Redfin Expands to Phoenix
SEATTLE, March 25 /PRNewswire/ — Redfin today expanded to the Phoenix metropolitan area, increasing the number of listings available on Redfin’s website by 8%. Phoenix is the third market Redfin has opened since December 2009, and the twelfth overall. Separately today, Redfin is announcing upgrades to its listing service, and new support for short sales.
With this launch, Redfin’s site offers customers the photos and marketing materials used to list properties that recently sold, information previously limited to real estate agents. No other website offers this data, known in the industry as Virtual Office Website (VOW) data, to Phoenix consumers. The new data, which consumers can use to develop their own market analyses, became available last year as a result of an agreement between the U.S. Department of Justice and the National Association of Realtors.
Redfin has access to the real-time database used by brokers to list homes because Redfin is a broker that represents customers buying and selling homes. In Cave Creek, Fountain Hills, Scottsdale, Tempe, Chandler and Gilbert, the company provides direct service, employing its own real estate agents. In the East Valley and the West Valley, Redfin relies on partners. Redfin’s search site covers all of Maricopa and Pinal counties.
Redfin brings to Arizona its trademark combination of customer service, candor and value. Redfin draws customers to its website by publishing data that most other Arizona sites lack, such as when a property was originally listed and at what prices.
Redfin is also one of the first sites in Phoenix to rate agent performance, by surveying an agent’s customers and publishing all the results, unedited. To avoid the conflict of interest that commissions can create, Redfin pays its own agents bonuses based on these customer-satisfaction ratings. Redfin pays its partner agents a customer-satisfaction bonus, and only works with partners who allow Redfin to survey all of their recent customers.
Because Redfin agents do not solicit customers for business, a Redfin agent is nearly ten times more productive than the traditional agent. To ask an agent for service, visitors to Redfin’s site use online tools for asking questions, arranging home tours, preparing offers and listing homes.
When selling a home through one of Redfin’s own agents, a customer pays half the typical commission, saving $7,500 in fees on a typical $500,000 listing. When buying a home where the seller pays the commission refund, the customer gets a commission refund worth the same amount, applied to closing costs or issued as a check after closing. With partner agents, the refund is 15% rather than 50%, saving a customer $2,250 on that same $500,000 home.
“In a market where many brokerages are contracting, Redfin’s expansion into Phoenix is significant all by itself,” said Redfin’s Phoenix market manager, Marcus Fleming. “Redfin brings to Phoenix data that consumers have never seen before about homes for sale and especially homes that just sold. More important, we give consumers a new alternative to the traditional sales-driven approach to real estate, because we pay our agents to put the customer first, not commissions.”
As with many Redfin market managers, Marcus Fleming has a long history as a real estate broker as well as experience operating retail businesses where customer service and a consistent brand are paramount.
“As we’ve adapted our business model to work in markets with homes at a wider range of prices and in different states of distress, we can expand more quickly,” said Scott Nagel, Redfin vice president of real estate operations. “We expect Phoenix in particular to be important because it is less seasonal than markets like Boston, Portland and Seattle, and it can draw on traffic we already have in those markets. Plenty of Seattleites on Redfin today spend all winter dreaming of a sunny Phoenix ranch.”
Redfin (www.redfin.com) is the real estate industry’s first online brokerage, combining a customer-focused team of real estate agents with online tools for making the process of buying or selling a home easy. Redfin’s agents handle every facet of a transaction, including tours, pricing analyses, negotiations, inspections and closings. Redfin is the only major search site to feature listings direct from broker databases as well as for-sale-by-owner and foreclosure properties from across the Internet. The company pays its agents customer-satisfaction bonuses, not commissions, and surveys every client, publishing each survey alongside the agent’s complete deal history. Redfin’s service is available in the metropolitan areas of Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Seattle, Phoenix, Portland, Washington DC, Baltimore, New York’s Long Island and Westchester County as well as most of California, including the San Francisco Bay Area, Southern California and Sacramento. To keep track of our daring exploits, subscribe to blog.redfin.com or our Twitter feed @redfin.