Ways We Enabled Zillow Leaders to Enable Positive Social/Enviro Impact

Power to unlock [my] life’s next chapter.

Just a few of the Zillow folks I admire starring in a commercial we made for our COVID-19 Response #bettertogether campaign.

Over the next couple weeks I’ll celebrate six months leading Sustainable Social Impact (aka Zillow for Good or Sustainability/ESG) at Zillow. Sadly, I will also experience my last day at Zillow on November 2nd. This article is a bitter-sweet tribute to this incredibly intense, fulfilling and memorable chapter in my career. It’s also a signal to my network to help me find my next exec role.

I feel enormous gratitude for the hundreds of impact-driven Zillow collaborators who made this chapter memorable. Your energy to create a more just and sustainable world during unprecedented hardships has been my power source. Dozens of you will remain in my thoughts and endeavors for this lifetime.

I’ll always BE most grateful to these three rockstars for recruiting, guiding and partnering with me on Zillow for Good. Thanks Dawn, Sam and Lyndsey. We did the work of 23 leaders this year. Your courage and tireless effort to enable positive social impact in the face of obstacles has meant the world to me. Sam and Lyndsey- I’m excited to celebrate the impact victories ahead of you at Zillow. Lemme know if I can help.

Below are 9 memories that I’ll take with me, framed by Z values:

1.) Zillow employees raised over $1 million dollars for 400+ nonprofits during the early phases of COVID-19. Having my pal Damian create and donate the rights to this original song for our 30 second internal ad was icing on the cake. Z Value: #dotherightthing

2.) Zillow took a proactive and authentically anti-racist stance this year and pursued emotional support for employees, a million dollar commitment to social/housing justice nonprofits, centralized their enlightening fair housing research here, supported anti-hate laws, got even more proactive about increasing representation among Zillow leadership ranks and much more. Z Value: #includeandempower

3.) Finalized a strategy and activated a motivated Z4G Steering Committee to integrate sustainable social impact, and ESG more broadly, into the Zillow operating bloodstream and brand. Started the process of creating a solid Theory of Change and five year vision for Zillow for Good. Every company in the world needs to pursue these efforts. I know someone who may be able to help your company here…(call me)… haaa! Z Value: #thinkbigmovefast & #zillowisateamsport

4.) Over twenty Zillow departments and lines of business included scalable social impact objectives, initiatives and key results laddering up to a company wide social impact objective in their annual operating plans for 2021! ESG is not real or scalable if it’s a side show vs. core. Please prove me right, Zillow team. Society and the earth need you. Z Value: #ownit

5.) Watched one of my closest friends at work, Crystal, soar in her role as VP of Equity and Belonging. Go friend! The space you and your teams held for employees to grieve and take action together has been incredible. I’ve shed many tears (a good healing thing) and learned volumes. Your wisdom, energy and empathy are infinite. Thanks for fully seeing me. Thanks for making Zillow special. Z Value: #includeandempower

6.) Witnessed social impact teams steal the show at Zillow Hack Week. Social impact innovations like these flex Zillow’s most scalable muscles. More importantly, they get people experiencing homelessness securely housed and will enable housing justice at scale. Z Value: #deliverqualityontimeeverytime

7.) Watched fair housing leaders take center stage at large external Zillow virtual events. I’m excited to see Zillow flex its voice/influence muscle even more in this area of housing justice over time. Racism no longer has a home in real estate. Click the image below to see a recording. Z Value: #customersareournorthstar

8.) Working on the 2020 Zillow Sustainability report, cheering for the birth of the ZEST (Zillow Environmental Sustainability Team) employee community, and seeing what industry peers (Stripe, Microsoft, salesforce.com, Starbucks, Atlasian, Nordstrom, etc) and the world’s most capable emissions reduction organizations (Anthesis, 3 Degrees, ERM, Watershed, Emitwise, ActualHQ, salesforce Sustainability Cloud, etc) had to offer Zillow in the carbon footprint quantification, environmental strategy and programming support arena as we pursued early discussions in this critical ESG area. It was a great learning area for me which I can’t wait to share with future employers/clients.

and of course…

Showing up to an all hands in a bathrobe and towel (on purpose) early on…

I’m excited to see what the Zillow team’s top memories from 2021 will be after next year’s inspiring plan plays out. I can’t wait to see Zillow advance multiple bottom lines and the housing justice, environmental and economic ROI it enables long-term.

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Bryan Breckenridge