AUSTIN, Texas, April 23, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Redfin, the technology-powered real estate broker, today launched its direct service for Austin home-buyers and sellers, delivered by its own Austin-based agents. When Redfin first introduced its website and mobile tools to Austin in October 2010, the company referred online visitors to Austin real estate agents working for other brokers. Redfin waited to add its own full-time agents until its website had enough traffic to support both Redfin agents and partners.
"The progressive, tech-savvy folks in Austin are a perfect fit for Redfin's service," said Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman. "Already Redfin's website traffic from Austin has grown like a weed. And Austin is a good size for our real estate agents, big enough to matter, but small enough that we can cover the territory. As Redfin expands, we expect to pursue this model elsewhere: first giving our online presence time to grow, then hiring enough agents to be really local."
Redfin has employed an Austin-based engineer since May 2009 and just hired two local real estate agents. Redfin plans to add at least two more agents to the Austin team in the next year. Austin customers will continue to have the option to work with Redfin's partner agents, carefully chosen by Redfin to focus on customers, not commissions.
Redfin's Austin-based website traffic has more than doubled in the last year. Through Redfin's website, users can search, access and share up-to-date information on listings and home sale records pulled directly from the Austin/Central Texas Realty Information Service (ACTRIS), the database used by Austin real estate agents to list properties and record sales.
Today, by making its home buying and selling tools available to Austin consumers, Redfin becomes the first brokerage in Austin to offer tools like online tour scheduling and a virtual Deal Room where agents and clients communicate with one another and coordinate the closing process. Sellers have access to an online dashboard where they can track their listing's website traffic and that of similar listings. People who sell with Redfin also benefit from enhanced website exposure of Redfin's own listings. In other markets where Redfin has local agents, customers who list their homes with Redfin sell them faster and for more money than comparable homes for sale. In addition, Redfin is able to share its commissions with its customers: At closing, buyers receive a refund check averaging $4,000, and sellers save an average of $7,500 on commissions.
Redfin's newest team of agents is led by Cyndy Stewart, formerly a top-producing agent at Keller Williams. "Since the start of my real estate career eight years ago, I have continually sought out new ways to provide my customers with the higher levels of service and value they deserve," said Cyndy. "I'm excited to join a company that is as committed as I am to finding innovative ways to deliver excellent service and value to every customer."
Redfin will hold a community launch party in Austin on May 2nd, 2012. Redfin invites local customers and members of the real estate community and the press to learn about Redfin and join in celebrating this milestone.