Zillow says it’s entered into a distribution deal with online real estate brokerage Redfin that allows visitors to the brokerage’s Web site to request loan quotes from the Zillow Mortgage Marketplace.
A Zillow spokeswoman said the deal, announced on the company’s corporate blog, includes a revenue-sharing agreement with Redfin.
In an e-mail, Redfin Chief Executive Officer Glenn Kelman said terms of the agreement have not been finalized. Kelman said that if the brokerage does generate revenue from mortgage customers, it will disclose that fact "and my guess is that we’d refund some portion of it back to the consumer."
"We just thought it would improve Redfin’s customer experience if, in addition to our recommended lenders, we also offered consumers some ability to check prices in the larger marketplace," Kelman said. "By the same token, we don’t earn any money from our recommended lenders."
Redfin announced last week that it had entered the Atlanta market, the third new market this year and the company’s 10th overall. The brokerage said it’s organizing its real estate agents nationwide into local teams consisting of an agent, a coordinator and several field agents.
The agent is responsible for the customer’s success from start to finish, offering advice, negotiating offers and managing the team, Redfin said. The coordinator assists the agent with tour scheduling and closing paperwork, while the field agent ensures customers can get into homes all over town on short notice.
"This model gives each client the accountability of one throat to choke, the intimacy of a small team who knows the customer by name, while still offering more resources every day of the week than any one agent can deliver on his own," said Scott Nagel, Redfin vice president of real estate operations, in a press release.
To staff the teams, Redfin said it nearly doubled the number of employees in customer service over the past three months.
"We think teams is another big step toward becoming a mass-market service that blends the best of the traditional world with new technology, and a commitment to serving customers rather than chasing commissions," Kelman said in a blog post.
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