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Tech-Based Real Estate Startup Redfin (RDFN) Soars Again

Shares of the newly public, tech-focused real estate startup Redfin RDFN soared on Monday as investors jumped on the company’s stock in just its second day of trading.

Redfin, which is an online and mobile-based real estate company, went public last Friday on the Nasdaq Global Select Market. Redfin’s IPO offered 9.2 million shares at $15 per share, and the company closed its first day of trading up 44.7% to $21.70 per share.

The Seattle-based company closed 11.20% higher on Monday, quickly lifting the stock to $24.13 per share. Redfin reached an intraday trading high of $25.11 per share, but the company is down marginally in after-hours trading.

More About Redfin

Founded in 2004, the company hopes to succeed in the somewhat volatile housing market with a technology centered business model and an on-demand style focus. Redfin boasts that it is the fastest growing real estate website and number one brokerage site in the U.S.

Redfin’s 2016 revenue jumped 43% year-over-year to $267.2 million. The company was also able to shrink its losses to $22.5 million from $30.2 million. Aside from its more modern, online structured business, the company might be gaining traction because of its price point.

Redfin charges between 1% to 1.5% for its listing fees, compared to the industry average of roughly 3%. And, according to its website, the company will give part of its commission back to the homebuyer.

Last Friday on CNBC's "Power Lunch," the company’s CEO Glenn Kelman referred to Redfin as the “Uber or Lyft of real estate” because of its on-demand, mobile-focused features, which allow Redfin to help consumers connect with realtors almost instantly.

“Our big project is to combine all the things we're doing online with all the things we're doing offline. The real point of attack is when they're looking at a house on their mobile phone and want to see it right away, how the agent is getting people into properties faster," Kelman told CNBC.

"That's another big change that's happened in the market is that it just moves so much more quickly and some of it is a competitive dynamic, some of it is now the phone buzzes and new listings sell in hours not days. We have to move that much faster."

Redfin aims to attract customers in the relatively crowded real estate world by focusing on moving with shifting U.S. cultural trends. Users are able to get instant updates when homes go on sales in their price range and area, Redfin’s software helps suggest listing fees, and the bidding can be done online or on the app. Redfin offers more standard marketing, but also provides online 3D video walkthrough tours as part of its commission fee.

Buyers or sellers can sign up or schedule home tours online with a few clicks. Redfin also offers a walk score, which helps users search for housing based on commute times.

On top of trying to change the user experience for both the buyer and seller, Redfin hopes to change the realtor’s role as well.

Redfin agents are salaried employees who don’t receive a commission for each sale. Instead, the agents earn bonuses based on online customer reviews about their home buying or selling experience. With the bottom-line commission based model no longer in place, the company thinks its agents will be more focused on helping their client land the best deal on a house they truly want.

Kelman proclaimed in multiple interviews that agents receive three times as many listings and get paid twice as much as the average real estate agent. He also used the analogy that it is easy to recruit agents because his company feels more like Apple AAPL than Radio Shack.


Re/Max RMAX and Realogy Holdings RLGY—which owns Century 21, Coldwell Banker, and Sotheby's International Realty—both saw marginal gains on Monday before dipping slightly after-hours. Redfin’s fellow online real estate company Zillow Z fell 0.13%.

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