Seattle Residential: I Do That: Real Estate Business Models

Real Estate Business Models

Real Estate Business Models

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When the unknown becomes known

 

Fear of the unknown can be a pretty incredible force. In the real estate business we often feel threatened when new laws (outside forces) change and therefore change the way we have to do business. And other times a new business model (inside forces) comes along and it seems like the entire structure we've learned to operate in might be changed.

My focus in this post is Redfin. I've recently sold a Redfin listing and it is my first personal interaction with the company. I remember hearing from other agents just a few short years ago about how Redfin's software engineers tried to put together the first offers that came out of the company. I didn't think of it at the time, but I can only imagine what the first offer by any agent looks like. Probably not a thing of beauty.

A Sold Sign

Redfin's founder did an amazing job of shaking up the travel agency industry with Expedia. They have certainly seen some deep and far reaching changes. Do I think that the same expanse of change will come to the real estate industry? No, not really. There have been many discount companies come and go over the years. And there have been many non discount/rebate companies fail during that same period. The success of a company is not based solely on the fees it charges.

I was out showing homes yesterday and my client pulled a paper out a folder and asked, "Do you have access to all of the homes that Redfin does?" "Well, sure," I answered. "They, and all other companies get their information from the multiple. We all have the same information." He went on to tell me what a great site Redfin has and I have to agree. It is a user friendly site and it offers a ton of information.

Back to my recent sale. The transaction took a few turns at the beginning that were unfamiliar to me and I learned and moved through it. Everything is going like clockwork now and I have no reason to suspect the deal is doomed. I ran into my broker at the office last night and he's seen my sold strip on the Redfin sign, which of course pleased him. We talked a little about the company and how they have slowly been changing their business model by rebating less to buyers, by offering more service to buyers and sellers. Why are they doing that? Well, our thought was that buyers and sellers interested in doing it all by themselves are a limited segment of the market and to survive, any company needs to increase their market share. When times are tough, like right now, a company needs to reach out more to everyone that needs help, and less to those who don't need any.

Redfin, like all companies, has only 3 ways to go. They will survive (and I might add that they will adapt to the way the industry works, not change it significantly), or they will sell to another company (who wouldn't want the website in their chest of tools?) or they will quietly fade away.

Although this seems a little late in coming, I welcome Redfin to the business and wish them all the best.

 

 

 

 

Glenn Roberts
Retired

 

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Comment balloon 60 commentsGlenn Roberts • August 16 2010 10:34AM

Comments

Glenn, this is nice.  Redfin sold one of my listings last year and I was pleased with them. 

Posted by Courtney Cooper, 206-850-8841 (Ben Kinney Brokerages Leadership at our Keller Williams North Seattle Office) over 8 years ago

You wrote "I ran into my broker at the office last night and he's seen my sold strip on the Redfin sign,"  do you mean on the for sale sign at the property the selling agent puts a sign strip up?  Before closing?

We do NOT have a company like Redfin in our market... some wanna be's but they don't have the site...  big difference...

Posted by Maureen McCabe, Columbus Ohio Real Estate (HER Realtors) over 8 years ago

Never heard of them.  Do they have a revoultionary real estate model?  I take it not.

Posted by Keith Sellers, Greater Kalamazoo and Lakeshore (Sellers Real Estate) over 8 years ago

Glenn,

I was unfamiliar with the Redfin group. Thanks for the summary. I'm sure that if they are successful they will eventually head to Canada.

Brian

Posted by Brian Madigan, LL.B., Broker (RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage (Toronto)) over 8 years ago

Glenn, thanks for the post, I recently saw that Redfin is looking to add my state as one of its locations and although I have seen and read a bit about Redfin I am still a little foggy on their model. Good to hear everything went well

Posted by John Marshall - FORE!, Specializing in Golf Course Properties (The K Company Realty) over 8 years ago

Hi Glenn,

Thanks for your posting, good one!  

I doubt that Redfin.com will "fade away" since they have a very powerful system, works great where they do have coverage, for many metro areas.

Have you noticed, when you search for a specific property address, that Redfin often comes up in the top 10 on Google?  Sometimes, top 2 or 3... often, higher than the domain-name link to a virtual tour?  Even beating Zillow, Trulia, Yahoo Real Estate, realtor.com, and many other web-sites for a specific property address...  With most Buyers now using the internet as their primary resource according to NAR, winning the SEO game is one key to success.

I'm looking forward to reading more comments on your excellent posting.

~ George

www.myDotCom.INFO
Real Estate SEO for Agents — Enhancing Your Internet-Presence

 

 

 

Posted by George Fanucci, Internet - Technology - Business - Solutions (CoreFact.com) over 8 years ago

Courtney - They are beyond their early days and have an established system now.

Maureen - Yes, the selling agent puts a trophy label on the listings agent's sign.

Sellers- They began offering 2/3 of the comission back to the buyer with the premise that the buyer did all the work including accessing the house through the listing agent. They've changed.

Brian - Canada next and then the world.

John -  Redfin has been a little foggy about their model as well.

George - They may not fade away...they have over 20 million in venture capitol to repay some day and the only way to get that with their model may be to sell. Someday the founder may find himself a bit bored with life in real estate and wish to move on to bigger and better things.

Posted by Glenn Roberts (Retired) over 8 years ago

Glenn,

Redfin is in some of our markets around here, but not all. I have clients that do use their website though. Thankfully, they still use me as their agent.

Rich

Posted by Richard Iarossi, Crofton MD Real Estate, Annapolis MD Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 8 years ago

Glenn,

I'm not familiar with Redfin, but will look them up. Thanks for the heads up.

Gary

Posted by Gary Burleson, Myrtle Beach Homes, Condos, Foreclosures, Investment Propery (Beach Water Realty - www.beachwaterrealty.com) over 8 years ago

Anyone heard of Referral USA? Along with Redfin, new buyers coming into the market are looking at both of these.

I hear it frequently when doing open houses.

However, this post is the first I've heard of a transaction with either of them.

Posted by Roseanne Campagna, Kent/DesMoines/Blk Diamond/Renton/Maple Valley, WA (John L. Scott RE Maple Valley, WA ) over 8 years ago

It's always a little scary to see companies who discount and rebate buyers. I've had buyers ask for a piece of my commission, but usually not until they haven't gotten the house at a price they wanted. Kind of a way of making up the difference. As a whole I do not do this. I feel that we give value to our buyers with our knowledge. And with our negotiation skills. I find that most buyers really want the service.

Posted by Buki Burke, (805)377-0236, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services CA (Ventura, California) over 8 years ago

Richard - Redfin is finding co-op agents in areas they aren't in and doing that with some success. Eventually they will find out that full commissions go a long way toward supporting a company.

Gary - They began with the premise that agents make too much money so there must be a way to rebate some of it.

Roseanne - I haven't heard of Referral USA. There is another company in Seattle called FindWell which is trying to out-rebate Redfin.  Gotta love that fight.

Posted by Glenn Roberts (Retired) over 8 years ago

Buki - After it's all together? Really? We have buyers seeking out the listing agent and demanding 3%, as if they even knew for sure that was the SOC. Often they are negotiable. Occasionally they even want representation for no cost and that takes some explaining as to why they won't find it. Then I send them off to find an agent.

Posted by Glenn Roberts (Retired) over 8 years ago

now I see it... Trophy label... I like it.  Agent I have a closing with tomorrow said I could put sign up in the yard but I have never done that... and I could of course.  My client owns it tomorrow... but I won't do that. 

A trophy label I could get into!

Posted by Maureen McCabe, Columbus Ohio Real Estate (HER Realtors) over 8 years ago

Their web site ranks well locally but they only have a couple of agents. Here they seem to focus on the city of Chicago although I have seen them out in the burbs. The offer a model for agents with othe  companies to get leads from them and an agent I know considering doing the program until I pointed out she was competing with their own agents. We had many of those 4% companies here, they have all but disappeared. Redfin's advantage is their online presence.

Posted by Corinne Guest, Barrington Home Buyer Advocate (Barrington Realty Company) over 8 years ago

Maureen - We put the sold sign up as soon as the inspection is signed off. It's nice to let the public know who is working successfully with buyers.

Posted by Glenn Roberts (Retired) over 8 years ago

Corinne - The model to have very few agents who do less. The listing agent in my case gets all of the listings in northeast Seattle. The sale is together now and it goes to a processor. They have capable people now, who work on salary, and perhaps a bonus. I'm not sure how they will keep them when times are better. We'll see

Posted by Glenn Roberts (Retired) over 8 years ago

Had never heard of Redfin before. They do not operate in our market, but it is good to know about.

Posted by Mark Montross, Listing and Buyer Specialist (Catamount Realty Group) over 8 years ago

Thanks for posting Glenn.  They are not in our market as of right now, but as you've mentioned, they may make changes to survive.  It's nice to get information on things happening outside of my market, keeps me up to speed for industry news!  Thanks

Posted by Jake Luehrs (Keller Williams Integrity - Team Leader) over 8 years ago

Glenn, Your SOLD sign-rider is a great way to market yourself,  as I am sure you're aware ... In these times, a SOLD is as valuable as a "Just-Listed" ... Bankable, too!

Why do so many agents say "buyers are liars" and only work to get more listings?

I'm looking forward to reading more comments on your excellent posting.

~ George

www.myDotCom.INFO
Real Estate SEO for Agents — Enhancing Your Internet-Presence

 

 

Posted by George Fanucci, Internet - Technology - Business - Solutions (CoreFact.com) over 8 years ago

Interesting....about 5 years ago, I heard a spokesperson for Redfin, before they had offices/had "begun" as an operating business, talk about the consumer oriented biz model.    Seems that this post-internet world demands a consumer centric response.    Redfin is not in Canada yet, so can't comment on the particulars of their current format.  

Posted by Li Read, Caring expertise...knowledge for you! (Sea to Sky Premier Properties (Salt Spring)) over 8 years ago

I’ve known of Redfin for quite some time now, Glenn. I first saw them three years ago in a 60 Minutes story entitled, “Chipping Away At Realtors' Six Percent.”  They have a nice site, but as you point out, I’ve noticed that they no longer give the deep discounts they did a few years ago. And why should they? If they can build their brand and position their website as the “Go To” place for real estate home buyers, then they can charge higher fees. (I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s been their goal all along… to build their brand and raise their fees.)

Posted by Bill Burchard, Broker, Realtor, Representing Buyers and Sellers (3B Realty: 951-347-3818, CA) over 8 years ago

Glenn - Congratulations on your featured post!  I agree that discount real estate companies will not replace traditional.  Not everyone is out bargain hunting.  Some want top service. As our society moves away from personable service finding good service can be tough.  Great post my man!

Posted by Nevin Williams, Senior Mortgage Advisor (Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation) over 8 years ago

I worked with a couple for about 6 months - after asking them if they were working with another agent.  Satisfied, I showed them many properties, and then suddenly they stopped answering my e-mails or returning my calls.

Finally, he called and admitted they had purchased a home using a Chicago Redfin agent (none here in the suburbs) because of their discount policy.  So I did all the work, the customer got his discount, Redfin made the sale and got their commission. 

That's my Redfin story - I'm not impressed.

Posted by Margaret Goss, Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate (Baird & Warner Real Estate) over 8 years ago

Mark - and Jake - They will probably have some small impact in your areas eventually.

George - We've been using those since before 1988 when I arrived in Seattle.

Li - It's funny how the operating model changes with experience. The real estate wheel gets re-invented slowly, not over night. Why? Because the one we have works pretty darn well.

Bill - The founder is a master at PR and marketing himself and company. Poor little guy, the machine doesn't like me. But now, Redfin is more like traditional companies and repaying the venture capitol goes will cost a pretty penny.

Nevin - Thank you. In general all models adjust to changes in the infrastructure. The Internet has changed real estate forever...for the better. But word of mouth referrals based on person to person service, whether real or virtual, will triumph over hollow promises.

Margaret - The way we've addressed this is with an upfront discussion about service and a good exclusive agency contract.  

Posted by Glenn Roberts (Retired) over 8 years ago

Redfin is active here in the MA market, but they're not really a big player.  Like another agent mentioned, I've had a couple of buyer clients contact me who also contacted Redfin and they asked if I'd be willing to refund them some of my commission to match the Redfin model.  I said no, as I provide much more individualized service and I have far larger overhead expenses (desk fees, etc.).  I didn't see those buyers again, but I figured if they were going to try and nickel and dime my commission down, they wouldn't be buyers I'd enjoy working with anyway. 

-TMC

Tim Cahill
MBA, Certified EcoBroker, Realtor
Web site: CyberGreenRealty | Blog: Home Green Home
T: 617.599.2775
E: Tim@CyberGreenRealty.com

Posted by Tim Cahill, MBA, EcoBroker (RE/MAX Results) over 8 years ago

Sorry I have to ask... have Tim Cahill and George Fanucci just not bothered to read the ActiveRain guidelines?  Or is their business model SPAM? Your comments are spam.  Your contact info and credentials belong on your profile, not in the comments of another member's post.  Your comment has a link to your profile.

Tim Cahill MBA, EcoBroker (RE/MAX Results)

George Fanucci (CoreFact.com)

Read the guidelines.

Sorry Glenn...

Posted by Maureen McCabe, Columbus Ohio Real Estate (HER Realtors) over 8 years ago

Tim - Like I've said - the exclusive agency is the way to go.

Maureen - That's okay. I just read a post by Brad Andersohnabout advertising and he quoted Ardelle DellaLoggia as saying "Blogging is the show, not the commercial.  If you make it into a commercial, then your readers will go get a sandwich, like they do when a commercial comes on T.V." 

I tend to ingore ads. And now...it's almost noon in Seattle. I'm going to lunch.

Posted by Glenn Roberts (Retired) over 8 years ago

The Internet Age and the Current American Economic Situation are bringing new business models to the Real Estate Industry.  Discounters, Rebaters, Flat Fee Firms, and others. 

As someone above said, Redfin is well financed and is firmly in place.  Like them or not, the new business models are not going away.  Forbes and Wall Street Journal have both posted recent articles advocating the non-traditional listing methods for Sellers.

I salute you Glenn, for your successful transaction.

 

 

Posted by Fred Griffin, Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker (Fred Griffin Real Estate) over 8 years ago

Glen it is usual best to form your own opinion about another business.  Congrats on the sale and only time will tell how the new models play out.

Posted by Jennifer Fivelsdal, Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection ( JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571) over 8 years ago

Glenn, 

I am a Redfin partner agent in Westchester County, NY which means I get referrals from them because they don't have an office here. I maintain my complete autonomy but have to agree to all my clients get surveyed with the results public. Of course I pay them a referral fee and give the buyers a small rebate. 

Are they different? Yes. Are they perfect? No. Have we disagreed? Of course. However, I think they are committed to doing right by the clients, and they have come a long way since their initial, rather acrimonious, entry into the market. 

I have noticed the controversy & criticisms surrounding them. They are doing fine by me, however, and the other local partner agents are all respected colleagues who are not newbies. I can't speak for Redfin offices or employees, but I think much of the angst about them is overblown by people who don't see the whole picture.  

Bottom line: I do not see them as a threat, and they seek to raise the bar in the industry. Can't fault them there. 

Posted by J. Philip Faranda, Broker-Owner (J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY) over 8 years ago

congratulations on your sale!

Fear of the unknown can be a pretty incredible force...

Posted by David Lee ~ Orange County, Ca ~ Cash Flow Specialist (United Realty) over 8 years ago

ALL BROKERS are free to choose their model. The public will decide whether or not to use a firm because of their reputation or their pricing model. Period.

Agents who fear Redfin or any other brokerage model are just afraid of rocking the boat. Don't change things! Don't be different! 

 

Posted by Erica Ramus, MRE, Schuylkill County PA Real Estate (Erica Ramus - Ramus Realty Group - Pottsville, PA ) over 8 years ago

Fred - Thank you. The non-traditional will always be around, until something else takes its place. The traditional will slowly morph, adopting what business practices are successful.

Jennifer - Thank you. It is important to have first hand knowledge of a process to be an accurate judge of how it works. And then, it is just a case of that incident.

J. Phillip - Nice to meet an affiliate. There practices and professionalism, and I might add, their attitude have certainly changed since their assault on the industry. And good for them.

David - We all wondered what was coming down when the opened up here, but in the end, they will be just like us.

Posted by Glenn Roberts (Retired) over 8 years ago

Redfin has an extraordinary site, holds their salespeople up to a public magnifying glass via the reviews posted, and on top of it all, provides consumers with a rebate of some sort. What's not to like? I don't work for them, and don't plan to, but can't find anything that would suggest that they are inferior in any way to other business models.

Posted by Laurie Mindnich over 8 years ago

information is out there to be had

he who makes it most easily available is the winner

redfin... though i don't like their model... delivers the info very well

Posted by Vince McEveety (Gilleran Griffin Realty) over 8 years ago

Glenn, thanks for the post. I have not had any dealings with them to date.

Posted by Ted Tyndall, I will help You find the Home YOU want to Buy (Davidson Realty Inc.) over 8 years ago

Laurie - Working in the city of their birth, I was able to closely observe how efficiently they work and how their designed model performed. Over the course of 4 or 5 years they are totally diffferent and my post did not, I hope suggest that they were inferrior to anyone. The question I keep asking myself is can the model survive without a constant infusion from a third party source?

Vince - It is a good site and by breaking and challenging our multiple rules they have made our multiple better as older "set in their ways" brokers were forced to change.

Ted - Perhaps you will one day, but it will be unlikely that you recognize any difference from the agencies you currently deal with.

Posted by Glenn Roberts (Retired) over 8 years ago

Glenn: I am of the mind that there's room for all of us. (Not too many!) But, several... :o)

We're certainly in interesting times for sure, and they seem to be changing faster than ever. I think it's an asset to us all if very different business models are in the market place at the same time. We can learn a lot from each other. I think it's safe to say that all of us in the real estate related industries have many more questions than answers right now. All the more reason to watch and listen to each other. 

Real estate is such a diverse industry and it varies so much from place to place. I don't think it'll ever be a "one size fits all" scenario, no matter how much technology drives it. Great post, thanks...

Posted by Rene Fabre, Marketing in the Digital Age (First American Title) over 8 years ago

René - There is room for many models and new paths are discovered. The hype and publicity created by, for and around the Redfin premiere was a bit over the top. They were going to revolutionize the industry and still make big bucks even though they would rebate 2/3 of the commission directly to the buyers. Since then they have changed what they do both in service and in rebates to become more like traditional offices. Eventually an even ground will be found, because we didn't get to where we are today, with successful companies of all sizes operating in a pretty narrow rage of fee structure. It is what works and  because some agents are better than others, there is no reason to penalize them for others deficiencies. Yet, just like the big bonuses for Wall Street and Big Banks, that's what the public was reacting to and saw Redfin s a savior of the little guy. More power to them if their model lasts and if they can keep good agents on a salary, plus whatever small bonus they offer.

Posted by Glenn Roberts (Retired) over 8 years ago

Glenn,

Thanks for writing about your experience closing a deal with Redfin! I hope the rest of the transaction goes smoothly. 

Just wanted to correct one thing though, Redfin was founded by David Eraker, and is currently run by Glenn. I think you may be confusing Glenn Kelman, our CEO, with the Zillow team. Many folks on the Zillow team are ex-Expedia.

But you're right, we've found that buyers and sellers need to have more hands-on assistance than we originally thought. In response to that we've dramatically increased the level of service we offer and have made substantial changes to the experience of buying or selling with Redfin. As such we did have to reduce our refund from 66% to 50%. The primary reason we're able to offer such a large refund is that we use technology throughout the entire transaction to make everyone more efficient, as well our agents spend all their time working with clients instead of self-promotion. 

In regards to how we'll keep our agents when the times are better, did you see our blog post on agent compensation, what kind of person would work as a Redfin agent? Our agents in Seattle are in the 90th percentile in terms of pay. 

As for whether we'll make it... Last summer we announced our first month of profitability

Hopefully we can work together on more transactions soon!

Brian, as a Canadian I hope we come to Canada soon.

Corinne, our partner agents, who help Redfin buyers in areas where we don't have our own agents, do not compete with us. You can learn more about our partner program here

Margaret, I'm sorry to hear that. We strongly encourage people to not switch to Redfin at the last minute just for the discount. Just like how we ask people who use Redfin agents to see homes when there non-Redfin agent is busy to stay with the agent they started with. 

Tim, five of the top ten producing buyer's agents in Eastern MA work at Redfin so I disagree we're not a big player :)

Posted by Matt Goyer (Redfin) over 8 years ago

Matt - Thanks for stopping in and I'm happy to stand corrected on the history part. And yes I do confuse the two Glenns with two ens as I am one myself and for years thought I was the only one. I have doubts that your model will become a standard because most companies do not have the ability ($$$) to hire the engineers you have to create and maintain the programing. It will take a few more years to see how it all shakes out. Someone is promoting Redfin agents and the company, so if it is not the agents, it still needs to be done.

Welcome to the fray.

Posted by Glenn Roberts (Retired) over 8 years ago

Happy to stop in!

I agree it will be hard for someone to compete with Redfin on the engineering side without investing a lot of money in an engineering team but you never know! John L Scott acquired the company they use for website development a few years ago and I believe Windermere has their own in-house team. 

In terms of promotion, we don't spend a penny on advertising. Instead we've invested it all in our website which attracts plenty of customers for us to work with (or refer out to agents in areas we don't service).

Posted by Matt Goyer (Redfin) over 8 years ago

I think Redfin has strong technology and offers a great deal for people who want that sort of thing.  However, the Redfin agents I've dealt with were not responsive and didn't offer the level of service people in this area expect.  I see then capturing a limited market share but I don't see it improving.

Posted by Bryan Robertson, Broker, Author, Speaker (Intero Real Estate) over 8 years ago

Matt - definition of terms. I believe all of my Internet activity is self promotion/advertising. I want people to get to know me and know what I do and for whom I do it. Redfin's excellent Internet presence is your advertising. And your Glenn knows how to reach the media = free advertising.

Bryan - I'm sure that's a well shared opinion that Redfin is addressing. In Seattle their professionalism has improved by leaps and bounds. And they will have a market share.

Posted by Glenn Roberts (Retired) over 8 years ago

Yeah, Glenn knows media :). 

Bryan Robertson, I'm so sorry to hear that. We pride ourselves on our customer service and I'd expect that our agents would be responsive not just to our customers but also to the local agents. I'd be happy to dig in on the specifics if you drop me a line at matt@redfin.com as local agent relations are really important to us.

 

Posted by Matt Goyer (Redfin) over 8 years ago

Like Maureen we do not have redfin out this way but they do sound interesting.  What kind of problems would you fear running into with such a company working the other end of the transaction?  Just curious and I do like that trophy idea. 

Posted by Stanley Stepak, Realtor - Avon Lake, Avon, Bay Village, Westlake, (Howard Hanna - Avon Lake, OH) over 8 years ago

Stan - The problem that arose early on was that Redfin ws collecting the "cooperating commission" with out much cooperating. Listings agents let their clients in and listing agents opened the door when they need access for the inspection. Redfin thought they could do it all and never leave the desk top computer. And then, when they wrote offers it was evident that they hadn't done so before. It's better now, but let's face it, they've learned that customer service is the name of the game, no matter how much info you put out there for buyers.

Posted by Glenn Roberts (Retired) over 8 years ago

Very interesting model and a very comprehensive website.  I really liked the totally straight forward approach to describing how the system works.  I was surprised there wasn't more in the way of mortgage loan officer referrals.  Just a few in each market but there is a lot of great mortgage home loan content including a good forum for mortgage related topics

Posted by John McGuire (Mortgage Banking Consultant and Investor) over 8 years ago

Run for the fridge Glenn!!!  John McGuire is offering you a SPAM sandwich!!! Three extra links to his site in his comment...

Posted by Maureen McCabe, Columbus Ohio Real Estate (HER Realtors) over 8 years ago

Maureen - That's funny.

John McGuire - Didn't you ever read the guidelines? Maybe you'll edit your post.

Posted by Glenn Roberts (Retired) over 8 years ago

Real estate is local and the models sometimes have to accomodate.

Posted by Alan Bruzee (Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.) over 8 years ago

The RF site is very popular with clients.  They love using it...all the other companies downplay it...but give the buyers what they want.

Posted by Yvette Chisholm, Associate Broker - Rockville, MD 301-758-9500 (Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.) over 8 years ago

Alan - It sure is local. Where I started in Minnesota we were getting 8% on most listings.

Yvette - Yes they do love it. Especially the younger set who want to see everything.

Posted by Glenn Roberts (Retired) over 8 years ago

In the past 7 years, I have not had an agent close a transaction with redfin on the other side of it.  When the market was booming, the discount brokerage gained ground...  Since then, their market share has decreased.  There will always be those that want/need that type of business, and it will never really go away...  We are no longer the keepers of information, we are not the keepers of the customer service...

Posted by Chris Alston, Silicon Valley, California (Chris Alston (Keller Williams Realty, Silicon Valley, California)) over 8 years ago

Our neighbors who bought through Redfin before we moved in and they say it was actually a really great experience, but they wouldn't do it again. They said they bought through them because Redfin would sell their house for free if they bought through them. Now it has almost been a year and now they have two mortgages. Can't really switch companies or they will end up paying, the reason they wanted to use them in the first place.

Posted by Respect Realty LLC, Brokers - Oregon / SW Washington Real Estate (Respect Realty LLC) over 8 years ago

Chris - yes, keepers of customer service and customer relationships.

Todd - If Redfin can afford to do that, with full service, they must have gotten some more venture capitol. Why do those neighbors want to move so quickly, and was that in their mind to start with?

Posted by Glenn Roberts (Retired) over 8 years ago

Chris - It's too bad we haven't worked together yet! Hopefully soon. As for market share, the agent who used to work with us in that area just made the WSJ/Real Trends top 100 agents list and our data pulled from the MLS shows us increasing market share in the Bay Area. 

Todd, generally it is not free to sell your home your home if you also buy with Redfin. Our deal is that if you both buy and sell with us we'll refund you an additional $1000 (except in Oregon where we aren't able to refund money but instead credit it towards closing costs). Our typical listing fee is 1.5%. Of course, I don't know the specifics of your neighbors situation... 

Posted by Matt Goyer (Redfin) over 8 years ago
Get a broker! There are brekros out there that sell your business for you. Search for "Selling Business" on the web and you will see tons. They walk you thru all the legalities of selling the business / real estate / etc. You will drive yourself crazy trying to figure out every little part without them. They get paid by taking 10% of whatever the sale price is. Your friend should just include that amount in his asking price calculations.
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