Executives Legend
The color legend to the right illustrates the various backgrounds for the top executives in the residential real estate industry.

Richard “Rich” Barton

Co-Founder and CEO, 
Zillow Group
2024 Rank: 5

Barton, the visionary co-founder and CEO of Zillow Group, helped his company take more steps toward its adapted end-to-end real estate vision in 2023.

After exiting iBuying, the firm has aggressively pursued a different tack to achieve the same end goal: providing consumers with a seamless real estate experience. It has done this by more deeply integrating its industry-leading showing tool ShowingTime into its dominant Zillow.com and trulia.com portals by offering real-time touring to leads, by introducing enhanced listing services to listing agents through ShowingTime+, and by refining its ancillary title and mortgage services and tying them closer to its lead gen business.

In 2023, it brought more of these threads together in what it calls Enhanced Markets, in which more if not all of the leads it sends agents happen by referral. In this way, it controls more of the consumer experience and can better capture ancillary business.

Barton also guided the firm deeper into the teams realm by making a huge October 2023 $400 million acquisition of one of the nation’s most popular pieces of technology for teams, the CRM Follow Up Boss.

These are big moves. But while the company brought in $1.5 billion in revenue in the first nine months of 2023, it reported a net loss of $85 million. Almost two decades in, the company is still hunting profitability.

The unwavering investment in growth, however, is part of Barton’s strategy, and it has resulted in a dominant portal, a business poised to own more of the consumer real estate transaction experience and an owner of a full suite of real estate technology from transaction management in dotloop to showings in ShowingTime to CRM with Follow Up Boss.

Barton remains one of the industry’s most powerful leaders with a No. 5 position on the 2024 SP 200.