Redfin, the real estate brokerage firm with a Seattle-style business twist, has entered the Reno-area market.
Billed as “the next-generation real estate brokerage,” the Redfin business model relies on advanced technology combined with real estate agents who are paid a salary, benefits and bonuses based on customer satisfaction, rather than commissions.
The result, according to the company, is more emphasis on customer service.
“Redfin’s values are really about putting the customer first (instead of commissions first),” said Jaime Moore, Redfin’s first Reno agent and a 16-year veteran of the real estate market in the area. It’s something Moore wanted to be a part of. “That’s my business model and how I wanted to do business.”
The company is seeking additional real estate agents who like the Redfin way of doing business.
“It’s very important when we’re recruiting, that they have the same values we have to go above and beyond for the client,” Moore said of the rigorous interview process. “They don’t just hang a license in an office.”
Redfin began its brokerage operations in Seattle in 2006 and has since expanded to 70 major markets in the United States. Besides changing the way its agents are paid, the company also took real estate technology up a notch.
The company’s Internet- and app-based technology — many uniquely designed by Redfin’s technology specialists — streamline the real estate process, which translates to savings for customers.
Sellers are charged a 1.5 percent listing fee, instead of the industry standard of 3 percent, while still providing pricing, staging advice, photography and marketing.
For buyers, the company refunds part of the buyer’s agent commission.
Redfin’s Web site offers a variety of tech features to help buyers and sellers through the process.
In 2012, Business Insider named Redfin one of The DIGITAL 100: World’s Most Valuable Private Tech Companies.
“In our modern world, so many people are tech savvy,” said Moore, who spent a week at Redfin’s home offices in Seattle learning the new technologies. “Our high tech is top notch.”
Online tools include being able to schedule home tours online and updating the MLS listing every 15 minutes.
“We constantly update the sites so customers have the most up-to-date data,” Moore said.
Other sources, many of which have phone apps, include the Matchmaker, which automatically recommends unexpected listings to clients; the Open Book with reviews of lenders, inspectors and title companies with feedback from Redfin agents; Offer Insights with real-time statistics; and notes from Redfin agents about homes and offers.
Neighborhood information includes the walkability and bike-ability of neighborhoods as well as school districts.
Coming soon will be high-resolution, interactive 3D walkthroughs of homes listed with a Redfin agent.
“Reno has recently made a name for itself as a destination for software developers and other tech workers, attracted by a growing startup scene with more affordable homes and less traffic than popular tech hubs like Austin or Denver,” Jeff Werolin, company market manager of Western States, said in a written statement. “While the tech community makes Redfin feel at home in Reno, we’re also excited to offer local residents and people who are hoping to make Reno their new home a new, better way to buy and sell homes.”
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