President Barack Obama lives in a 16-bedroom, 35-bathroom single-family home that would cost nearly $320 million if it were for sale, according to online home-buying site Zillow.com. (Spoiler: It’s not.)
Still, Zillow’s tens of millions of monthly users will be able to settle in Wednesday for an interview with the president — a virtual roundtable focused on housing policy, part of his drive to retake the initiative on economic issues.
Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff will moderate the event, using questions submitted through a range of social media with the hashtag #AskObamaHousing. Zillow will be looking for especially frequent questions, as well as queries that housing experts think are timely. The White House will not get the questions in advance.
There are three ways to submit a question for Obama:
1. Video: Create a short video submission on YouTube, Instagram or Vine. Share the video on Twitter or Facebook using #AskObamaHousing.
2. Facebook: Visit Zillow’s Facebook page (facebook.com/Zillow) to submit a question.
3. Twitter: Tweet a question to @Zillow using #AskObamaHousing.
The session — dubbed “Zillow Presents: A Better Bargain for Responsible Homeowners: President Obama Answers Your Questions” — will live-stream at 1 p.m. Eastern/10 a.m. Pacific on Zillow.com/WhiteHouse, Yahoo.com and on the White House site at www.wh.gov/a-better-bargain. (Disclosure: Zillow and Yahoo are partners.)
“I’m thrilled for Zillow to host this discussion and help connect U.S. homeowners and renters with the President for a better understanding of how housing policy can impact their future,” Rascoff said in a statement.
Obama will do the event in Los Angeles, a day after traveling to Phoenix to make remarks on housing policy. The speech is one of a series of speeches on the economy, which Americans consistently name as their top concern. (How does a presidential speech get written? Glad you asked. See here.)
A White House official described the unorthodox interview as part of Obama’s efforts to reach Americans “directly.” (While the president does frequent interviews with traditional outlets, top aides have made it a point to reach beyond the usual suspects to get their message out).
“With more than 56 million monthly Zillow users, and nearly 700,000 followers on its social media channels, Zillow will offer the president a unique opportunity to engage directly with homeowners and Americans seeking to own a home,” said the official, who requested anonymity to preview an event that had not been formally announced.