Redfin director of operations Glenn Kelman is a smart guy – he graduated from the University of California at Berkeley summa cum laude, and he has business acumen to match his academic credentials.

Redfin, founded in 2002, is a real estate brokerage but does not have its own team of agents. Instead, it refers consumers to affiliate agents. The company defines itself as a technology first, with its business based on aggregative demand for real estate services and then referring consumers to partner services.

Kelman joined Redfin on Sept. 27, 2005, and is in charge of company operations. In 1997, Kelman co-founded corporate portal market-leader Plumtree Software. As the company grew to become one of the only software companies to go public in 2002, he worked as interim head of operations and engineering and then later assumed responsibility for marketing, product management and business development.

Prior to his Plumtree tenure, Kelman was one of the first employees at a Sequoia-backed start-up acquired in 1995 by Informix.

Kelman will speak during Real Estate Connect in New York City, Jan. 11-13, 2006.

Here are his answers to a set of questions posed by Inman News:

Panel or session at Connect:Beyond Tech Toys: Mapping Technology Tips & Tricks.

What kind of house did you grow up in and where?

I grew up in a house wired by a manic-depressive do-it-yourselfer in suburban Seattle. You flipped a switch, and anything could happen.

What style of home do you live in and when did you buy it?

It would be hard to say that the home I live in has any style whatsoever. It is old, and some of the walls are pink, or light green. I bought it in August 2005.

What worries keep you awake at night?

I often worry that I am not getting enough sleep.

Describe your dream home:

My dream home is a sunny Berkeley cottage. Or a flat on the Upper West Side. Small is beautiful.

What lesson did you learn in the last year?

That being creative is the most satisfying human activity.

What’s the strangest thing you ever packed in a suitcase?

I used to bring my girlfriend’s stuffed animals, which I could not refer to as stuffed animals, on business trips. I preferred the hedgehog, but there was also a giant sunfish that sometimes came along. A sunfish is the largest bony fish in the sea.

Who is your hero?

Like everyone else, my father.

What was your first job?


What would your second career choice be after real estate?


Which daily newspaper do you read and which section do you read first?

New York Times, front page

Where did you spend your last vacation?

Moscow in November, for a friend’s third wedding.

What professional accomplishment are you most proud of?

Co-founding Plumtree Software.

What is your favorite technology device or software application?

I like Google SMS telephone directory. It saves me 75 cents a day, easy.

What kind of music do you listen to?

My new favorite bands are Architecture in Helsinki and Pedro the Lion.


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