Redfin strives to be the best employer in real estate. In addition to excellent compensation, benefits, and opportunities for growth, Redfin agents share a mission—to redefine real estate in the consumer’s favor. For this report, we focused on employee real estate agents, but Redfin also employs support professionals to schedule tours, coordinate closings and activate listings.
How Redfin Agents are Paid
Unlike traditional real estate agents, who tend to be independent contractors working solely on commission, Redfin agents are employees. As such, Redfin agents are paid a salary and earn bonuses so they are not tied to commissions. Redfin agents also earn premium healthcare benefits, paid time off and parental leave. Redfin surveys every customer and posts every review online. The amount of the bonus the agent earns depends on these reviews as well as the price of the home.1
Redfin-Agent Pay More than Double that of the Industry
To get the best sense for what Redfin agents earn once they’ve completed training and are up to speed, we looked at agents who worked at least nine months out of the 2017 calendar year. For this group, the median annualized pay was $90,166. This includes an agent’s salary, bonuses, and stock-based compensation. More than 40 percent of these Redfin agents earned Redfin stock. These figures do not include the value of benefits, which are covered later.
In 2017, traditional real estate agents earned a median net take-home pay of $43,625 based on a Redfin analysis. Our analysis included only agents who closed between three and 150 deals in the same markets as Redfin. To see details of how Redfin and non-Redfin agent pay was calculated, refer to the methodology at the end of this report.
Top Redfin Agents Earn 30% More than the 85th Percentile of Others in the Industry
In 2017, the 85th percentile of Redfin agents earned $153,017, meaning 15 percent of Redfin agents earn this or more, while the 85th percentile of agents at other brokerages earned $119,986, in the same markets.
|Redfin Agent Pay vs. Non-Redfin Agent Pay|
|*Includes Redfin agents who worked at least nine months between January and December 2017, and traditional agents who closed between three and 150 transactions during the same time period.|
The Value of Redfin Benefits
Redfin pays an average of just under $20,000 per agent per year on benefits and other expenses. This includes comprehensive healthcare coverage, paid vacation and parental leave, payroll taxes for Medicare and Social Security, licensing, association and MLS dues and fees, continuing education, mileage reimbursement, equipment including laptops and printers and mobile service.
Traditional real estate agents pay for all of this out of their own pockets, as well as self-employment taxes.
Top-performing Redfin agents also have the opportunity to earn an annual international vacation for the agent and a guest, all expenses paid. This trip is valued at $6,500, and past destinations included Barcelona and Thailand.
In addition, Redfin agents meet most of their customers through Redfin’s website and app, so they can devote their time and energy to helping their customers, instead of marketing themselves. While agents with traditional brokerages can pay thousands of dollars per month for leads on third-party advertising sites, Redfin agents have no marketing expenses.
Redfin agents receive regular training and have a variety of professional development opportunities. They receive regular in-person and virtual training from Redfin’s dedicated training team on a range of topics including customer service best practices, legal and compliance updates, industry news and how to use new Redfin tools and technology. Every agent reports to a team manager, whose primary focus is developing, supporting and coaching a team of five to 15 agents.
Mission and Culture: It’s More than the Money
“The only way to deliver the best service is to employ the best agents,” said Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman. “At every Redfin board meeting, the first issue we address is what Redfin is doing to be the best employer in real estate. Every year we try to get better, through investments in technology, support staff, and culture, but also by paying people well.”
Redfin agents work as part of a team that includes support agents who field inquiries from customers, and transaction coordinators who manage the details and paperwork of a sale. Agents also work directly with software developers to create tools and technology that make their jobs easier and more efficient.
At Redfin, agents and real estate support staff also have the opportunity to advance within the company. In some cases, this means moving to areas outside of real estate operations. The following are just a few examples of employees who have started out at entry-level or junior positions and advanced their careers within Redfin.
- Anna Nevares began as a Redfin agent in San Diego and has steadily advanced into bigger management roles. She currently oversees Redfin’s operations in Northern California, Nevada, and San Diego and leads important strategic projects within the company.
- Chelsea Goyer started as a transaction coordinator with Redfin in 2007, an entry-level role. Today, she is a corporate executive, as vice president of recruiting, Partner Programs & MLS relations.
- Marshall Park started with Redfin as an agent in the Washington, D.C. area. His career has grown with the company and he now oversees Redfin’s field operations across the Mid-Atlantic, including Virginia, Washington, D.C., and New Jersey.
- After a career as an attorney, Mia Simon made the move to real estate. She joined Redfin as an agent and has quickly progressed within the company and now leads Redfin’s team in the Bay Area.
- Paul Reid spent his first few years with Redfin as a top agent in Orange County, Calif. before leading Redfin’s launch in the Inland Empire. He then developed and helped launch Redfin Now, Redfin’s experimental program that purchases homes directly from sellers. In 2017, Paul took on the new challenge of launching Redfin in Boise.
- Rachel Musiker started her career as a coordinator in Washington, D.C. Today she’s a senior manager on Redfin’s communications team, which includes overseeing Redfin media relations and all of the housing market research published on this blog.
- Taylor Connolly began as a Redfin agent in 2007, and progressed to team manager, then Maryland market manager, and finally to district manager overseeing Redfin’s operations across multiple states in the Northeast and South. Taylor has also served as an innovation manager for Redfin real estate operations, surfacing ideas from the field, developing new strategies and rolling out initiatives across the company.
- Tom Lewis started as a Redfin agent in Washington, D.C. and was promoted to broker and market manager, with responsibility for the company’s fast growth in D.C. Tom then moved to Philadelphia to manage and build that market as well. His latest promotion is managing Redfin’s support operations for the East Coast.
It’s worth noting the majority of Redfin agents have a college degree, but a college degree is not required. Based on a random sample of 100 Redfin agents, 61 percent have a bachelor’s degree or higher, 25 percent have either earned an associate’s degree or completed some college, and 10 percent have completed high school as their highest level of education. Our agent workforce is slightly more educated than the industry as a whole, based on data from the National Association of Realtors. However, Redfin employs many excellent agents who do not have a college degree. We don’t know of many large companies that offer this kind of earning potential, along with great benefits, training and advancement opportunities to folks without a college degree.
|Highest Level of Education||Redfin||NAR|
|Some Graduate School||1%||6%|
Recognizing a diverse, inclusive workforce is vital to our mission, Redfin seeks talent from all backgrounds in terms of education, military service, age, gender, ethnicity, and sexual orientation. Building a workforce that reflects the diverse composition of our customers and the communities we serve is a priority and ongoing effort for Redfin.
How Does Redfin Agent Pay Compare to Other Professions?
For comparison, we looked at how Redfin-agent pay stacks up to that of other industries. Using data from PayScale, we found the national median pay for different jobs across industries. Redfin agents outearn a wide variety of professionals. Senior Project Managers in Construction and IT earn more than the median Redfin agent, however, those jobs often require more education and professional experience at the start.
|Job Title||National Median Salary|
|Elementary School Teacher||$43,591|
|Retail Store Manager||$45,227|
|Redfin Agent (National Median)||$90,166|
|Senior Project Manager in Construction||$105,997|
|Senior Project Manager in IT||$110,937|
Interested in a Career with Redfin?
We are hiring. The company is looking for people of all backgrounds who have high standards and are passionate about serving customers. Check out our careers page or email our recruiting team to learn more.
Redfin Agent Pay
Redfin employee agent compensation figures include salary, bonuses, and stock-based compensation for the full 2017 calendar year. We annualized full-year pay for agents who worked more than nine months but less than 12 months. We only included agents who work full-time with customers. Agents in management roles, who work with some customers, but also lead teams, were not included.
Non-Redfin Agent Pay
Using MLS data, we first summed individual agents’ sales volume from January 2017 through December 2017. We excluded agents who closed fewer than three home sales in the year, assuming they were part-time or new agents. We also excluded agents who closed more than 150 deals in the year assuming they were offering a limited service, representing a bank, or leading a team, with whom the agent would share commissions.
We then estimated gross commission by multiplying sales volume by 2.56 percent commission based on 2016 data from RealTrends, which estimated an average combined commission of 5.12 percent. We then calculated an 80 percent/20 percent brokerage split. There are a variety of broker/agent arrangements, however, the National Association of Realtors says that most agents had a commission-split structure with their broker. While commission splits vary, we assumed an 80/20 split, with the agent receiving 80 percent of the gross commission, and the brokerage receiving 20 percent. This is a generous assumption, given that Realogy, the largest U.S. real estate company, estimated its average commission split would be approximately 70/30 in 2017.
Median expenses by income, as reported by the National Association of Realtors 2017 Member Profile in the table below, were subtracted from gross commissions to generate net commission estimates for each agent. Non-Redfin agent compensation percentiles were then computed on net commission estimates.
ANNUAL REAL ESTATE EXPENSES IN 2016
|Gross Income||Median Real Estate Expenses|
|Less than $10,000||$1,640|
|$10,000 to $24,999||$3,650|
|$25,000 to $34,999||$4,900|
|$35,000 to $49,999||$6,590|
|$50,000 to $74,999||$8,570|
|$75,000 to $99,999||$15,000|
|$100,000 to $149,999||$15,000|
|$150,000 or more||$35,220|
Redfin Agent Education Levels
We randomly sampled the application materials of 100 Redfin agents and assumed that if they stated a college or university name and degree, they completed that degree. If they wrote a university and did not specify a degree, we confirmed via LinkedIn. If we couldn’t confirm degree status, which happened in two instances, we assigned them “Some college”. Industry-wide education levels came from the National Association of Realtors 2017 Member Profile.
1A buyers’ agent’s bonus is based on the list price, in addition to customer satisfaction, so the agent is free to negotiate for her buyer. A listing agent’s bonus is based on the final sale price of the home, so the agent has an incentive to maximize the sale price, not just go for a quick sale.