Redfin (www.redfin.com) is a nationwide real estate company that was a pioneer in offering consumers an alternative to the traditional real estate model. In 2004, when the company originated, no other company had ever successfully provided an alternative to the traditional real estate model. The traditional real estate model was dysfunctional and did not empower consumers with the tools and options to succeed without paying high commissions. Redfin was the first to offer a viable alternative.
Redfin’s success allowed consumers to pay less than the standard 6% commission rate. Essentially, consumers weren’t being charged for services that many didn’t need. Because of this new model, the consumer today has more options. This break from the traditional model was a bold move that was met with extreme resistance, lawsuits, and barriers that would make most companies fold. Yet Redfin survived and thrived.
I too have a real estate startup, Seven Rue (sevenrue.com) – an alternative for consumers whose needs aren’t met by the traditional real estate model. Although, it is different from Redfin in that the consumer can take more control over the selling process and naturally is rewarded for that effort through a price that is lower than even most discount fee models. Seven Rue helps consumers sell their homes themselves, retaining control of the transaction while maintaining a professional look and saving thousands of dollars.
If Redfin hadn’t paved the way in 2004, a company like Seven Rue would never exist. Because of Redfin’s success, boldness, and resilience, the consumer will be better off with more alternatives to the traditional model.