Screenshot of Redfin map browser
|Founded||Seattle, Washington, US (2004 )|
|Headquarters||Seattle, Washington, US|
|Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Orange County, Phoenix, Portland, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco Bay, Seattle, Richmond, and Washington, D.C|
|Glenn Kelman (CEO)
Bridget Frey (CTO)
Chris Nielsen (CFO)
Scott Nagel (PREO)
Number of employees
|214 as of April 2011|
Redfin is a residential real estate company that provides web-based real estate database and brokerage services. The firm was founded in 2004, and is based in Seattle, Washington. Redfin first launched its home buying and home selling services in 2006. Glenn Kelman is the CEO.
When working with homebuyers, Redfin refunds a portion of their commission, thus offering a rebate and saving commission fees. In Missouri, Oregon, and Tennessee, state law prevents them from offering a refund to homebuyers. A blend of technology and service also enables Redfin to charge a 1.5 percent listing fee for home sellers, which is less than the traditional 3 percent fee.
Redfin employs its agents directly and pays them a salary, departing from the commission-based compensation structure of traditional realtors, and ties bonuses to customer satisfaction. The company's agents are reviewed after every transaction, successful or failed, with all reviews posted on the site under the agent's online profiles.
Redfin was founded in 2004 by David Eraker, Michael Dougherty, and David Selinger. David Eraker, who had dropped out of University of Washington's medical school for a career in software design, was inspired by his own real estate misadventures and founded Redfin with hopes of upending the traditional brokerage model. Unlike the other major real estate web portals (Zillow, Trulia or Realtor.com), which get the majority of their earnings from advertising and lead generation, Redfin operates as a brokerage and makes money when users buy or sell homes with its real estate agents.
Redfin began offering online, map-based real estate search when David Eraker who was working out of his apartment in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood, and his partner, Michael Dougherty, an electrical engineer with a degree from Yale. This was before the introduction of Google Maps or Microsoft's Bing Maps. Redfin combined satellite maps with real estate information, and helped overcome the limitations of online real estate search systems at the time. David Selinger, who had previously led the research and development arm of Amazon's Data Mining and Personalization team joined Redfin as the third founder and the CTO. Selinger helped build Redfin's mapping and real estate data analytics engine.
After receiving $1 million in initial financing from Madrona Venture Group, Redfin raised $8 million in Series B funding from Vulcan Inc., the investment arm of Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen in May 2006. In April 2006, CNN reported that Redfin had received threats from competitors seeking to "break their kneecaps." In July 2006, Redfin was the recipient of the Innovator of the Year award by Inman News, a leading online news source for the real estate industry.
Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman accepted a third round of funding for $12 million from Greylock and Draper Fisher Jurvetson in July 2007. In May 2007, just a few days after appearing on 60 Minutes, Redfin was fined $50,000 by The Northwest Multiple Listing Service and was forced to shut down its "Sweet Digs" blog, which used to contain reviews of the homes on the market. Northwest MLS said that such reviews are not allowed under MLS rules. Sweet Digs was relaunched in June 2007 with an analytical format, and covers all the markets Redfin serves.
In May 2010, Redfin won the Seattle 2.0 award for "Best Startup."
Redfin began an automatic agent rating system in 2012, which drew criticism for using inaccurate data and pulled its tool from the market.
In October 2012, Redfin was named one of The DIGITAL 100: World's Most Valuable Private Tech Companies by Business Insider.
In July 2013, Inman News again named Redfin as the recipient of the Innovator of the Year award. In June 2014, Seattle Business Magazine recognized Redfin as the best company to work for in 2014 in the Large Companies category and Redfin was placed no 1 out of 21 large Seattle based companies.
The firm has participated in several subsequent funding rounds, most recently raising $50 million in a mezzanine round led by T. Rowe Price and Tiger Global, bringing its total venture funding to slightly over $96 million. In December 2014, Redfin raised another $70.9 million to help expand its software-powered real-estate business across the U.S. The round was led by Wellington Management Co. and Glynn Capital Management, among others, and includes Brothers Brook, Annox Capital Management and previous investors Tiger Global Management and T. Rowe Price.
- "Redfin Hooks $70.9 Million for Software-Powered Home Sales". Wall Street Journal. blogs.wsj.com. 2014-12-18. Retrieved 2015-02-16.
- Stone, Brad (March 7, 2013). "Why Redfin, Zillow and Trulia Haven't Killed Off Real Estate Brokers". Businessweek (Bloomberg).
- A1 U.S. Patent 20,100,145,800 A1
- Christie, Les (2006-04-11). "A fresh attack on the 6% commission". CNN.com. Retrieved 2014-04-13.
- Redfin (2006-07-30). "Redfin Wins Innovator of the Year Award From Inman News at Real Estate Connect". Redfin.com. Retrieved 2014-04-13.
- "Redfin Stops 'Sweet Digs' Property Reviews" (Press release). Seattle: Redfin. 18 May 2007.
- Cook, John (17 May 2007). "Redfin fined $50,000, shuts down home reviews". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Hearst Seattle Media, LLC. Retrieved 2014-04-13.
- "Redfin's Sweet Digs Returns With New Analytical Format" (Press release). Seattle: Redfin.com. 2007-06-12. Retrieved 2014-04-13.
- "Redfin, Bonanzle, TisBest Win Seattle 2.0 Awards". Xconomy.com. 2010-05-20. Retrieved 2014-04-13.
- Carrns, Ann (1 May 2012). "New Battle on Providing Real Estate Agent Performance Data". Bucks blog. The New York Times. Retrieved January 11, 2014.
- Shontell, Alyson (2012-10-03). "The 2012 Digital 100: The Complete List 1-100". Business Insider. Retrieved 2015-02-04.
- News, Inman (2011-08-12). "Redfin Wins Innovator of the Year Award From Inman News at Real Estate Connect". Inman.com. Retrieved 2014-04-13.
- Horton, Nick (July 2014). "100 Best Companies to Work For 2014: Large Companies". Seattle Business Magazine. Retrieved 2015-02-04.
- "Redfin Hooks $70.9 Million for Software-Powered Home Sales". Wall Street Journal. blogs.wsj.com. 2014-12-18. Retrieved 2015-02-07.