BrokerageIndustry News

Redfin, Metro Brokers stir up debate

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Two CEOs squared off Thursday on their wildly different approaches to the business of real estate brokerage: one suggesting the industry doesn't need to change much, with the other maintaining that the industry is overdue for an overhaul. Glenn Kelman, whose company Redfin has made waves in the marketplace for its unconventional approach to agent compensation, technology and customer service -- but still struggles with profitability -- said "the brand has got to mean something," and he questioned whether some of the big brokerage companies do enough to differentiate their brands from one another. Every brokerage should stand for something, he said. "We never promised that Redfin is going to be this breakaway hit, but what we have said is that Redfin is going to stand for something." Seattle-based Redfin's business model attempts to create efficiencies through technology that allow the company to deliver lower-cost service, and the compan...