Zillow offer evaluation.

McAfee GoodDon
Feb 26 30 Comments

I have received the initial offer from Zillow with below numbers:

Base: 150k
Equity: 140k/4 yr
Signing Bonus: 35K

I have onsite interview coming up with Uber and Amazon and phone interview with Google. Is this offer competitive for Seattle? Is there room to negotiate on base/equity/signing?

Recruiter told me I can choose between option and RSU or mix? What’s the good combination?
I have ~3 years of experience after graduate school.

I have given 1 week deadline to respond to the offer.

Thank you

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TOP 30 Comments
  • Zillow Group / Eng DeskJockey
    The mix you can choose is between RSUs and options, in 25% increments. So you can receive 25/75 RSUs/options or 50/50 etc. You'll get 3x options for every RSU. With the extra amount, break even is when stock price rises 50% from your strike price. Anything more means options come out ahead, but they have different tax implications and you need the cash to purchase them (or have the broker sell some to cover the cost, which limits your upside a bit if you wanted to hold the stock longer). So having some RSUs to sell to buy the options may make sense for you. But again you have to bet on stock price rising at least 50% during the time you are with the company and the ability to exercise the options.
    Feb 27 8
    • Zillow Group / Eng anKW36
      I was told equity changes require a lot of sign off. But I was able to move on base and signing pretty easily.
      Feb 27
    • That's interesting. I've heard a lot of places won't budge on salary but hands out more stock like candy. Is Zillow the opposite?
      Feb 27
    • Zillow Group / Eng anKW36
      In my experience it has almost been base is easier to move than stock. I always figured it was because stock requires board approval while salary is more to do with departmental budgets. But it’s interesting to hear some places are the opposite!
      Feb 27
    • Gotcha, I think that makes sense.

      Do you have numbers in mind for how much Zillow is willing to adjust base?
      It's been very difficult to find specific, up-to-date comp data about Zillow. I'm looking at p3
      Feb 27
    • Actually @OP I wonder if we're going for same team. :P dm me
      Feb 27
  • Stripe ten nines
    Once you get the offer, you should ask what the conversion rate between options and RSUs is. 1 RSU for 3 options is standardish. Because Zillow is public, you don’t get a break on the strike price like you do with a startup, so with options you’re banking hard on future stock price appreciation. Or Zillow could be like Cisco - flat for years - and your options will be worthless. I’d take the RSUs because I am risk averse and they are guaranteed to be worth at least something.
    Feb 26 2
    • McAfee GoodDon
      OP
      Thanks, for the info. That’s useful.
      Feb 26
    • Zillow Group starcloud
      Its 1 RSU for 3 options
      Feb 27
  • Zillow Group / Eng anKW36
    In my experience, Zillow doesn’t really compete with non-public company offers. Places like Uber will offer insane RSUs and Zillow probably won’t match. But they will with base regardless of company and stock for public companies. So if you have time, I’d get other offers to see if you can push it up.
    Feb 27 6
    • Zillow Group / Eng anKW36
      I usually say I won’t be ready to make a decision at that point. Normally I tell all companies well in advance: “I will be making my decision on date x at EOD, so I’ll need an answer by then and I unfortunately won’t be able to consider anything after that point.” If you feel you can elaborate further saying it gives you time to discuss with family and to move things along quickly enough, etc.

      This really helps with negotiations as all of the offers come around the same time, and if you ghost companies for a few days preceding, a lot of them will up their offers last minute without you even needing to negotiate. I’ve had some places up base salary $20-30k last minute without even asking, just by doing this.

      I think in this case, you could try to do the same with Zillow? As long as you’re courteous, they won’t rescind. I think they will wiggle a little for you.
      Feb 27
    • McAfee GoodDon
      OP
      Thanks for the tips. I told Uber that I have offer and they expedited the process. I have Amazon interview on 15th March for which I think I won’t be able hold the offer. Will try best to get the offer from Uber and compare with Zillow.
      Feb 27
    • Zillow Group SnDe72
      Highly unlikely that Zillow will bump up salary just because you are ghosting. In fact they will think that you are not interested and might start giving offers to next in line.
      Feb 27
    • Zillow Group / Eng anKW36
      Technically you’re not ghosting. You’ve said you’ll make a decision by a date, so they know you’ll speak to them on that date. But if it’s radio silence for a week before, some companies get angsty and up their offers.

      Why would they give it to the next in line when both parties have agreed to come to a decision on a given date?
      Feb 27
    • McAfee GoodDon
      OP
      I have a call with HM tomorrow. I will asked him to extend the deadline by Friday and hope I will have decisions from at least Uber by that time.
      Feb 27
  • Walmart.com / Eng QTFP86
    Base is in a range of average to low, equity amount is debatable if it is stock options, in that case it is not that worth unless you want to stick around for 5-6 years. Compare to that, equity in FANG will be solid.
    Feb 26 2
    • McAfee GoodDon
      OP
      How much more equity/base I can go fo? This is my first time negotiating offer.
      Feb 26
    • Walmart.com / Eng QTFP86
      Find RSU conversion, stock options are not effective and hard to quantify if your plan changes in very near future. Bonus is average, best bet is to clear other stuff in pipeline and compare. If other things don’t work out then this offer will not sound that bad.
      Feb 26
  • Wells Fargo gyut
    No target bonus?
    Feb 26 2
    • McAfee GoodDon
      OP
      There is merit increase of 3%. The offer does not mention anything about target bonus.
      Feb 26
    • Zillow Group / Eng anKW36
      Zillow has stock refreshes in lieu of target cash bonuses. Some companies have both, though. Unfortunately, Zillow isn’t one of them.
      Feb 27
  • JOANY / Eng FQuQ40
    Base is okay for Seattle. Depending on the RSUs this is a decent offer. Not fantastic. But definitely acceptable. Sign on is good, too.
    Feb 26 0
  • Senior level?
    Feb 26 1
    • McAfee GoodDon
      OP
      No, it’s SDE.
      Feb 26
  • PayPal
    🐲ninja

    PayPal

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    🐲ninjamore
    @GoodDon: hope it worked out well for you! I’ve on-site coming up; care to share about the interview? Specially the system design rounds? Thanks!
    Aug 1 0
  • Accenture Fizzbuzz01
    SDE 1 or 2?
    Feb 27 0