The New Guy

So, I’ve written this blog entry about five times. I’m not certain I know what I’m doing.crumplecrumple

I mean, I’m an amateur when it comes to real estate. I’m like that kid in the back of the classroom who ate paste. And I don’t mean the kid in second grade. I mean the kid in college who sat in the back eating paste.

I’m also, officially, a Redfinnian.

I’m not entirely sure how I got the job as a writer here. I spent the past nine years writing for videogames – none of which were real estate-related, by the way. I’ve been following the market for the past couple of years, but I came to it the same way most people do, I suppose; my wife and I were considering buying a house. We started reading up to educate ourselves. We started checking out Redfin.

Prices started to drop, then plummet, and we decided to wait until the dust settled a bit. But in the meantime, I continued going to the site, checking on my favorites like they were my prized petunias. I kept reading the blogs and the news. I was like some sort of armchair home-buyer. It’s entirely possible that I was a little obsessed with the process.

One day, my wife spotted the job listing on Redfin for a writer. One short whirlwind later, here I am.

Since I got the job, it’s been interesting to read what people say about Redfin, on blogs and discussion boards, or wherever. Because I’ve always loved the site. The data is great. The map is great. I can spend hours just browsing for houses.

But a lot of people love the site. The interesting part is reading the Internet chatter about the people of Redfin. That they’re crazy, or trying to ruin the industry, or that they haven’t thought their business model through, or that they don’t care about their customers. Or that they’re making some Big Mistake that will doom them to failure.

As I was struggling to commit to my blog entry, Glenn Kelman gave me some advice. He told me, above all, to keep it real. So here it is: You’re never going to meet a smarter, more passionate, more customer-focused group of people than you’ll find stepping off our elevator. Believe the hype. This place is the real deal, and it’s intimidating as hell, frankly.

As for the Big Mistake… oftentimes, the chatter was right. The people here have made some Big Mistakes, some of which might really have killed the business. But it’s a funny thing about mistakes – they only kill you when you refuse to acknowledge them. And if there’s one quality the people here seem to hold above all others, it’s this: You admit when you’re wrong, and you learn from it.

So, for what it’s worth, I promise to work my butt off as the new guy here on the site. I promise that I’ll make my mistakes as quickly and entertainingly as possible. And I promise I’ll do my level best to learn from them.

(Photo Credit: b7_banana on Flickr)


  • Sasha Aickin

    Welcome aboard, Bryan; glad to have you along for the ride.

  • Savan

    Nice hire, G-money. I like Bryan’s writing style and that he ate paste. I was never that guy, probably because I was chewing erasers.

    Good luck, Bryan. I look forward to more from you.

  • Glenn Kelman

    I never really interviewed Bryan for a job Savan. At his interview with me, we just talked about Star Wars… (Bryan, I really liked this post)

  • Savan

    I would have imagined you would be the first to interview a writer, G. His writing reminds me of Bahn’s. Bryan, Redfin will change you for the better, brotha! Enjoy the ride.

    As an aside: I wish there was an easy way to share posts from the blog on Facebook and Twitter.

    And is it just me or does the picture look like a hunched over gremlin or mini-dinosaur with spikes on the back?

  • Jamie

    Great post, Bryan, and glad to have you on board. Now, if you could just help me write something way cool that would convince Glenn to get Redfin into Texas, that would be even better.

  • Pauline W

    Congrats, Bryan, on your new job!
    Savan, I’m seeing a slightly evil-looking frog, facing left…

  • bryanhowell

    Thanks all! Looking forward to getting my hands dirty.

    Savan, I know what you mean about the pic — it looks like a little paper Godzilla to me.

    Jamie, as a former Lucasfilm employee, I’ve had extensive training in the Jedi mind trick. I’ll see what I can do :)

  • JanelleS

    Welcome to the ‘Fin, Bryan. In your copious amounts of free time, you can help me write the screenplay for “Redfin: The Movie”!

  • Margaret

    That is a great entry Bryan. You are definitely a great writer. Your experiences of chewing paste in the classroom, really a good LOL kind. I am also a follower of redfin blog because I love the interesting and real sort of contents here.
    Nice posting and do more.