Redfin’s CEO sees red over spoof slogan

Glenn Kelman up in arms over tongue-in-cheek Twitter thread

A photo illustration of Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman (Getty, Redfin, Twitter/Chris Smith)
A photo illustration of Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman (Getty, Redfin, Twitter/Chris Smith)

A week after Christmas, Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman was updating his naughty list.

The head of the discount brokerage defended the company on Twitter last week after a widely viewed tweet poked fun at its brokers. Chris Smith, a marketing specialist and author, published a thread of tweets making fun of various real estate companies entitled “if real estate companies kept it real with their homepage headlines.”

Spoofing companies including Opendoor (“We make it really easy to get a really bad offer”), Trulia (“We also can’t believe we are still around”) and (“Zillow but for boomers”).

For Redfin, he published a screenshot of the homepage with the slogan: “People love using our app. Using our agents? Not so much.”

The post was viewed more than 280,000 times, according to Twitter.

That didn’t sit well with Kelman, who fired back in a pair of tweets claiming Redfin customers are “more likely” to return and asking the author to remove the posts.

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“Why mock up insults over the holidays?” Kelman said in one post.

“If you have no data or even anecdotal evidence to back this up, beyond Jurassic-era attitudes towards brokers competing on price, please take it down,” Kelman said in a second tweet.

The chief executive’s comments come after a rocky few months for the brokerage.

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Some online observers suggested Kelman should keep his concerns on the company’s stock price, which cratered over the past year, after soaring in 2021 to peak at more than $95 from a low of roughly $11 during the height of the pandemic. It’s since lost all that value and then some — Redfin stock was trading at $4.38 Monday morning, as a result of a downturn in the market that’s sent stocks across the industry into a tailspin.

Redfin announced in November it would lay off 13 percent of its staff and close its iBuying business, hours before reporting a loss of more than $90 million in its third quarter earnings call. That same week, an Oppenheimer analyst called the company’s business model “fundamentally flawed.”