Redfin turns to Canada as next market

February 20, 2019
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Redfin looking at Canada as next venture

Real estate search and brokerage service provider, Redfin, has a goal to disrupt the real estate industry with its technology and affordable services.

The Seattle-based company invented map-based real estate searches, and has been using that platform to gain a significant foothold in home sales in 85 markets in the U.S.

The company recently launched a Toronto service and it plans on opening a Vancouver office later this spring.

Redfin charges as little as one percent for the sale of a home. Agents don’t work on a commission, but instead earn bonuses based on customer satisfaction.

So far, the model seems to have worked.

“The results speak for themselves. We have been able to generate $500 million in revenue giving customers a better deal. Technology makes it inexpensive to meet new clients, and inexpensive to serve clients,” said Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman.

Redfin claims to have invented interactive map-based searches for real estate and continues to push the technology forward. Searching the site, a home seller can determine what their home might be worth, and buyers can see more than just the list price: they can see what houses in the area actually sold for.

“They have a very attractive setup. It’s easy to search, and frankly it’s easier than some of the Canadian platforms,” says Sauder School of Business professor Tom Davidoff.

Redfin is a technology-powered real estate brokerage that represents people buying and selling homes. Founded and run by technologists, Redfin has a team of real estate agents who earn a salary and customer-satisfaction bonuses, not commissions. Redfin.com features all of the broker-listed homes for sale, as well as for-sale-by-owner properties. Redfin real estate agents work with the company's team of engineers to create tools that make the buying and selling process easier. As of October 2015, the company serves 80 major markets across the U.S. and has closed more than $20 billion in home sales.

The service launched in February 2006.

Redfin's main competitors include real estate search services like TruliaZillowEstately and Realtor.com, and traditional real estate brokerages. None of their competitors combine online real estate search/technology tools and brokerage services.

On their site, Redfin combines MLS listing information with historical data into a single map. Customers can search for homes by neighborhood, city, zip code, MLS number or school zone, and can refine results using detailed parameters like price and number of beds or baths.

The company was founded by David Eraker and is based out of Seattle; there is also a San Francisco engineering office, and local agents in each of the markets Redfin serves.

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