SEATTLE, July 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Online real estate broker Redfin today announced at the Naked Truth panel that the company earned its first monthly profits in June 2009.
The Naked Truth is a summer event that Redfin hosts with entrepreneurs, investors and journalists to offer pragmatic advice for startups; this year Michael Arrington, Damon Darlin, Fred Wilson and Fred Vogelstein joined entrepreneurs from Redfin, Urbanspoon, Picnik and Animoto to compare revenue models for Internet consumer companies; more than 500 people registered to attend. In keeping with the panel's title, the entrepreneurs committed to provide "the naked truth" about how their revenue models really work.
Redfin began organizing the event in April, before the company could forecast June profits. With 300+% year-over-year growth in unique visitors, Redfin has been the fastest-growing major real estate website in the U.S., but the company's revenues have, until recently, grown more slowly, at 41% year-over-year. The new surge in revenues is partly seasonal, because more people buy homes in summer than winter, and partly due to a market-wide rebound in sales activity over a dismal 2008.
But Redfin has also increased its market-share significantly. Redfin attributes this share increase to its November 2008 decision to give clients free unlimited home tours and one-on-one agent guidance during the home search, and to its debut of online agent reviews in February 2009, which increased new clients by 36%. A partner program, also launched in February 2009, has developed a new revenue source that has already made a small but tangible contribution to profits. As margins have improved, customer satisfaction has remained at 97%.
"The question with Redfin has always been whether Redfin can make money while delivering fantastic service and saving consumers thousands in commissions," said Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman. "Well, in the worst real estate market in modern history, with our agents spending most of their time on work-intensive sales of distressed properties, we've built a stronger business than ever. Our agents are top-ten producers in almost every market we serve; our website is a cult. Our customers are raving fans. We have plenty of work to do to make money all year round, and there are lots of risks ahead. But for a company that many predicted would never make money, in an industry as battered as ours, Redfin's first monthly profit is a big milestone."
About the Naked Truth
The Naked Truth is an annual panel conversation followed by a party. The theme is a topic relevant to entrepreneurs building businesses, and the speakers are respected practitioners in their fields providing real-world insights and metrics, not just consultants or pundits offering their opinions. This year's event is the third in the series; the event has always been free. The last event's theme was how entrepreneurs talk to the media, with journalists from Wired, The Wall Street Journal, TechCrunch and the Seattle Times participating. This year's Naked Truth panel, sponsored by Madrona Venture Group, Fenwick & West and Square 1 Bank, is focused on how Internet consumer businesses generate revenue via ads, transactions, subscriptions and affiliate programs. The full name of this year's event is "The Naked Truth: Show Me the Money." Unique to the Naked Truth, participating startups have provided actual metrics from their businesses as a benchmark to other entrepreneurs evaluating different revenue models. Video of the event and the metrics from each of the participating companies are available at http://blog.redfin.com. The Twitter tag for the naked truth is #nakedtruth.
Redfin (www.redfin.com) is the real estate industry's first online brokerage, combining a customer-focused team of real estate agents with online tools for making the process of buying or selling a home easy. Redfin is the only major search site to feature listings direct from broker databases as well as for-sale-by-owner and foreclosure properties from across the Internet. The company pays its agents customer-satisfaction bonuses, not commissions, and surveys every client, publishing each survey as well as details on the agent's negotiating performance and deal history. Redfin's service is available in the metropolitan areas of Boston, Chicago, Seattle, Washington DC, Baltimore, New York's Long Island and Westchester County as well as most of California, including the San Francisco Bay Area, Southern California and Sacramento. To keep track of our daring exploits, subscribe to blog.redfin.com.
SOURCE Redfin Corporation