Seattle-based Redfin, a real estate company that we started tracking a year ago, will be featured on 60 Minutes tonight at 7 pm Pacific on CBS. The video of the segment is here. This is great mainstream coverage for this startup. 60 Minutes has 13 million TV viewers, most of which knew nothing about Redfin until today.
They have an intruiging and aggressive business model, which is summed up by CEO Glenn Kelman’s statement that “Real Estate is by far the most screwed up industry in America.” Instead of providing useful real estate information to consumers and then pointing them to real estate professionals like competitors Trulia and Zillow, Redfin is doing their best to completely remove real estate agents and brokers from at least half of a home sale.
Redfin combines MLS listing information (homes for sale) with historical sales data (homes already sold) into a single map. If you find a home you like and want to place an offer, Redfin will represent you in the buying process (they have a call center with licensed real estate professioinals to guide you). Here’s the good part: They reimburse you 2/3 of the buy-side real estate fee directly on closing. The average amount reimbursed to the buyer is about $10,000.
They operate in a limited number of markets (Seattle, San Francisco/bay area, Southern California, Boston), but are expanding steadily. They’ll be in Washington DC and Chicago this summer.
Redfin has closed over 500 home sales and has saved customers an aggregate of $5 million in real estate broker fees. The company did $1 million in revenue last year.