It’s not Zillow that Redfin’s gunning for

CEO Glenn Kelman says its major competitors are traditional brokerages

Zillow's Spencer Rascoff and Redfin's Glenn Kelman
Zillow's Spencer Rascoff and Redfin's Glenn Kelman

The CEO of Redfin, which made its Wall Street debut last week, says its biggest rival isn’t real estate tech giant Zillow.

“It’s Century 21, it’s RE/MAX, it’s Keller Williams, it’s these established brokerages that have been around for a long time,” Glenn Kelman told Bloomberg. “It’s going to be a tough fight, but we’re in it for the long haul.”

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The online brokerage went public in July.  On its first day of trading, company shares closed at $21.70, a 45 percent increase from where they started. That boost put the company’s valuation at north of $1.7 billion. (Zillow, which has a market cap of about $8.3 billion, is trading on the Nasdaq at about $46 a share as of Tuesday morning.)

Redfin’s IPO was hotly watched by both traditional brokerages and real estate tech companies. Venture-backed Compass, for example, has IPO ambitions and is planning an international expansion.

Kelman told Bloomberg that Redfin — which undercuts brokerages by taking smaller commissions and utilizing salaried agents — is focusing on developing technology that will give it a jump on the competition. “Now what we’re working on is these offers that you can generate it in a few clicks, so you can get to the sale first, and you buy the house before anyone else knows it’s on the market,” he said. “We’re working on selling homes directly over our website.” [Bloomberg]Miriam Hall