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Redfin’s IPO & Brokerages

Rob Hahn has some follow up thoughts on Redfin’s coming IPO as it relates to brokerages that I’d highly recommend reading (if you care about such things as the future of brokerages).

A few of my own thoughts…

1. In Seattle, I’ve heard two primary things about Redfin:

First, Rob mentions the one I’ve heard consistently – “Redfin’s got a nice website and app, and I send my clients there, but they always come back to me.”

Second, Redfin struggles to keep good agent talent (because they can make far more money independently).

2. I’ve never really thought of Redfin as an agent team — but Rob’s spot on. That’s exactly the way they operate. I suppose that’s at the core of why I believe Redfin is the one who will deliver what I believe to be the next massive consumer win (they have salaried staff they can force to answer anonymous questions).

3. Redfin has 20 million uniques a month. Of course, Zillow and Realtor.com have considerably more — but both of those companies operate numerous brands/websites, and also include rental traffic in their numbers. I’ll wager a guess Redfin has the least “looky-loo” traffic (as a percentage of total traffic) of the three — by a fairly wide margin.

4. They are certainly, certainly best positioned to actually change the way real estate is bought and sold in the future given…

  • Their devotion/focus on the end to end consumer experience
  • Brokerage business model
  • Massive consumer reach (20M)
  • Technology investment/differentiator

I can’t wait to see how they fare with Wall Street…

About Drew Meyers

Founder of Geek Estate Blog / Geek Estate Labs. Zillow Alum. Travel addict & co-founder of Horizon. Social entrepreneurship & microfinance advocate. Fan of Red Hot Chili Peppers and Kiva.

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  • You’re right about their position. However, from the folks I’ve talked to, they need to tweak their methods. Each agent currently has too many clients to adequately provide them a higher-level of service. And the bonus on the closings just isn’t enough incentive to bring in the top talent. We’ll see.

    • The question is whether they really need to attract the “top talent” to be successful. I’m not sure they do, if they are providing the marketing/reach/clients.

      • Do be successful? No. They’re already successful. In fact, they could possibly grow to dominate the low-end of the market, especially in urban area, first homes for millennials that already spend so much time online.

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