Redfin is looking to nearly triple its U.S. market coverage by hiring agents in new markets from Jacksonville, Florida, to New Orleans to Honolulu, Hawaii.

The Seattle-based brokerage currently operates as a brokerage and referral site in 29 markets, but is actively hiring real estate agents in nearly 50 others, the firm’s website reveals.

Markets where Redfin is currently hiring real estate agents where it currently has no presence:

  • Birmingham, Alabama
  • Little Rock, Arkansas
  • Bakersfield, Fresno, and Santa Barbara, California
  • Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • Daytona, Fort Myers, and Jacksonville, Florida
  • Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Louisville, Kentucky
  • Baton Rouge and New Orleans, Louisiana
  • State of Maine
  • Detroit and Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Kansas City and St. Louis, Missouri
  • Winston-Salem, North Carolina
  • Omaha, Nebraska
  • State of New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • Reno, Nevada
  • Albany and Buffalo, New York
  • Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, and Dayton, Ohio
  • Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • Allentown and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Charleston, Greenville and Columbia, South Carolina
  • Knoxville, Memphis, and Nashville, Tennessee
  • El Paso and McAllen in Texas
  • Richmond, Virginia
  • State of Vermont
  • Madison and Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Redfin’s growth plans come as expectations build that the company, which raised $50 million in November, is moving closer toward an initial public offering.

Earlier this month, Redfin announced a new expansion policy that the company said put an end to a previous practice of temporarily operating as a paper brokerage in some new markets.

In Redfin expansion markets like Austin, Texas, and Las Vegas, for example, the firm employed a referral model in which it posted data from the local multiple listing service that’s reserved for MLS member websites in order to attract buyers to

The company would refer prospects in those markets to other brokers, without representing clients itself. Although the company said it employed this model as a temporary measure while it was looking to hire agents in a new market, it has apparently operated as a paper brokerage in some markets for years.

Currently, Redfin says that it operates as a referral-only site in San Antonio, Texas, Tucson, Arizona, and the California side of Lake Tahoe, but last week CEO Glenn Kelman told Inman News that the firm will no longer continue that practice.

Redfin will look to hire agents first before turning on its website and activating the referral portion of its business in that market, Kelman said.

In a recent guest opinion piece published by Inman News, Kelman advocated changing the rules brokers must follow when pooling MLS listings for display by other brokerages.

Brokerage sites, including Redfin, would drive more traffic to listing brokers, Kelman said, if the IDX feeds provided to MLS members included “Google-friendly” links back to the websites of the broker representing the seller.

“Requiring every MLS subscriber to link to the source listing will ensure that brokers with more listings get much more traffic, from other brokerage sites like Redfin, and from Google,” Kelman said.

As it stands today, he said, brokers are “permanently licensing data” to portals like Zillow and Trulia, “gaining leads today at the cost of our long-term Internet presence, and ultimately our ability to meet customers on our own. The portals offering such deals are asking us to trade in fishing poles — the unique data that powers our own website — for fish — contacts for our agents.”

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