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Redfin and RE/MAX have entered into an exclusive partnership, through which Redfin will provide referrals to RE/MAX agents in Canada and roughly 5,000 zip codes in the U.S. The agreement will last for two years, with both companies having the option to renew.

In both Canada and the 5,000 zip codes, the company is cutting its fee from 30 percent—the Redfin referral service standard—to 25 percent, for the RE/MAX agents in those areas who close Redfin referrals successfully.

Additionally, in Canada—not the country in its entirety, but a majority of it—RE/MAX will be the only recipient of Redfin referrals. Redfin’s Canadian presence includes Toronto and Vancouver.

In the 5,000 zip codes in the U.S., Redfin has either no active in-house professionals or no Partner Program participants.

Credit: Redfin

According to Adam Contos, CEO of RE/MAX, the alliance builds on the company’s offerings and value, and amounts to critical exposure through Redfin’s website.

“Teaming with Redfin further enhances the value we offer to our network of highly productive agents and differentiates RE/MAX from the competition,” says Contos. “By combining our expansive network of professional agents across the U.S. and Canada with Redfin’s massive online audience, consumers are connected with best-in-class agents, and our affiliates are given exclusive access to a rich source of referrals. Everybody wins.”

“This is an exclusive partnership, so in most of Canada, this is something that agents at other competing brands will not have access to in terms of consumer-facing referral leads and also at a discounted rate,” says Karri Callahan, CFO of RE/MAX. “In the U.S., we’re looking to capture the consumer traffic on Redfin’s industry-leading website and help to transition that to high-quality professional RE/MAX agents, which helps provide a quality customer experience.

“We’re always looking at how to add value to our network, and looking at what are the competitive advantages we have, and how do we marry those up with people who have comparable strengths and who’ve done a good job in terms of attracting consumers,” Callahan says. “Redfin is really focused on the consumer experience, and we are at RE/MAX, as well.”

For Redfin, one crucial decider was the fact that RE/MAX agents consistently earn high ratings through its referral service, the Redfin Partner Program. In February, Redfin launched Redfin.ca, its Canadian home search site.

“The RE/MAX agents who are already our partners get some of the highest customer satisfaction scores in our program,” says Glenn Kelman, CEO of Redfin. “Our own research has shown that RE/MAX agents are more likely to stay at their brokerage than agents at any other major traditional brokerage, and it is well known that RE/MAX agents are far more productive than the industry average.

“Happy customers, happy agents, with significant experience at every stage of a sale—these were the reasons that we concluded a RE/MAX partnership would lead to better service for customers browsing Redfin.com and Redfin.ca in the areas where Redfin doesn’t employ one of our own agents,” Kelman says.

RE/MAX agents have participated in the Redfin Partner Program since 2009, when it was launched. Generally, Redfin makes referrals through the Partner Program in areas where demand exceeds Redfin’s resources or where the company is unavailable, as well as in cases when the home is listed below its minimum parameters.

According to the companies, Redfin and RE/MAX will compete with each other in markets where they operate. In areas where Redfin has Partner agents from competing firms, those agents can continue to participate in the Partner Program. In addition, agents from competing firms can apply for the program, provided they are in areas outside of the partnership.

According to Redfin’s fourth quarter 2018 earnings report, the company holds an 0.81 percent marketshare in the U.S. Since 2006, the brokerage has facilitated more than $85 billion in sales volume, backed by a 1 percent commission offering.

RE/MAX has more than 125,000 agents in over 110 countries and territories. In Canada and the U.S., its agent count is nearing 85,000.

For more information, please visit www.remax.com

Suzanne De Vita is RISMedia’s online news editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at sdevita@rismedia.com.

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