EDITOR’S NOTE: This is one in a monthly series of miniprofiles featuring local executives “off the clock.”
EXECUTIVE’S NAME, TITLE AND COMPANY NAME.
Rebekah Bastian, VP of product, Zillow Group
TELL US WHAT YOUR COMPANY DOES AND WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO THIS BUSINESS.
Zillow is the leading real estate and rental marketplace, dedicated to empowering consumers with data, inspiration and knowledge around the place they call home, and connecting them with the best local professionals who can help. Zillow serves the full life cycle of owning and living in a home: buying, selling, renting, financing, remodeling and more.
When I first started at Zillow in 2005, the company was in stealth startup mode, and all I knew was that it had amazing founders and was working in the housing space. I was excited about the technology, and pretty clueless about real estate. But as I’ve worked on several different areas of our product, and built close relationships with many amazing real estate professionals, I’m now passionate about both the technology and the real estate vertical.
WHAT BOOK/TV SHOW/PODCAST ARE YOU READING/WATCHING/LISTENING TO AND WHY?
I just finished watching all of [the sci-fi series] Black Mirror. Such a great exploration of the terrifying consequences that can come from pursuing the limits of technology. I’ve definitely had a few “I’m living in a bad episode of Black Mirror” moments since I started watching it!
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE SPOT IN SEATTLE?
My house in Ballard – I love spending time there with my husband, my two little boys and friends. And for my “me” time, I go to Versatile Arts to practice aerial acrobatics – it’s my creative, physical and social outlet all in one.
WHAT KIND OF CAR DO YOU DRIVE AND WHY?
I drive a VW Tiguan. There’s nothing too exciting about it, but I like the size and style, and I don’t think I deserve a new car until I stop parking in compact parking spots (lots of door dings) and my kids stop crushing Cheerios into the carpet!
TELL US SOMETHING PEOPLE DON'T KNOW ABOUT YOU.
Right after high school, I went to college on a music scholarship and failed because I wasn’t going to classes. I don’t think I was ready to focus yet. I took some time off and moved to Seattle, and then started taking community college classes. This time I was ready. I kept going until I got my master’s in mechanical engineering from UC Berkeley.
WHAT ARE YOU PASSIONATE ABOUT OUTSIDE OF WORK?
One issue that I care a lot about is homelessness. It’s on my mind because I spend my days at Zillow thinking about helping people find their way home, and also because it is such a big issue in our region. I’ve been working on a program at Zillow for a couple of years now called Community Pillar, which aims to help people experiencing housing instability by connecting them with self-identified altruistic landlords. And I’ve served on a few local boards and councils that are focused on housing and homelessness. There are so many complex issues and stories behind each homeless individual, and I think there’s a great opportunity for all of us to help out however we can.
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