workforce model offers flexibility as well as better work-life balance. 

Under the Distributed Workforce Model, Zillow Group added that it has successfully onboarded 1500 employees, remotely, since March 2020. To better assist new employees, the company also has put in place new features like “Virtual New Hire Open House" and launched a Slack channel for new recruits.

Zillow Group also added that it was included on the Bloomberg Gender Equality Index and the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index.

As of Dec 31, 2020, Zillow Group had 5,504 full-time employees. Per the company’s latest 10-K filing, Zillow Group added that 57.3% of its staff is self-identified as men while 42.7% is self-identified as women. The company also noted that women represented 34.9% of its executive leadership team (director rank and above).

Improving Real Estate Demand Bodes Well

Zillow Group is a digital real estate company, which offers a comprehensive portfolio of marketing software and technology solutions to help real estate, rental and mortgage professionals to connect with millions of potential home buyers and make the most of business opportunities.

Last year, widespread shelter-in-place guidelines and the need for social distancing resulted in people opting for buying houses online. Moreover, as companies adopt remote work set-up for the longer haul, employees are now looking for spacious accommodations over conventional preference for closer proximity to office locations. This is driving higher real estate demand. Lower mortgage rates are also aiding real-estate market growth.

Increases in demand for residential real estate augur well for Zillow Group. The company is banking on its platform capabilities like proprietary Zillow 3D Home technology that allows virtual home tours for Zillow Group-owned homes and virtual consultations from the company’s broker and Premier Agents to assist potential buyers amid lockdown restrictions.

In February 2021, Zillow Group announced its intent to buy, Inc for a price of $500 million. The acquisition will help the company boost its online home-showing capabilities. 

ShowingTime is an online scheduling platform for virtual home tours and is headquartered in Chicago. Zillow Group also noted that ShowingTime boasts a nearly 1-million strong agent base across North America and has relationships with several Multiple Listing Services (MLSs).

Strength in the online real estate scenario led to an impressive share price gain for Zillow Group. In the past year, the stock has rallied 461.1% compared with the industry’s growth of 90%.

Zacks Rank & Stock to Consider

Zillow Group currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the broader technology sector are Vishay Intertechnology (VSH - Free Report) , Skyworks (SWKS - Free Report) and MaxLinear (MXL - Free Report) , all sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), presently. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

The long-term earnings growth rate for Vishay, Skyworks and MaxLinear is currently pegged at 20.3%, 19%, and 20%, respectively.

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