Tech-focused real estate company Redfin expands to Bellingham

Looking to buy or sell a home in Bellingham? You now have one more option.

Tech-centric real estate brokerage Redfin expanded to Bellingham last month.

They have a handful of agents in the area, some newly hired, and some transferred from other areas.

Redfin is a full-service real estate brokerage.

Whether buying or selling, they assist clients through the whole process.

But in a lot of ways, they’re unlike many of the existing real estate companies in Bellingham today.

“Our company mission is to redefine real estate in the customer’s favor,” said Daria Kurkjy-Haynes, who is heading the Bellingham team.

The company started in Seattle, but is now nationwide.

“People in Seattle have lots of connections to Bellingham,” Kurkju-Haynes said. “People have been asking for a while when Redfin was coming to Bellingham.”

Redfin is part real estate brokerage, part technology company.

Their website aims to make it easy for potential buyers to search and filter listings.

When they see a home they like, they can book a showing online, and can quickly get connected with a agent to show them the house.

From the seller’s perspective, they get constant updates on every action taken on their listing.

“It’s just a very consumer-friendly website,” Kurkjy-Haynes said. “We just hear constantly how much people like our site.”

In addition to professional photos, Redfin generates a 3-D walk through for each listing, and a digital model of each house’s layout, like a “dollhouse version” she said.

There are also online tools that help guide buyers through every stage of the buying process, and sends them alerts when its time to take an action.

That feature can be particularly helpful to first-time home buyers.

In addition to the tech support, there’s one other major thing that makes Redfin different from other real estate brokerage companies — the real estate agents don’t work for a commission.

Instead, they get a salary, plus bonuses based on satisfaction surveys from their customers.

“It shows that we really are advocates for the consumer,” Kurkjy-Haynes said. “‘We really are paid based on customer service.”

Kurkjy-Haynes started working at Redfin in 2013, after spending almost 15 years as a real estate agents at other companies.

“I just think this is the way,” she said. “Focused on the consumer, technology driven.

And unlike at other agencies, where an agent’s livelihood depends on them getting their name out there and attracting clients — she doesn’t spend anytime marketing herself.

“I love it,” Kurkjy-Haynes said. “That’s one of the things I like best about Redfin is I can spend all of my time helping my clients and none of my time marketing myself.”

That also means that Redfin agents operate more as a team.

Each client still gets one agent to help them out and guide them through the process, however, the team has the flexibility for other agents to step in when necessary.

That’s one of the reasons clients can schedule a showing for a property so quickly: if their agent isn’t free when they’re ready to go, another Redfin agent can step in.

Plus, thanks to the online tools, everyone stays updated on what the client saw, when they saw it, and even what they thought about the property.

That team-based model is another one of Kurkjy-Haynes’ favorite things about working at Redfin.

“There’s always somebody around to help you out,” she said. “It’s a really fun company.”

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