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Why Feedback is Key to Redfin's Customer Centric Business Model
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Why Feedback is Key to Redfin's Customer Centric Business Model

Redfin, the Seattle-based real estate brokerage company, combines customer feedback, technology, and second-to-none customer service to deliver a better real estate experience. The company’s success is due, in large part, to its uncompromising customer-centric mission, making the process of buying and selling a home easier and more transparent.

Redfin agents are paid a salary and receive benefits, with customer satisfaction ratings — not transactions — determining each agent’s bonuses. Using a combination of service and technology, the company is able to promote the most relevant listings to buyers, get them into properties faster, and help them save time and money.

Customer care drives every aspect of Redfin. Here’s how.

Hiring the right people

According to Chief Executive Officer Glenn Kelman, the company is very selective when it comes to hiring agents and tech developers. New hires must understand and help contribute to Redfin’s mission to fundamentally change the way people buy and sell homes.

Redfin strives to encourage innovation, believing that risk taking leads to innovation. “The only bad idea is the one left unsaid, so let the ideas flow freely. We’re all ears,” the company’s website states in its recruitment pages. Redfin is constantly looking people with the skill and drive to help make the real-estate processes faster, friendlier, and more efficient for customers.

Maintaining customer centric values

Integral to Redfin’s success are its values, which are broken down into five categories:

  • Fire: Being mission-driven, acting like an owner, and finishing the job.
  • Wow: Delighting customers.
  • Rally: Being inspirational, curious, fearless and resourceful.
  • Genuine: Being caring, humble, and balanced.
  • Honorable: Doing the right thing, putting customers first, being truthful regardless of consequences, and treating others with respect.

As its values demonstrate, Redfin sees itself as a customer advocate whose success is wholly determined by customer satisfaction. Kelman has said that he is not familiar with any other real estate broker that has so much money riding on whether the client is happy.”

Gathering client feedback

Each month, Redfin sends a feedback survey to its customer.  Regardless of the results, positive or negative, the survey feedback is published quarterly as part of the company’s ongoing commitment to maintaining transparency. All reviews for each Redfin agent are published on their online profiles so customers can see for themselves how agents have performed.

Instead of earning commission proportional to the sale price, agents earn a commission based on customer satisfaction. Therefore, Redfin agents are inherently motivated to work on behalf of the customer’s best interest, instead of their own, delivering a superior value proposition to the customer.

Customers understand from the start that Redfin agents are not going to inflate the price as high as possible in order to earn a higher commission. There is no need to do so since agents are paid entirely based on customer satisfaction ratings. This customer-first business model likely explains why 97% of customers say they would recommend Redfin agents.

Disrupting the Market

Home buying and selling can be a stressful experience, so Redfin’s commitment to providing a successful, customer-friendly experience is a huge bonus.

And soliciting customer feedback is an important part of providing this experience.  According to a Redfin survey of nearly 1,000 recent homebuyers and sellers, most consumers thought that agent responsiveness was the most important aspect of the home buying and selling process. Consumers want to know that their agent will be responsive and work on their behalf. Because customer feedback about each agent is clearly displayed on Redfin’s website, buyers and sellers can rest assured that they are, in fact, working with the best agent.

According to Panle Jia Barwick, associate economics professor at Cornell University, by collecting and sharing “more information about agents’ track records, companies like Redfin are making…real estate more efficient,” saving consumers time and money.

Download Ebook How Top Fortune 500 Companies Increased Their Performance Using Customer Feedback