Redfin Launches Partner Program, Announces Expansion Plans
Working with agents from other brokers is a major addition to Redfin’s business strategy, which until now had relied exclusively on serving clients in major metropolitan areas through Redfin’s own agents. The goal of the new, open strategy is to bring Redfin’s values of fanatical service, performance and value to markets Redfin cannot afford to serve directly.
New Strategy Offers Consumers Candor, Choice
Unlike websites that sell visitors’ contact information to an undisclosed agent for a fee, Redfin’s partner program puts the consumer in control. Consumers choose an agent to work with based on a profile that shows the details of every transaction since
Redfin also plans later this year to offer partner agents the same tools Redfin has developed for its own agents to schedule home tours and prepare offers. Already, Redfin includes partner agent’s posts on Redfin Forums in the agent’s Redfin profile, and allows partners to monitor traffic to their listings.
Quality Control: Reference Checks, In-Person Interview, 130+ Average Transactions
Before accepting an agent as a partner, Redfin interviewed each partner agent in person, validated that each had completed at least 15 deals and checked customer references, eliminating nearly half the candidates originally slated to participate. The average partner has completed more than 130 transactions.
Redfin Refunds Half Its Fee
For every transaction completed by a partner agent, Redfin earns a referral fee typical for the industry, 30% of the agent’s commission. But half of that fee is then credited to the consumer, an amount usually worth more than
Redfin will continue to be a consumer-driven business, so partner agents will not pay Redfin any money except when a customer successfully closes on a home. And Redfin will continue to offer direct service from its own agents in the same major metropolitan areas it has always covered. But if the partner program is successful, Redfin plans to offer consumers in its core markets a choice of partner agents and Redfin agents as well.
Redfin Brought Transparency to Listing Search, Now Agent Search
With the website released today, Redfin offers the same profile page for its own agents as for its partner agents, showing the neighborhoods where they are active, every one of the deals they have worked on and the customer reviews when available for each. Redfin has offered a profile of each of its own agents since
“We are bringing the same transparency to agent search that we have brought to the home search,” said Redfin Chief Technology Officer
Scaling Redfin’s Business
Working with partners will allow Redfin to expand its website more quickly without hiring a large number of its own agents. Over the past year, Redfin’s site had already increased traffic 300+%, faster than any other major real estate website, but often in areas that the company couldn’t afford to serve with its own employees. As a result, Redfin offered online search in areas where it did not offer any brokerage services, or any other way to make money.
With this release, Redfin’s partner service reaches 9 new counties with more than 70,000 listings.
Southern California’sInland Empire including parts of Riversideand San Bernardinocounties. Ventura County Solano County Sonoma County Napa County Santa Cruz County
Over the next three months, Redfin plans to offer partner service in the following areas:
Palm Desert, California Thurston County, Washington Will County, Illinois Monterey County, California
- south and east
Pierce County, Washington
Snohomish County, Washington
King County, Washington
For Redfin to open an area to partner service, that area must attract at least 20,000 monthly listing views on Redfin’s site so that there is enough business to support a choice of partner agents. Agents who want to apply to become a partner can apply online.
Partner Program Drives Growth to New Markets
Beyond serving the areas surrounding Redfin’s existing markets, the new partner strategy is also driving Redfin’s expansion to wholly new markets on the East Coast, West Coast and in the Sun Belt. After opening only one new market in 2008, Redfin plans to open at least five markets in 2009, using a combination of its own agents in core urban areas and partner agents in outlying areas. Redfin plans to open the first two of these markets in April.
“The launch of our partner program is the culmination of several major initiatives,” said Redfin CEO
A Network of Progressive, Performance-Oriented Agents
“Redfin shares my customer-service ideals and my client-first, common-sense approach to real estate,” said
Redfin (www.redfin.com) is the real estate industry’s first online brokerage, currently available in the metropolitan areas of