Life on Zillow Home Loans’ Loan Origination Team

What it takes to succeed on a team that’s transforming how consumers buy, sell and finance homes.

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We sat down with Zillow Home Loans hiring manager Kelly Owens (l) to find out more about loan officer opportunities and what she looks for in candidates. We also talked to Sean Bennett (r), recruiter for several Zillow businesses, about why job seekers should consider Zillow.

What do ZHL Loan Origination teams do and what are you looking for in candidates? 

Kelly: “We are responsible for originating mortgage loans, conducting interviews, analyzing credit histories, staying informed about current regulations, following up on lead submissions and answering inbound calls. So basically, putting the customer first. To be successful in these roles, you need to love talking with customers and have that drive in wanting to see someone successful from the beginning through the finish. It takes good listening skills, patience and resilience to educate folks. It’s incredible to see our impact on someone’s experience while they purchase a home or refinance.”

Where does loan origination fit in with other Zillow businesses?

Sean: “Zilllow has several businesses that each help people move into their next home. In addition to the for-sale and rental listings on, we now buy and sell homes directly through Zillow Offers. Zillow Home Loans is Zillow’s affiliated lender. It provides mortgage pre-approvals and financing; Zillow Closing Services, Zillow’s affiliated title and escrow provider, offers title and closing services. 

Zillow is a company with a heart. 2020’s events have been disruptive, chaotic and tragic in so many ways. To be with a company that leads with humanity and leads with heart has been extremely exciting for me.

Sean Bennett

What is life on the team like, and what is it like to work at Zillow in general? 

Kelly: “I am going to brag a bit about our team. We’re like a (happy) family. We communicate well, share ideas, offer suggestions and offer each other support. Since COVID-19, to keep us connected, I implemented a daily check-in. It gives us that human connection. The first 5-10 minutes of the call,  we vent or talk about our day, what’s going on, even at home.”

Sean: “Zillow is a company with a heart. 2020’s events have been disruptive, chaotic and tragic in so many ways. To be with a company that leads with humanity and leads with heart has been extremely exciting for me. They’ve continued to put employees at the center of the decisions in a very genuine, honest way, in a very human and a very humane way.”

What is Kelly’s leadership style? 

Kelly: “I would describe my leadership style as direct with the ability to motivate and lead by example. For example, if I make a mistake, I don’t have a problem owning it. Without making mistakes, you don’t grow, you don’t learn. I set team and individual goals at the beginning of each month, which gives us a clear direction and something to aim for collectively. I want everyone on our team to have a voice and not be afraid to speak up. I love when we share ideas and work together as a team.”

What is Sean’s style as a recruiter? 

Sean: “I’m here to help you make the move to the Zillow. We’re already the market leader in helping people find their actual residential property or home. As a recruiter, I get to help YOU try to find your next professional home. I want to make it as valuable and as enriching as the home shopping and buying experience can be. Zillow is constantly challenging and empowering employees to take on new responsibilities and to really learn to become their best professional self. It really depends on you to go out there and to grab it. It’s not something that’s necessarily laid out in front of you, but as long as you’re willing to be curious, and put yourself out there a bit, it’s a company that provides tons of opportunities.

Sean’s top 3 reasons for choosing Zillow: 

  1. Zillow was there at the right time for me in my career – to give me the chance to do something dynamic and interesting. 
  2. Quite frankly, Zillow allowed me to be a part of something that’s really big and audacious.
  3. I want to look back and say, “I was there when….I helped build that.”