When Redfin announced the pilot of Redfin Direct – a new platform in which unrepresented buyers can make offers on Redfin-listed homes – many questioned RE/MAX’s referral partnership with the Seattle-based tech-focused brokerage.
In March, the two companies announced a new partnership under the terms of which RE/MAX agents would receive exclusive – and discounted – buyer referrals in Canada and 5,000 U.S. markets where Redfin doesn’t currently have a presence. The initial partnership will last two years and then both sides will evaluate and decide if they want to continue.
Redfin Direct theoretically will have no impact on the partnership because it’s only available to RE/MAX agents where Redfin doesn’t have a brokerage and Redfin Direct will only be open to Redfin-listed homes. And in its nascent stage, Redfin Direct is only available in Boston.
Adam Contos, the CEO of RE/MAX sent a letter to all of the company’s owners, brokers and agents last night, addressing Redfin’s new platform and the referral partnership.
Redfin did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the letter. The story will be updated if Redfin decides to address Contos’ letter.
Read Contos’ letter in full below:
Yesterday’s Redfin announcement of a pilot program in Boston has sparked another wave of discomfort in our industry. It’s easy to understand why. The concept as described diminishes the value of a professional, experienced and trusted real estate agent in a transaction.
This runs counter to our fundamental belief at RE/MAX that professional, experienced and trusted real estate agents deliver tremendous value in guiding buyers and sellers through an often-difficult process.
According to the 2018 NAR buyer-seller profile, 87% of buyers recently purchased their home through a real estate agent or broker and 6% purchased directly from a builder or a builder’s agent.
We believe that tomorrow’s home-buyers and sellers will choose to use an agent, too. When that time comes, we want them to have a professional, experienced, productive, real estate expert by their side. If they choose RE/MAX, they will get all of those qualities in one agent.
We believe consumers deserve that.
We are the exclusive recipients of Redfin’s referrals in many areas at this time, but we are still competitors. The Redfin referrals give RE/MAX agents a competitive advantage – and also give them the opportunity to demonstrate the many benefits of working with an experienced, productive RE/MAX agent. Through their performance, our agents will surely create some customers for life. Our Redfin decision was and is about playing offense, not defense.
So, don’t let the noise distract you. Don’t let the discomfort get the better of you. Know that we are working hard to enhance your business and live up to the ethos of being a business that builds businesses.
CEO, RE/MAX LLC