redfin ceo glenn kelman

From ‘cocky’ software guy to industry friend: Redfin’s Glenn Kelman tells all

CEO talks tech-powered brokerage's strategy to automate more and free up agents for the good stuff

Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman is the first to admit that he came into real estate swinging, but he now considers himself a friend of the industry — and he’s not planning on going anywhere.

“I came into it as this software guy 12 years ago. I screwed up. Now I’m just so much happier,” Kelman says. “This is what I’m going to do with my life. I’m not trying to sell Redfin. I’m not trying to flip the website. I’m trying to build a brokerage.”

In this exclusive interview moderated by RealScout‘s Andrew Flachner, Kelman describes Redfin, which had $16 billion in sales volume last year and went public in July, as “just like any other brokerage, except we try to use technology as aggressively as we can to make our agents better and to serve our customers better.”

Tune in to hear more about the typical buyer and seller experience with Redfin, the possibility that Redfin could pursue self-guided tours for its listings, its attempt to find a balance between agent productivity and service quality, and the brokerage’s goal of automating more and more of the real estate transaction to free up agents’ time for serving clients out in the field.

Kelman’s view of the role technology will play in shaping the industry’s future has shifted — he can no longer ignore the importance of the human factor in real estate, and he knows that a collaborative approach is key — but his end goal remains the same: Improving the consumer experience in what is a life-changing transaction for most.

“If you’re going to sell anything,” Kelman says, “why not sell houses?”