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Boston condo market: Is Redfin sinking?

Real estate brokerage Redfin has laid off more than 200 employees, a company spokesperson said Wednesday, as high inflation and economic instability continue to push major U.S. companies to reduce their headcounts.



April 12Redfin cut 200 employees “due to the housing downturn and economic uncertainty,” the Seattle-based company confirmed to Forbes, following two rounds of layoffs over the past year, including one in November affecting 862 employees (Redfin has more than 5,500 employees, according to PitchBook).


Shares, Redfin has had a tough experience during the last 12 months. 12 months-to-date, the corporate’s share worth had fallen practically 90 p.c as of mid-December. As of the end of Dec. shares had been buying and selling at simply above $4. That’s a monumental drop from February 2021, when shares had been practically $100.

Redfin shares in the end hit an all-time low of simply over $3 on Nov. 9 however have since rebounded considerably.

Screen Shot 2022 12 22 at 12.07.28 PM

Redin shares dropped practically 90 p.c in 2022. | Google

In fact, your complete inventory market can also be approach down. And most actual property firms have skilled losses that outpace the broader market. Redfin is just not the one firm that had a tough time this 12 months.

However Redfin’s losses have far outpaced these of the market typically, they’ve usually been a lot worse than different large gamers in actual property, equivalent to Anyplace or rival Zillow.

A dropping share worth isn’t essentially a right away menace — a minimum of assuming it doesn’t get too low. However Cofano mentioned that as Redfin’s share worth dropped, it made the corporate “extra weak” to quite a lot of less-than-desirable outcomes, equivalent to takeovers, acquisitions or turning into underwater because of an excessive amount of debt, amongst others.

“Redfin is a really weak firm right this moment,” Cofano mentioned.

Campbell argued that Redfin’s share worth gained’t make an enormous distinction for the corporate’s steadiness sheet and is unlikely to influence day-to-day operations. However he famous that one other problem of getting misplaced a lot worth within the inventory market is that “clearly they will’t increase numerous money.”

“So if there’s some large acquisition they had been they will’t do it,” he mentioned.

McTernan additionally mentioned firms with falling share costs can run right into a “vicious cycle” the place buyers consider they should increase cash, however a falling share worth results in diminishing returns. Consequently, Redfin might “have an actual difficulty” if it wants to boost capital, although McTernan added that he doesn’t “assume it’s an actual difficulty right now.”

When Inman requested Aleem about Redfin’s inventory, he mentioned the corporate does talk about market efficiency internally. However “a very powerful factor by all of the conversations we’ve had about that’s that you simply by no means lose sight of what’s going to assist the shopper.”

“We all know it’s essential to create worth,” he added, “and the easiest way to do this is to assist the shopper.”

Finally, Redfin’s share worth will mirror the corporate’s monetary efficiency and the success of its cost-cutting efforts. Nevertheless it additionally affords a touch at how buyers really feel in regards to the firm over the brief, medium and long run. And so a part of the problem for Redfin in 2022 is persuading the world that it is aware of what it’s doing

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Did you know that Redfin has lost money every year since its roll out? How much longer can they lose money? To be honest I don’t know the answer. But one thing is clear, the recent announcement of “1% listing Fee” is truly a sign of the company is sinking. The reality is that Redfin was losing money in its old model, now they think by reducing its commissions more is going to help? This will affect their bottom line even more. Last year Redfin lost money, $15,000,000 on revenue of $370,000,000. If the Redfin model was working, and their customers were happy with the service, they would not need or want reduce their fees, would they? To me it is sending out a loud and clear message that Redfin is a sinking ship. Re-arranging the chairs on this Titanic is not going to save them.

Redfin has a market share of less than 1% (.71%) I believe that one of the reasons that the Redfin model does not work is the quality of their agents. It is interesting to me how they pound their chest on how they can save their client’s money on commissions but they never mention the values lost because of the agents lack of experience in negotiating. Most Redfin agents are not what I would call solid and knowledgeable agents. In fact, it is very much the opposite. why would an experience agent want to work for Redfin with such low commissions? I guess you get what you pay for.

Redfin came our recently with a new marketing campaign in certain parts of the country with “1% listing Fee” is deceptive just like much of their previous marketing. You will not be able to sell your condo for 1% on MLS. Redfin still needs to pay the buyer’s agent between 2%- 2.5%. So a more accurate and honest ad campaign would be a *3.5% Listing Fee” but that does not look as great to potential sellers as the 1% does.

Most savvy home sellers would prefer to pay a slightly higher fee for a quality agent that will spend more money to market their home then what Redfin will spend. They will also pay more for an agent that has experience in how to market the your condo, experience in negotiating and experience in getting things closed smoothly.

Saving money on commission, but losing on sale value isn’t going to help your bottom line. In the end its about net proceeds.

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