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Is Redfin fudging their production stats, counting teams as one agent?

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Can the Redfin model be reported like others?

It is often grumbled about on the West Coast that Redfin touts that their brokerage comprises of a consistent percentage of various markets’ “top agents,” comparing their production numbers to single agents in the same market.

This fall, Redfin’s Courtney Wenclawski wrote, “Nine Redfin Washington Metro & Baltimore agents finished in the top 20 out of the 10,700+ buyers agents in the area in the second quarter of 2011. We pulled these numbers from MRIS, the database for real estate transactions and listings for Baltimore-Washington, DC region, and ranked agents who represented home-buyers of single-family homes and condominiums in April, May & June based first on number of deals, then by total dollar amount.”

Wenclawski writes, “When you work with Redfin, you get great customer service while working with some of the most successful and active agents in the region. Most agents spend around 80% of their time finding new clients, but Redfin agents don’t need to prospect since folks come to us on Redfin.com. As a result, Redfin agents can spend all their time serving clients: answering questions, hosting home tours, writing and negotiating offers, and listing homes. Redfin agents are experts in today’s market because they spend more of their time negotiating and closing deals, not making sales calls.”

Rebutting the data

To the statement that “Most agents spend around 80% of their time finding new clients, but Redfin agents don’t need to prospect since folks come to us on Redfin.com. Redfin agents can spend all their time serving clients: answering questions, hosting home tours,” FranklyRealty.com broker Frank Llosa asked, “Are you referring to the “top” agents listed here? They are giving those home tours? I didn’t know that. Or is there more of a team structure that allows the Redfin agent that signs the contract (and other steps) to get credit for the entire transaction that several non-listed agents were involved in? If so, that seems a little misleading to compare a “team” to “individual” Realtors and then say Redfin agents, and the teams that back them, are the top “individuals.” Facts are facts… unless they are skewed.”

Redfin has not responded on their site to Llosa’s allegations that they are couting “team” efforts as an individual so the brokerage can claim they offer more top agents than others.

6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. John Kalinowski

    October 19, 2011 at 8:08 am

    This is not uncommon. Most of the so-called "mega-producers across the country are actually teams of agents working under one agent's name.

  2. Matt Goyer - Redfin

    October 19, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    Like many top producers, Redfin agents are supported by a team. This team includes a coordinator who finalizes home tours that are initiated through our website and the paperwork for closing. The team also includes a few field agents (or showing agents) who help with showings. While in the past our agents didn't see the homes our clients were interested in, more and more agents are meeting our clients on their first home tour and other times throughout their home buying experience to provide guidance every step of the way.

  3. Frank

    October 19, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    Also in their claims that they only hire experienced agents with X # of deals under their belt, those deals are sometimes/oftentimes/usually in a capacity as an Assistant to another agent.

    Again it looks good to say you only hire agents with 20 deals (or whatever), but if that agent is the assistant, it isn't as impressive.

  4. Matt Goyer - Redfin

    October 19, 2011 at 7:02 pm

    Frank, to interview with Redfin as an agent you need to have done at least 10 deals in your own name. Deals as an assistant do not count.

  5. Ruthmarie Hicks

    October 19, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    What I find rather suspect is that the criteria used seem to always and consistently paint the Redfin agents as the "top producers" in the area. I find it baffling that a top producer would CHOOSE Redfin since they can make far more money on their own. On that basis alone – it doesn't add up. I'm just going with common sense here…

  6. Mike O'Hara

    October 20, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    I list REO's among other transactions. I've listed maybe 70 over the last 3 or 4 years. Many of these properties get 5 to 20 offers and MANY more showings. I cannot honestly remember EVER being contacted by a redfin agent to show a single one of them, and definitely have NEVER received an offer from a redfin agent. How can that be? Out of all of those properties, showings offers and NOT ONCE has a redfin agent popped their head up. Hmmmm.

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