Editor’s Note: The Disruptor Roundup analyzes companies implementing unconventional models.
For industry disruptors, change is expected—and that can mean change even at the leadership level. Today’s technology stewards may find themselves leapfrogging through roles, seeking out companies that will provide them with a fresh chance at innovating within the real estate space. Previously the chief product and technology officer at eXp Realty, Scott Petronis has now taken on the same title at Redefy, a tech-focused, full-service real estate company that typically charges sellers a flat fee of $3,500 across the board. Redefy currently provides its services in 23 states.
“I am excited to have an opportunity to work with Chris [Rediger, Redefy’s chief executive officer] and the Redefy team. I have been following the company with admiration for several years, and I’m looking forward to helping the company drive complexity and cost out of the home-selling process to benefit homeowners,” said Petronis in a statement. “I believe Redefy is on the cusp of making meaningful change in the real estate space and I’m grateful to play a role in the transformation.”
How It Works
The company says it offers “all the services of a traditional agent” for a flat fee:
Sellers meet with the team through an in-home consultation, where they sign contracts and receive staging advice. Redefy then takes professional photos and places a lockbox and yard sign on the property.
Active Listing Stage
Redefy promotes the property information and photos on “thousands of websites” and through the MLS. Additionally, the company provides an automated showing and feedback service.
Contract to Closing Stage
Sellers go through offers and negotiations, signing contracts electronically through DocuSign. Redefy then coordinates the title and closing.
Who manages these transactions? Redefy offices each have their own agents and staff who oversee the real estate transaction from beginning to end. Some offices rely solely on brokers and agents, while others have specialized staff members, such as operations managers and contracts managers.
A Full-Service Company?
There are some differences between Redefy and traditional brokerages. For example, the company won’t host open houses on behalf of the seller, stating these events are “a thing of the past.” Additionally, Redefy won’t mail out printed flyers promoting the property to the nearby neighborhoods.
In terms of client management, online reviews tend to skew positive; however, there are quite a few testimonials reporting transactions where communication was either inconsistent or nonexistent, with buyer’s agents having trouble reaching the Redefy listing agent. Additionally, some clients have stated that they received no follow-up after closing, a departure from many traditional agents who set themselves up as a client’s “REALTOR® for life” even after a transaction has ended.
Although the company website states REALTORS® do not avoid Redefy, home sellers are ultimately in charge of setting the buyer’s agent’s commission—set it too low, and sellers risk losing out on buyers.
A Look Into the Future
With iBuyers continuing to emerge, discount and flat-fee real estate companies could create more competition to cater to those consumers who prefer to sell quickly or for lower costs, dropping selling price and brokerage amenities to a lower priority as long as the reduced commissions mean more money in consumers’ pockets in the end.
In terms of growth, Redefy is working to round out its leadership team, having also recently hired the former U.S. Realty CEO Colby Sambrotto as chief revenue officer. Additionally, Redefy recently entered into a share exchange agreement to become a publicly traded company.
Liz Dominguez is RISMedia’s associate content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org.