Real estate’s worst nightmare: RedFin

Two guys trying to shake up the real estate industry: Glenn Kelman, CEO, and Michael Young, CTO of Redfin. Listen to how they are shaking up the real estate industry by trying to get rid of, or at least reduce, the fees that real estate agents get.

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Comments

  1. I’m in the market for a Seattle townhouse right now and use this site on a near-daily basis. The idea is definitely cutting-edge, but what really impresses me is the usability of the site. It’s really slick, definitely check it out if you want a quick lesson on Mashup 101.

  2. I’m in the market for a Seattle townhouse right now and use this site on a near-daily basis. The idea is definitely cutting-edge, but what really impresses me is the usability of the site. It’s really slick, definitely check it out if you want a quick lesson on Mashup 101.

  3. I am a regular user (over 4 yeas of searching online with real estate companies) of both a Santa Cruz area Coldwell Banker site and zipreality.com, and I have to say that this is best website for real estate that I have seen to date! I listened to the video and I was really impressed with Mr Kelman’s presentation of his business model as well.
    There was literally not one piece of info missing from what I could see, all you need is presented in a easy to follow manner.

  4. I am a regular user (over 4 yeas of searching online with real estate companies) of both a Santa Cruz area Coldwell Banker site and zipreality.com, and I have to say that this is best website for real estate that I have seen to date! I listened to the video and I was really impressed with Mr Kelman’s presentation of his business model as well.
    There was literally not one piece of info missing from what I could see, all you need is presented in a easy to follow manner.

  5. Man, I am sorry Redfin is not available in Texas. It kills me to give a complete stranger 20K just to sell my house. They should prosecute the REALTOR association with the RICO statute.

  6. Man, I am sorry Redfin is not available in Texas. It kills me to give a complete stranger 20K just to sell my house. They should prosecute the REALTOR association with the RICO statute.

  7. About 10% of the market nation wide has always gone for discount realty and they always will. This service looks like it has a chance to level the playing field a bit more.

    I doubt the traditional real estate agent will ever go away but particularly for a first time home buyer, RedFin offers something hard to match.

  8. About 10% of the market nation wide has always gone for discount realty and they always will. This service looks like it has a chance to level the playing field a bit more.

    I doubt the traditional real estate agent will ever go away but particularly for a first time home buyer, RedFin offers something hard to match.

  9. Very slick.

    A few comments about this from a non-Redfin real estate agent:

    First, refunds only available if the buyer’s lender approves – Redfin notes this on their Buyer FAQ site. This is convenient, because if the lender does not allow it, Redfin is “forced” to keep the money.

    Mr. Kelman states that 75% of buyers “find” their home online. This is misleading and disingenuous. They certainly narrow their search online, but how many people spend six figures or more without actually seeing the property – yes, inside and out. Even in the interview, Michael Young stated he went to see 40 properties PRIOR to purchase. More information alone is not enough – buyers will still want to get into the properties. This is called personal service.

    Potential clients should be aware that much of the work in a real estate transaction, any transaction, is done after the offer is made.

    Buyer’s agents do make more if a buyer purchases a higher price home. But, this amount is relatively small – certainly not enough to sacrifice the goodwill of the client. Remember, agents live on referral business. All agents. Also please note, Redfin makes more if their clients purchase a more expensive property (just like everyone else). It is an economic reality of this business.

    As for this whole argument about their elevated negotiating ability. Well, I have little doubt that Redfin negotiates better than the average real estate agent. But geez, that says more about the typical agent than it says about Redfin.

    Look, their are agents out there – out here – who understand the changing dynamics of the real estate marketplace. And, we are doing everything we can to take advantage of new and improving efficiencies. It’s just that, in my opinion, we are more genuine about it. No, not all of us. But an ever-increasing number of us.

    I encourage potential clients to look beyond the old-line traditional real estate firms. But, you should also look beyond Redfin….

  10. Very slick.

    A few comments about this from a non-Redfin real estate agent:

    First, refunds only available if the buyer’s lender approves – Redfin notes this on their Buyer FAQ site. This is convenient, because if the lender does not allow it, Redfin is “forced” to keep the money.

    Mr. Kelman states that 75% of buyers “find” their home online. This is misleading and disingenuous. They certainly narrow their search online, but how many people spend six figures or more without actually seeing the property – yes, inside and out. Even in the interview, Michael Young stated he went to see 40 properties PRIOR to purchase. More information alone is not enough – buyers will still want to get into the properties. This is called personal service.

    Potential clients should be aware that much of the work in a real estate transaction, any transaction, is done after the offer is made.

    Buyer’s agents do make more if a buyer purchases a higher price home. But, this amount is relatively small – certainly not enough to sacrifice the goodwill of the client. Remember, agents live on referral business. All agents. Also please note, Redfin makes more if their clients purchase a more expensive property (just like everyone else). It is an economic reality of this business.

    As for this whole argument about their elevated negotiating ability. Well, I have little doubt that Redfin negotiates better than the average real estate agent. But geez, that says more about the typical agent than it says about Redfin.

    Look, their are agents out there – out here – who understand the changing dynamics of the real estate marketplace. And, we are doing everything we can to take advantage of new and improving efficiencies. It’s just that, in my opinion, we are more genuine about it. No, not all of us. But an ever-increasing number of us.

    I encourage potential clients to look beyond the old-line traditional real estate firms. But, you should also look beyond Redfin….

  11. Robert – thanks for the comment on my blog pointing me to this video – I enjoyed the CEO. He looks like a really decent guy to work with, and he didn’t sugar coat everything with layers of “CEO-sperm” as they sometimes tend to do. He understands there are challenges and that they need to overcome them. Good for him!

  12. Robert – thanks for the comment on my blog pointing me to this video – I enjoyed the CEO. He looks like a really decent guy to work with, and he didn’t sugar coat everything with layers of “CEO-sperm” as they sometimes tend to do. He understands there are challenges and that they need to overcome them. Good for him!

  13. Robert — Here is the problem with RedFin’s model. The lack of expertise on the buying/selling process has tremendous ramfications for the other agent (the ones who are bashing RedFin) involved in the process. Because of RedFin’s lack of experienced staff, my agent had to COACH the other agent through the entire process of selling my home. This is so my husband and I could sleep better knowing that transaction wouldn’t encounter any last minute hiccups due to the inexperience of the RedFin agent. Maybe if RedFin actually had people who knew the rules and regulations associated with buying/selling homes, maybe they wouldn’t feel so beat up.

    The other thing is that any realtor I have worked with has always been willing to meet with me whenever to complete a deal so I wouldn’t lose out on a home. Let’s see if RedFin does that.

    Not saying there isn’t a place, but they have a long way to go before I would switch. What you save in paying a commission can cost you a lot more down the road if your agent isn’t trained properly.

  14. Robert — Here is the problem with RedFin’s model. The lack of expertise on the buying/selling process has tremendous ramfications for the other agent (the ones who are bashing RedFin) involved in the process. Because of RedFin’s lack of experienced staff, my agent had to COACH the other agent through the entire process of selling my home. This is so my husband and I could sleep better knowing that transaction wouldn’t encounter any last minute hiccups due to the inexperience of the RedFin agent. Maybe if RedFin actually had people who knew the rules and regulations associated with buying/selling homes, maybe they wouldn’t feel so beat up.

    The other thing is that any realtor I have worked with has always been willing to meet with me whenever to complete a deal so I wouldn’t lose out on a home. Let’s see if RedFin does that.

    Not saying there isn’t a place, but they have a long way to go before I would switch. What you save in paying a commission can cost you a lot more down the road if your agent isn’t trained properly.

  15. Hi Reuben,

    Great thoughts! One clarification about the Redfin refund. Redfin never keeps our buyer’s refunds. There are a few different options of how to apply the Redfin refund. Most customers have the refund applied to their closing costs, and the remainder is cut to them as a check after closing. Other options include giving it to the seller as a negotiating tool, and donating it to charity.

    -Trevor, Redfin Agent

  16. Hi Reuben,

    Great thoughts! One clarification about the Redfin refund. Redfin never keeps our buyer’s refunds. There are a few different options of how to apply the Redfin refund. Most customers have the refund applied to their closing costs, and the remainder is cut to them as a check after closing. Other options include giving it to the seller as a negotiating tool, and donating it to charity.

    -Trevor, Redfin Agent

  17. I will like to send you pictures of our house and information of what it will cost us if you sell the house for us. You may email. The house is in Castle Hayne NC 5 min outside of Wilmington NC I was introduce via of ABC TV today.

  18. I will like to send you pictures of our house and information of what it will cost us if you sell the house for us. You may email. The house is in Castle Hayne NC 5 min outside of Wilmington NC I was introduce via of ABC TV today.

  19. I don’t think Glenn Kelman could have been interrupted in a more awkward way during this interview. And that’s what this was supposed to be . . . an interview. Not a conversation, not a chance to explain to Glenn how your personal experience ended . . . there were definitely several instances where you could see Glenn wonder when the Scobleizer would hush.

  20. I don’t think Glenn Kelman could have been interrupted in a more awkward way during this interview. And that’s what this was supposed to be . . . an interview. Not a conversation, not a chance to explain to Glenn how your personal experience ended . . . there were definitely several instances where you could see Glenn wonder when the Scobleizer would hush.

  21. Well in this market I think sellers are willing to pay a little more to get a little more. Marketing is key. Internet marketing is the gate. I heard just by putting a listing a craigslist you increase traffic by 9% compared t just having it on mls. But there is some much an agent can do on top of that. So why would a discount broker go out of his way, when his focusing on volume.

  22. Well in this market I think sellers are willing to pay a little more to get a little more. Marketing is key. Internet marketing is the gate. I heard just by putting a listing a craigslist you increase traffic by 9% compared t just having it on mls. But there is some much an agent can do on top of that. So why would a discount broker go out of his way, when his focusing on volume.

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