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How Zillow’s CEO Inspires Greatness in the Workplace

June 22, 2017, 8:42 PM UTC

Spencer Rascoff enjoys telling stories. And the lively, high energy CEO of Zillow Group is a good storyteller. He has used storytelling to shape the online real estate company’s culture.

Rascoff says that his knack for storytelling helped unite the many employees who joined the company through a burst of 13 acquisitions over the last six years.

“Understanding the Zillow founding story is a very important part of our culture,” says Rascoff. “So the description we use, we say shopping for a home before Zillow was like being in a dark room where you didn’t have a flashlight. We want to turn on the lights.”

Much of Zillow’s growth and success can be credited to the culture Rascoff has created at the company’s headquarters in Seattle. He says he wanted to build an organization that didn’t burn people out. He experienced the 24/7 work culture as a young investment banker at Goldman Sachs and says he didn’t want Zillow to be like that.

“I think you want to work smart, not necessarily long. What I hate is companies that have a face time culture where you’re expected to be ‘round the clock,” he says. “Nobody wants to work like that. That doesn’t inspire greatness.”

For more of our interview with Zillow’s CEO, watch the video above.