Redfin, which Glenn Kelman has run as CEO since 2005, once the darling of disruptive tech-enabled brokerage models, and the media, has gone relatively quiet. It had a difficult 2020, but came roaring back and with a spectacular 2021. Here are its results from the third quarter 2021:
- $540 million in revenue, a 128 percent increase from the third quarter 2020.
- $127 million in gross profit, up 37 percent from the third quarter 2020..
- $18.9 million net loss, down from the $34.2 million net loss in the third quarter 2020.
Redfin’s iBuying division, RedfinNow, increased revenues by over 10X while selling homes above its forecasted prices. It was so successful that Redfin expanded the service to Chicago, Atlanta, Nashville, Charlotte and Raleigh at a time when Zillow Group exited the iBuying business. And the narrative behind RedfinNow is different: It offers iBuying as a part of a complete suite of services to the homeowner, rather than as a standalone business.
Redfin’s market share rose to 1.16 percent in the U.S., a new record for the company, making it the nation’s fifth largest brokerage by sales volume. Although Redfin is running on all cylinders, its stock price is down nearly 50 percent to around $41 at time of writing in late 2021. Its market cap is also down from $7 billion last year to $4.3 billion.
Redfin is no longer the industry disruptor is as it was much of the previous decade. That mantle has now moved to eXp Realty and Compass who have taken that role for brokerages, and Opendoor and CoStar Group on the technology side. But there is reason to believe that this may be the calm before the storm. Redfin is one of the companies that could benefit enormously from disruptions to commissions, and, should the courts or government agencies shift the current cooperation and compensation model, Redfin with its high number of employee agents may be in the best position to take advantage. Redfin still has a strong technology and data team, with nearly 50 million visiting redfin.com and its mobile app monthly, is improving its core business of brokerage, seeing success with its variant of iBuying, and has almost $600 million cash in the bank and the ability to tap capital markets. As such, Kelman, widely regarded as one of the smartest and quirkiest brokerage CEOs in the country, and with Gary Keller, the longest tenure in the SP 200 top 10.