Online real estate broker Redfin today announced the opening of a San Francisco office for software engineers and real estate agents. The company launched services in the San Francisco Bay Area in May after receiving $8 million in venture capital financing.

Redfin said it will continue to run engineering and real estate operations from its Seattle headquarters, but opened the San Francisco office to support national expansion plans, and aggressive research and development hiring. Today, the office hosts three engineers and three real estate agents with capacity for a dozen people.

The San Francisco office allows Redfin to draw on engineers from Silicon Valley as well as Seattle in its effort to build the industry’s leading real estate e-commerce site. The office also provides a place for the company’s Bay Area agents to meet clients with questions about buying or selling homes online.

Redfin hired Sasha Aickin, previously of Plumtree Software, to run the San Francisco development team, and promoted Rosemary Vo, previously of Century 21, to manage local real estate operations.

Chief Technology Officer Brian Marsh said Redfin plans to open a real estate office in every major market it serves, “But we have made an unusually deep investment in the Bay Area because the region is loaded with Internet-savvy real estate consumers, and great software engineers to boot.”

The office is located at 604 Mission St. in downtown San Francisco.

In February, Redfin launched Redfin Direct, an online offer system at Redfin.com that provides information to users about the home purchase process and allows users to complete an online form that they can send electronically to a Redfin agent.

Redfin also offers home sellers the option of a discount, flat-fee program to place a home in a local multiple listing service and receive limited services from a Redfin agent. And for consumers who want full real estate services without discounts, the company offers to refer business to its network of full-service real estate agents.

Interactive property maps and related tools are a focus of the Redfin.com Web site, and consumers can view for-sale properties, recently sold properties, property boundaries, streets, schools, parks, and average property prices and other statistics for a given map view.

Refin’s founder, David Eraker, left the company in August to pursue other opportunities.

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