SEATTLE In the very same week that the Zillow Group set social media in the real estate space on fire with their purchase of software firm Dotloop, CEO Spencer Rascoff has announced the purchase of website AshleyMadison.com.
It is unknown how the dating platform for cheating spouses fits into Zillow's model, but industry insider comments were all over the map.
Zillow's own Jay Thompson, Director of Industry Outreach, asked "who is Ashley Madison? Is she a premier agent? Is she Canadian or something?" when contacted about the move. In a rambling, impromptu statement, realtor.com parent company NewsCorp. CEO Rupert Murdoch went on record as saying, "Bravo, Spencer! I really like that chap." Murdoch publicly praised Rascoff for the very first time, wiping perspiration from his upper lip and popping nitroglycerine pills like Mike & Ikes, as he spoke for 17 minutes without interruption or the aid of any additional oxygen.
"We see this as a natural extension of Zillow's commitment to our Premier Agents," Rascoff, himself, said, as he opened a silver bucket filled with roasted kittens and broke off a suffering drumstick.
"Even though we have more listings for sale than any other website, we want to do our part to increase the inventory of motivated sellers. Just like we opened up pre-foreclosures, the divorce market was just sitting there, unstimulated. I just see it as being proactive. This is simply transparency. Free the data!" He then took a long chug from a dark bottle labeled "tears of enemies."
Other industry voices were more measured, with Sebastian Winnow, Association Executive of the Metropolitan Board of New York, saying it was "probably a smart move," because "Agents use software and stuff, so Zillow offering their customers more tools might make more sense."
There were, of course, naysayers viewing the move with suspicion. In the National Association of Realtors Facebook group, New Jersey agent Maude Gladstone posted (sic) "DON'T U GET IT? THEIR GOING TO UPLOAD ALL THE CHEATERS ONTO DOTLOOP AND INTERGRATE IT INTO THE NATIONAL MLS THEY ARE CREATING ONCE THEY ARE BROKERS IN ALL 50 STATES! WAKE UP, PEOPLE, #TAKEBACKOURDATA THESE BASTARDS ARE VAMPIRES AND WE ARE DINNER!"
Scoffing at the last reference, Rascoff, whose own home is on the market, denied accusations that he is actually a 15th century vampire named Nosferatu, and categorically denied last Spring's rumor that he was a daemon from antiquity with an unpronounceable name. He did, however, acknowledge that his home was off market temporarily while workers removed some contents from the home's attic, reportedly including a painting of a really, really old guy.