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AMAs

Nate Moch is Vice President of Product Teams and Growth at Zillow. He has been with Zillow for over 10 years. He started before they had a site and has helped the company grow into the largest real estate and rental networks on the web.  He is currently responsible for Zillow’s Growth and Data teams, helping expand Zillow’s audience and data footprint.

Nate has built and managed a number of Zillow products, including the creation of its mortgage business and Growth organization.  Nate joined Zillow from Microsoft and has an MBA from the University of Washington and a CS degree from DePauw University.

Nate is a father of two boys and loves to spend time with his friends and family, travel, play soccer, and mentor startups. 

You can connect with him to talk Growth on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/natemoch (or follow on Twitter @natemoch)

He will be live on July 19 starting at 930 AM PT for one and a half hours during which he will answer as many questions as possible.

  • HQ

    Hila Qu

    almost 2 years ago #

    @natemoch This will be awesome!

    If you haven't, I highly recommend you watch Nate and Morgan Brown's fireside chat from GrowthHackers Conference:

    https://growthhackers.com/videos/gh-conference-16-fireside-chat-with-nate-moch-vp-product-teams-at-zillow-and-morgan-brown-coo-at-inman-news

    My 1st question for you is actually from this chat: From what I heard, Growth process and culture is relatively easy to establish in smaller startup and companies, in more established companies, it is hard to implement growth especially when there is existing product and marketing team. What is your thought on this? Do you have some suggestions for bigger companies to implement growth process, team and culture?

    2nd question that I actually stole from a discussion at GH, if you were to join a startup as 1st growth person and set up growth process from scratch, what would you do in your first day, first week, and first quarter?

    Lastly, home buying happens at a relatively low frequency, once someone finishes home-buying, he may not have the need to visit home-buying site for a while. So from your experience at Zillow, do you have any insight you can share for platform facing a similar challenge, especially about how to retain users?

    • NM

      Nate Moch

      over 1 year ago #

      Hila, thanks for the questions and the link.
      A1: I think you can create a growth culture in both large and small companies. It is sometimes easier in smaller companies because you don't have to change any existing culture to make it happen. At Zillow we had a growth culture very early, but didn’t have dedicated teams until many years later. If you are a bigger company who is just getting started, I would recommend starting with a small team and growing from there. Begin by creating a list of the areas/channels you want to focus on and then prioritizing the types of products/features you would need to build. That should help direct you on where to put your resources. It is OK to limit your focus to a couple strategic areas to start.
      It is important to make sure your company leadership is behind the change and you really think about the process you use to make the change. As I discussed in the video, we use something we call a "Play" to drive these important changes.

      A2: If I were starting as the first growth person at a startup I would probably spend the first week wrapping my head around the product, the consumer, and the business. I would talk with my new co-workers about the culture, goals, and mission of the company, and then deep dive into the metrics. How does retention and engagement look? How are people finding and using the product? Where are people dropping off? What is the "aha" activation moment? I would then build out a growth framework for the business and strategy for which areas to target. That would be followed by a prioritized backlog of products/features (including test infrastructure if not available). This way the team can start executing right away so we can show some traction and early wins in the first quarter.

      A3: Home buyers only transact every 7 years on average, but there are many ways we can be relevant to our users between transactions. We work to find ways to continue to engage with our consumers even when they aren't in the market to buy a home (like sending home value updates, local market news, renovation content, refinance rates, etc). If you have a business that has long gaps between visits/transactions, I would find a reason to reach out and connect more often. This could be content, alert based updates based on timing (e.g., 1 year after renting apartment), or triggers based on new actions taken on your site.

      4 Share
      • HQ

        Hila Qu

        over 1 year ago #

        Great suggestions "Find a reason to reach out and connect more often: this could be content, alert based updates based on timing (e.g., 1 year after renting apartment), or triggers based on new actions taken on your site."

      • SE

        Sean Ellis

        over 1 year ago #

        Re A3, I would be a good example of a person who is not in a transaction, but still uses Zillow quite a bit. For example I was walking with my father this weekend in Laguna Beach and he said "I wonder how much how much houses are on this street?" It was great to be able to pull up the Zillow app and instantly see the zestimates for all the houses around us. I also frequently check the values of houses I used to own.

  • AA

    Aldin A

    over 1 year ago #

    Hi Nate,

    Great to have you here!

    1)What do you think someone needs to learn to become a 'data driven' marketer. Do marketers need to learn something like R? Or is SQL enough? On top of learning statistics, what other skills are needed for a marketer 'understand and analyz'e data?

    2)There are a million things you could be working on growth at any one time. Can you talk about your process for
    figuring out the MOST important thing you have work on RIGHT for growth? How do you make and prioritize your growth road map?

    3)What is your process for figuring out what channels you should focus on for customer acquisition? How do you evaluate them? How do you come up with a plan of action to attack that marketing channel?

    4)How do you think about scaling traffic growth? What changes for how you use a channel from when you first identify it's viability,
    to using the traffic channel at scale? What question do you ask yourself to make sure that the channels stays viable as you scale it up?
    What are the pitfalls to avoid as you scale a channel? How do you overcome said pitfalls?

    Thanks,
    Aldin

    • NM

      Nate Moch

      over 1 year ago #

      A1: Data driven marketers should have a solid understanding of statistics, marketing, and excellent analytical skills. The exact technologies will vary by company, but SQL and Excel never hurt.

      A2: I would build out a map of your growth framework and figure out where you think you will have the biggest ROI. Start by figuring out whether you should be working on retention, acquisition, activation, re-engagment, etc. Then create a backlog of ideas for what you could be doing in each of those categories. At that point estimate cost/impact for the projects and start working down the list.
      Good article on growth frameworks: http://firstround.com/review/indispensable-growth-frameworks-from-my-years-at-facebook-twitter-and-wealthfront/

      A3: We are always looking at new channels. We try to estimate the size and opportunity of the channel and the cost to test it out. We look at current size of channel, what we expect the channel will be in the future (emerging channels may start small but are important to jump on early if you think they will grow), and whether others have had success (although many times this is not as important).
      Once we identify some channels, we get a diverse group together to brainstorm ideas for ways we can leverage the channel and brainstorm ideas. We then try to weigh the likelihood of success, cost, and value of the ideas. Many times we start with lighter, easier tests just to get a sense of the channel before making major investments.

      A4: When we find a channel that works, we move fast to scale it up. This may mean doubling down on our efforts to see how it performs with more volume, or building a dedicated team around the channel to really focus on building out scalable, long term solutions. We have done that with a number of channels and it has all been pretty organic.
      Some pitfalls for scaling are moving too fast or not continuing to iterate and test. You should continue to test and modify your approach as you scale new channels.

      • NM

        Nate Moch

        over 1 year ago #

        Anuj,
        One new channel that we have been using is Snapchat. We have been posting content there and testing that market.

        We have not really seen any major channels dry up, although there are always ebbs and flows within channels (like saturation for some paid channels).

      • AA

        Anuj Adhiya

        over 1 year ago #

        re: new channels. What's been one that you go on recently that's worked?

        On the flip side, are there any that used to work really well but off late are not performing as well? If yes, why do you think that's the case?

  • RB

    Ry B

    over 1 year ago #

    Hey Nate,

    Thanks for doing this AMA!

    1) What are the things early stage startups can focus on to increase there survival rates?

    2)What are the subtle (and not so obvious) things you see early stage companies screwing up on that they really can't afford to screw up, and how do they fix them?

    3)What's the best advice you've ever received? What's the most valuable thing you learned the hard way?

    Thanks,
    Ry

    • NM

      Nate Moch

      over 1 year ago #

      A1: As a startup, begin with retention rate and product market fit. Make sure you have a valuable, meaningful product before you push growth and marketing. I would also suggest having some focus. With limited resources you need to focus on the most important things first.

      A2: Along those same lines, I've seen many startups fail because they over extend themselves. They try to do everything and push to add users across every channel before they have a solid product. It is OK to test lots of things but you need to be strategic in which areas/channels in which you are going to invest your time.

      A3: I think one of the more valuable things I have learned is about how to build and maintain culture (see link to video at top for talk about goals/metrics/culture). You need to be thoughtful in the culture and values you want to build and encourage on your teams and in your company. And this makes a huge difference to happiness and productivity.

      Another valuable insight from experience is that it is really important to build a close network of like minded peers. You can gain a lot of insights from watching videos, reading articles, and going to conferences, but the best insights and most recent learnings come from talking to other experts who are working on similar problems day to day. Set up lunches, summits, and calls with people you like and trust to share what you are working on. Growth is about testing and iterating, and you can't test everything yourself. So I find it very valuable to hear what my peers are doing, sharing our insights, and discussing new ideas.

  • SE

    Sean Ellis

    over 1 year ago #

    Thanks for doing an AMA with us Nate (and for speaking at the GrowthHackers Conference in February). I'm curious to know if you agree with the idea that Product is mostly about expanding potential and Growth is mostly about fulfilling potential (something I've heard emphasized by the Uber team)? If you agree with this, how have you taken advantage of having both groups report to you at Zillow?

    • NM

      Nate Moch

      over 1 year ago #

      I understand why they would say that at a high level and get the concept. However, I don't think it is necessary to split those things up. At Zillow, growth teams are part of product, and all product teams work on (or are thinking about) growth. Similarly, growth teams should always be thinking about how to expand potential, as that is a key piece of growth.

      The Zillow growth teams are product teams that have a focus on growth. So they work on products that help improve and optimize our funnels. As part of their charter, they also work with all of the other product teams to evangelize growth and weave adoption of growth concepts into other product teams' goals. It is a very collaborative environment. The growth team should be thinking about new product ideas that could expand potential (even if they are build by other product teams), and product teams should feel ownership for fulfilling potential for their products. One of our core values at Zillow is #OwnIt, so we want everyone to feel ownership of key areas like growth.

  • AA

    Anuj Adhiya

    over 1 year ago #

    Hey Nate - so stoked to have you on!

    What's the biggest learnings you've had so far on network effects and marketplaces?
    Also, as Zillow has grown, how, if it all, has the playbook changed in terms of how you implement network effects (or what aspects of this you focus on more than others)?

    • NM

      Nate Moch

      over 1 year ago #

      One of my biggest learnings while building marketplaces at Zillow is how important it is to focus on the consumer. Our founders, Rich Barton and Lloyd Frink, have always taken a long term view and insisted on building out the best consumer experience, even if it comes at a short term cost. In each marketplace, we always start by focusing on building great products that attract large audiences. We count on the audience attracting suppliers, and know that we will figure out and iterate on the business model as the marketplace matures. We are lucky to have been able to do that financially.

      As we grow, we continue to use this strategy for new marketplaces.

  • NM

    Nate Moch

    over 1 year ago #

    I know my time is about up for the live AMA, but I will continue to answer questions today and tomorrow.

  • AP

    Adam Paciorek

    over 1 year ago #

    Hi Nate, thanks for doing this AMA and sharing your knowledge and experience!

    Couple of questions from me:

    1. What are the most controversial or unorthodox growth hacks you have seen working well Zillow?

    2. Has anyone trained you in digital marketing? Who would you say is your biggest influence?

    3. What are the biggest mistakes and myths you see in digital marketing? What are the biggest wastes of time?

    4. What are your favourite books or resources on growth marketing and startups? If people had to teach themselves (quickly), what
    would you suggest they use?

    5. If you were to launch a startup and aim to get first 1000 paying subscribers, what would your plan be? What if you had 8 weeks to achieve that?

    Thanks!

  • SA

    Shaker A

    over 1 year ago #

    Hey Nate,

    Thanks for doing this!

    1)What does your marketing stack look like when it comes to gathering and analyzing data? Can you list them and explain
    your rational for them?

    2)Can you name some resource you use to learn about growth and business in general? Books, podcasts, blogs etc?

    3)Can you talk about some of the challenges of scaling the business and how you've overcome them?

    4)How do you think about retention and increasing retention? How do you think about engagement and increasing engagement?

    Thanks

    • NM

      Nate Moch

      over 1 year ago #

      A3: I think some of the major challenges in growing a business come in two stages. The first is the initial task of figuring out your product market fit and aha moment. How do you create a meaningful product and make sure your consumers experience it? The second biggest challenge has been sustaining the growth as the brand(s) expand. You need to constantly be looking for new channels and growth opportunities. It is easier to double down on things that work or build out obvious channels (like email/push) but harder to continue to find new opportunities.

      To overcome these things, you need to have the right reporting and metrics in place so you can understand your users and their behavior. If you don't know what your retention rate looks like how will you know if you should double or triple it? And if you don't know what your "aha" moment is, how will you get people to experience it faster?
      For sustained growth, you really need to hire a superstar team that gets excited about the challenge, is passionate about trying new things, and is hyper creative. Constantly testing can sometimes feel like banging your head on the wall, so you need people with grit and desire who love the challenge, get excited about the wins, and won't give up.

      3 Share
    • NM

      Nate Moch

      over 1 year ago #

      A1: We use a lot of different systems and partners for our data and reporting. One of our main data sets comes from Google Analytics for our site traffic, which we have in AWS and report on using Tableau.

      A2: I posted some links in a previous response.

    • NM

      Nate Moch

      over 1 year ago #

      A4: Retention and engagement are key and are everyone's responsibility. Our growth teams are tracking these stats but all of the product teams care about engagement. We strive to build the best consumer experience and want to make sure our customers are happy, so many times we use these stats as measures for our success in these areas.

      To increase retention, you want to figure out your aha moment and get your users to experience this as soon as possible. For many products, there may be a series of moments or steps they have to get through before becoming completely engaged. And these steps can vary pretty dramatically by channel, landing page, persona, intent, platform, etc.

  • MP

    Morgan Perry

    over 1 year ago #

    How are you using data to grow your ad product offerings and diversify your revenue streams?

    • NM

      Nate Moch

      over 1 year ago #

      Zillow was founded with the goal of empowering consumers with data, so we love data around here and use it in most of our decisions and discussions. We use it to test effectiveness of new ad products which allows us to easily A/B test more experimental and creative ideas. We try to slice the data in many ways (platform, persona, landing page, channel, etc) so we can better optimize and personalize the ads. This allows us to use different channels in different ways for different personas.

  • LS

    Logan Stoneman

    over 1 year ago #

    Hey Nate - with your experience building the "growth organization" at Zillow, what do you think is best for the foundation of a growth team? What core concepts, structure, or leadership should form around that foundation?

    • NM

      Nate Moch

      over 1 year ago #

      I think it is important to have a clear and strong culture within your growth teams. You want the whole org to be united on a very clear shared mission and goal, while at the same time having each team have their own metrics and priorities they own. How you organize your team may be dependent on your company and product, but growth teams should have a culture that values:

      * Experimentation and failure - The team will need to try a thousand things and most of them will not work. They need to know it is OK to fail, and be able to share the wins to educate others on what works and why.

      * Moving fast - The team needs to iterate fast, whether that is on small UX changes or big projects for new channels.

      * Analytics orientation - The team needs to be analytical and systematic. They have to be able to understand the growth framework, analyze what is happening on the site, drill in on test results, and size up new opportunities.

      * Working hard - Growth can be a grind and you need people who aren't going to be intimidated by the challenge or give up. They need to have endless energy and enthusiasm to bring new ideas to the table every day.

      3 Share
      • AA

        Anuj Adhiya

        over 1 year ago #

        THIS! :raised_hands:

      • HQ

        Hila Qu

        over 1 year ago #

        "Growth can be a grind and you need people who aren't going to be intimidated by the challenge or give up. " can't agree more. Growth is the process of figuring it out, sometimes you win, sometimes you learn.

  • LL

    Lambert Lam

    over 1 year ago #

    Hi Nate,

    Thanks for doing this AMA.

    Here's my question.

    If your business did not yet have significant customer volume and you came across a test idea which would require a large sample size and in turn involve considerable cost to achieve statistical significance, how would you approach this?

    Thanks.

    • NM

      Nate Moch

      over 1 year ago #

      Lambert,
      Not sure about the business or product so hard to say, but maybe you could try to find a cheaper way to test. For example trying a survey, qualitative tests, or even running the test on a smaller sample just to try to get directional data. You could also see if others have had success with that type of test/product.

  • JR

    jubin roy

    over 1 year ago #

    i work at century21 Bahrain(Real estate company).We have a website century21.bh.How can we drive more local traffic to the website?

    • JR

      jubin roy

      over 1 year ago #

      what can we give as gifts to people who come to our website so that more local traffic comes in?

      • NM

        Nate Moch

        over 1 year ago #

        The best gift is a great user experience. Create an experience they love and make it easy for them to use your site and absorb your content.

    • DS

      Daniel Sosa

      over 1 year ago #

      Great question Rubin! Check our Wiind.com, you can send personalized video email to prospects and previous clients with just a couple of clicks. I believe this will help you gain word of mouth, trust, and ultimately more of this "traffic" you look for. I'm here if you have any other questions :) - I would also suggest quality localized content marketing.

    • NM

      Nate Moch

      over 1 year ago #

      You could focus on being an area expert. What local content can you provide to make your site the best place for Bahrain visitors?

  • MM

    martín medina

    over 1 year ago #

    Nate,

    Thanks for doing this AMA, much like Hila I also loved your fireside chat at the GH conference, it was one of my favorite parts of the conference.

    You guys have already seen explosive growth but where do you see the future of Zillow, what are you guys prioritizing?

    As you guys go building your growth teams how do you guys communicate across growth teams and how do you deal with multiple teams working on one project?

    What are some interesting trends you’ve seen in real estate since working at Zillow?

    My mom is a realtor struggling to adapt to the digital age, what tips would you give somebody working in real estate on how to get the most use out of your platform and the other tools available online?

    • NM

      Nate Moch

      over 1 year ago #

      Thank you, glad you liked the GH conference chat.

      A1: We see a ton of growth on the horizon for Zillow. The real estate and rental markets are still very fragmented and brand awareness has room to grow so we think there is still a lot we can do. We are always thinking about how people will search for homes in the future (voice search, VR, chat bots on Messenger, etc) and how to make the experience better.

    • NM

      Nate Moch

      over 1 year ago #

      A2: We have small, autonomous teams at Zillow that work pretty independently. The teams have pretty clear ownership areas and charters and then are given freedom to execute against those goals. The teams present their product roadmaps to executives and other teams once a quarter to make sure we are all aligned and everyone is aware of what is happening across teams. We also have teams send monthly emails about what they are working on, wins, and learnings.

    • NM

      Nate Moch

      over 1 year ago #

      A3: There have been many real estate ups and downs since I started at Zillow 10+ years ago. There was the bubble with lots of risky mortgages and flipping, the bust with foreclosures and cheap all cash deals, and now the comeback with rising home values and bidding war markets. Some high level trends are that consumers are moving online to do their home searching and have higher expectations for products and features, agents are getting more efficient (spending their time on the real value added pieces of the process), and people are starting to experiment with new technology (drones, VR, videos, etc).

    • NM

      Nate Moch

      over 1 year ago #

      A4: My biggest piece of advice is to not be afraid of new technology! Have her find other agents who are embracing it and having success and learn from them. It feels easier when you have someone sitting down and showing you in person. Attend a webinar or go to an event.
      http://www.zillow.com/agent-resources/events/webinars/
      http://www.zillow.com/agent-resources/events/premier-agent-events/

  • TG

    TJ Gray

    over 1 year ago #

    Hey Nate thanks for doing this AMA!

    Let me first start off with confessing I am a huge Zillow fan and have been for a while now.
    I am somewhat real estate obsessed and I like checking out apartment/home prices everywhere I go or for that matter even think about going.

    So my growth question is about how Zillow acquires people like me.
    What are Zillow's tactics, if any, in targeting potential users that behave in that manner?
    (Those who enjoy checking out real estate, but are not looking to buy or rent a property whatsoever at the time being.)
    Also, what are those users' (myself included) potential value to Zillow?

    Thanks for answering + helping deliver an app that I genuinely enjoy using!

    T.J.

    • NM

      Nate Moch

      over 1 year ago #

      T.J.,
      I am glad to hear you are a Zillow fan. I share your obsession of real estate!

      We have a number of user acquisition strategies at Zillow that we use to acquire new users to the site. These are things like SEM, content marketing, SEO, brand advertising, social, etc. We use these types of channels to acquire all types of new users (buyers, renters, homeowners, refinancers, sellers, agents, etc).

      Once a user lands on our site, we then look at the actions they take to try to figure out what they are interested in and who they are (persona type). This allows us to create more customized experiences for those customers. For example, if we know the person is an agent we can provide more relevant links and tools to them to improve their visit.

      We welcome and love all users on our site, including those are day dreaming of future homes or checking the value of their neighbors' homes. We want to be all things related to homes. So even if you are just looking at a home value today, hopefully you will be thinking of us when you are ready to buy, sell, rent, remodel, refinance, etc.

  • PI

    Peter Indelicato

    over 1 year ago #

    Hi Nate! Thanks for doing this... I'm one of many Zillow MAUs :)

    Imagine you are a product guy who recently started a company and had version one of the product ready to go. Also imagine you are NOT well versed in B2C marketing, SEO, paid placement, content marketing, etc.

    Now imagine you just closed a small F&F round and you were looking for someone to get the product out there in front of potential customers and bring them to the site. What would you do first? Find a FTE? With what skill set? Find an agency? A contractor? That does what?

    Why?

    Thanks a bunch!

    • NM

      Nate Moch

      over 1 year ago #

      Peter, glad to hear you are using Zillow!

      Sounds like an exciting time. I think where you start depends on your product and how you are thinking you will push growth/marketing. Do you know what areas you want to test or how much time/energy/resources you are willing to invest?

      If you think you want to push really hard and fast in a given direction/channel, you could use an agency with expertise in that area (think SEM, advertising, content marketing, etc). If you need help exploring options and aren't sure how much you want to invest or where to start, you could find a very knowledgable expert to consult or work part time. If you have the resources and know you are going to invest fully in growth (but not sure about the area), then I would recommend looking for someone with marketing and growth skills that can work and test across multiple channels.

      Here is a great article about hiring heads of growth. For early stage startups, you need more of a generalist marketing/growth person (as opposed to head of growth), but it should give you some ideas for things to look for when hiring.
      http://firstround.com/review/indispensable-growth-frameworks-from-my-years-at-facebook-twitter-and-wealthfront/

  • DS

    Daniel Sosa

    over 1 year ago #

    Hey @natemoch ! Thanks for the opportunity to reach out. I've recently been in contact with some of your content folks over at Zillow (Your content is excellent by the way). We working on a asynchronous video email/messaging tool for professionals and are seeing a ton of success in real estate industry.

    What do you think drives RE pro's to be so proactive when it comes to new technology and video technology (Like Wiind.com, Snapchat, Bombbomb)? And do you have any suggestions for an early stage company to get the attention of more RE professionals. Where do they aggregate?

    Thanks you for your time!

    Daniel

    • NM

      Nate Moch

      over 1 year ago #

      In the RE industry, like any other, there are sets of early adopters around technology (video, drones, VR, etc). That group is pretty consistent (although slowing growing), but in order to cross the chasm to the early majority, you need show real value. You need to be able to show agents the value of your product (whether that is measured ROI and value, or more intangible value like branding). Agents are really busy and will only take the time to invest in new things if they believe they will get value in return.

      To reach agents, you could try Zillow, local Facebook groups and blogs, or talking to and partnering with brokerages and MLSes. You can start small and find some agents who love your product and try to get them to help spread the work within their brokerage. Agents, like all of us, are persuaded by peers and co-workers. So if they like your product and you can get them to advocate and help spread the word. It will mean a lot more coming from them.

  • GG

    Gab Goldenberg

    over 1 year ago #

    This is actually a comment: I'm a big believer in uniting product and marketing and it's fantastic to see a senior person at a successful company whose role indeed unites these.

  • JD

    Jessie Deye

    over 1 year ago #

    Hey @natemoch,

    Thanks for answering some questions today!

    How did you know that Zillow was *ready* for growth- What metrics told you that you had achieved product-market fit and were ready to scale? And at what point are less-than-perfect metrics acceptable?

    Appreciate your input!
    Jessie

    • NM

      Nate Moch

      over 1 year ago #

      Jessie,
      Yes, before you are ready to invest heavily in growth you want to make sure you have product market fit. There are a number of ways you can figure that out. We look at lots of metrics, here are some examples: retention rate, engagement, conversion rates, and reviews (or consumer feedback). There is not set point at which it becomes clear to turn it up, but you want to make sure you have a good enough product that you won't be churning through all of the new users you are driving to your product. If consumers have a bad experience, you may not only waste money acquiring them, but they may never come back (or it becomes much more expensive to get them back later). So I would consider the quality of the product, the opportunity/cost of initial growth tests, and the cost/risk of churning users.

  • JM

    Jason Meresman

    over 1 year ago #

    Hi Nate - thanks again for today's AMA, and good meeting you at the GrowthHackers Conference in February.

    How do you organize your teams around growth for different steps in the funnel and across different channels like desktop and mobile. Is it a single team or several different teams?

    • NM

      Nate Moch

      over 1 year ago #

      We have a number of small product teams at Zillow (PM, Dev Mgr, Devs, Test, Design) that work on product features. Our growth teams are product teams that work on different parts of the funnel (acquisition, activation, reengagement, etc). The teams are responsible for metrics in those areas, but they work with all of the other product teams to make that happen. For example, at Zillow everyone is responsible for SEO, not just the SEO team. The team acts as experts in the area but also evangelizes to other teams so they can own growth metrics in their areas as well. We also have dedicated marketing teams for some of our paid channels. But all of the teams work together and stay in sync on projects and priorities.

      3 Share
  • RK

    Richard Kuwahara

    over 1 year ago #

    Hi @natemoch,

    Nice to see a DePauw alumn having great success. I was there a couple years before you.

    For Zillow it's interesting that you were there before there was even a website. How much did UX improvements push growth and was part of your overall strategy?

    • NM

      Nate Moch

      over 1 year ago #

      Richard, great to hear from a fellow DePauw alum!

      UX has been a major factor in our growth. Having a great product that consumers love is the key to growth. So the fact that we have had a strong UX and design team has made a big difference. Within growth in particular, UX is definitely important in optimization (think on boarding, activation, landing page conversion, etc). Our product teams work very closely with design and think of it as a key piece of our development process.

      3 Share
  • MX

    mengjiao xi

    over 1 year ago #

    Nate, can you list a couple failures you have had managing growth, either in product-market-fit stage or in sustainable growth stage?

    • NM

      Nate Moch

      over 1 year ago #

      There are so many failures!

      Couple that come to mind first...
      Focusing too long on one channel and missing other big opportunities. We were late to the game with SEO and it was very costly.
      Not measuring enough early on. Make sure you build your products with measurement in mind so you always have a clear view of your metrics and funnel.
      When you get to the sustainable growth stage and start building a larger team, making sure you invest early in infrastructure and tools to support your testing and processes across your growing company so you can scale growth across all teams, not just the growth teams.

  • AA

    Aldin A

    over 1 year ago #

    Thanks @natemoch for taking the time to give such insightful answers

    1)What are some of the challenges you've faced in scaling the network, and how have you overcome said challenges?

    2)Connecting the right people with the right property is hard. It's gets even harder at scale when you have exponentially more of each side. What features and solutions have you implemented to help allow the right people to connect with the right property at the right time?

    3) Quality and trust are really important for networks. How do you maintain the quality of the listings( desirable listings, listings have accurate information) so that people trust the zillow network enough to include zillow in their decision making process?

    Thanks,
    Aldin

  • SA

    Shaker A

    over 1 year ago #

    Great AMA @natemoch , learned alot

    1)How did you initially source and get the supply side on to the network when zillow was started, and didn't yet have the
    demand necessary to naturally attract the supply side? How did you build credibility with them and get them to give you
    a shot?

    2)How did you go about acquiring the supply side at scale? What was the process for identifying
    the kinds of listings you want on the platform to finally getting them on the platform? How did you scale this
    process?

    thanks

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