Four and a half years ago I didn’t have my real estate license and I was working in an uninspiring government job. Today, I manage a team of more than 70 real estate agents and managers in Maryland, who will collectively help their customers buy and sell nearly $1 billion worth of homes this year. In my first year as an agent with Redfin, I closed 44 home sales. That’s 10 times what most newly-licensed agents sell in their first year. Making the leap into real estate and joining Redfin transformed my life and gave me career opportunities I never expected. If you’re interested in job opportunities at Redfin, let’s talk!
I’m sharing my professional journey because I want people to understand what is possible at Redfin if you have a growth mindset and a heart for service. My experience is not unique. By providing mentorship, training, technology, benefits and a business model that puts the customer first, Redfin sets its agents up for professional and financial success in the real estate industry.
Redfin’s Maryland team at our annual company meeting in Atlanta in January 2020
Learning the Ropes as a Redfin Associate Agent
I was first introduced to Redfin as a customer. My Redfin agent helped me buy an investment property and was extremely helpful in guiding me through that purchase. Being a real estate investor, landlord and Airbnb host got me thinking about a career in the industry.
So I took a risk and applied for a job at Redfin without any professional real estate experience. I didn’t get the job I applied for, but I was offered a role as an Associate Agent. Associate Agents are independent contractors who get paid to help Redfin’s Lead Agents by showing homes, holding open houses and attending other appointments. It’s an excellent way for new licensees to gain experience, make money in real estate right away and have ultimate flexibility over their schedules. The Associate Agent role got me hooked on real estate and helped me build the industry knowledge I needed to step into a Lead Agent role and begin representing my own clients.
Setting New Agents up for Success with Mentorship, Training and a Team
I started as a Lead Agent in late 2016 on our Howard County, MD team. In my first year, I closed 44 home sales and was exceeding my financial goals without taking on new debt. While many first year licensees struggle to find customers and draw down on their savings to pay for dues and fees, customer leads, technology and training programs, Redfin covered all my expenses, provided healthcare benefits for me and my family and set me up to hit the ground running. This is why we say years at Redfin are like dog years in the traditional real estate industry. When you can spend your time serving customers rather than drumming up business, you get more transaction experience, which in turn makes you a better agent. Helping people with the most momentous purchase of their lives is extremely rewarding.
Thanks to the Redfin website and technology, I was meeting new customers every week, but I wasn’t thrown into the deep end. I had a whole team behind me.
- Travus Gehret ran offer drills with me until I had it. It took me three hours to write my first offer. He worked with me until I got it down to about 20 minutes.
- Scott Dunn personally reviewed my comparative market analysis (CMAs) and my first 10 offers to ensure they were spotless and my clients were well taken care of.
- Doug Owens helped me understand the right questions to ask my clients to better understand their needs.
- I got advice and mentorship from veteran agents like Marianne Gregory, Lynn Ikle and Antonia Ketabchi about how to be a high-volume agent and have a life!
- As I started working with more clients and getting them under contract, I relied on my Transaction Coordinator, Carole Van Wagner. She handles hundreds of deals per year and has seen it all, so I knew she’d take good care of our clients and get transactions closed smoothly and on time.
At Redfin, every Lead Agent is supported by a team of Associate Agents and a Transaction Coordinator. Having a team is the only way it’s possible for a busy agent to have flexibility and work-life balance. Being an agent is not a 9-5 job, but I loved the flexibility in setting my schedule, knowing that I had a team around me to help my customers when I took a day off.
Providing a Path to Management
By this point, I knew that I was in the right place and was ready to take every opportunity to grow within the company. I was promoted to a team manager role in 2018. I faced a new challenge of learning how to manage a team, foster a culture of transparency and become a better hiring manager.
Again, Redfin delivered. My manager showed a genuine interest in my career goals and booked extra time with me to develop me as a manager. I attended two rounds of manager training at our Seattle HQ. Later, I was invited to an intensive, two-day, leadership training in our Long Beach office. Never have I worked for an employer who offered such a wide range of opportunities to grow.
In October 2018, I got an unexpected call from Scott Nagel, President of Real Estate Operations, to ask if I would speak on a panel to our board of directors. I was intimidated, but I said I’d do it. Chatting over dinner with the company’s most senior leadership was inspiring and showed me what it meant to have a real vision of the future. I wanted to have a role in shaping that vision and strategy.
When a Market Manager position opened up in Maryland, I applied. I got the job and started in January of 2019. This transition felt different, since I was now overseeing the budget, setting the strategy and leading an entire organization of people. By now I knew Redfin would give me the tools to succeed. Today, I am supported by my Director, Taylor Connolly, who is equally invested in my growth as I am.
Last week marked my four year anniversary as an employee at Redfin. In that time, I’ve gone from managing clients and transactions to now managing a multi-million dollar budget. If, like me, you have a passion for real estate and a fire in your belly to grow in your career, you can succeed at Redfin.
If you’re just getting started in real estate or in the game already and want to jumpstart your career, call me, 443-857-8043. I’ll help you get started at Redfin, just as my team helped me.