All Roads Lead to Redfin

Post by: Alice Z. – Anayltics Intern – Seattle

Even though I just joined Redfin as a data analytics intern in Seattle this summer, my Redfin journey actually started a long time ago in a city far, far away…

The year is 2010. It is a particularly chilly March evening in Chicago and I am in my apartment, curled up on the couch with a mug of hot chocolate in hand and a roaring fireplace in the background. I grab my laptop to take a look at the condos that my realtor has sent me. I flip through all the pictures and descriptions… but I want to see more options! So, I go online and start searching for condos in my area. In no time, I come across this really cool website that has all the MLS listings from my realtor, plus more – all on an interactive map!

This is where my journey with Redfin begins.

At the time, my boyfriend and I had just started our house hunting process, and we did what any first time home buyers would do. We asked around to see if any of our friends had recommendations of realtors. We were referred to an agent who was great – he would listen to our specifications, send us info on condos that met them and take us on tours. We ended up not buying in 2010 (I know… we were somewhat picky house hunters!), but once 2011 rolled around, we decided to start looking again.

This time, we took a different approach. Being the tech-savvy, information-crazed millennials that we are, we decided to do as much research as we could on our own before we got back in touch with our realtor. We knew that the information was available on Redfin and we wanted to make sure that we looked at every nook and cranny of our target neighborhoods in Chicago before going out on tour again. We had originally set some boundaries for ourselves in terms of streets (east of X, south of Y), but one night when I was browsing Redfin’s map feature, I found a condo that looked nice although it was just outside of our boundary (gasp!). We decided to tour it anyways… and it ended up being perfect! We put in an offer within the week and the rest is history. :)

Fast forward a bit.

The year is 2013. It is a chilly January evening in Chicago and I am in my condo, curled up on the couch with a mug of hot chocolate in hand and a roaring fireplace in the background. I am now getting my Master’s in Analytics degree at Northwestern and searching online for an internship for the summer. I come across a posting for a data scientist intern position at Redfin. Hmm… Redfin… that sounds familiar. Oh yeah! It’s that awesome website I used to find my condo two years back. I send in an application right away.

After several rounds of interviews over the course of a month, I was ecstatic to get an offer! Although I was slightly nervous to be moving away from my hometown to Seattle for the summer, I kept telling my friends that I had a good feeling about the company and I just knew that I was going to love it.

Turns out my intuition was right (I am a Myers-Briggs “N” after all). It’s been an absolutely fantastic summer. I have never been in a work environment where everyone is so passionate about the product and the future of the company. You can feel the creativity and excitement as you walk down the halls. Some of my favorite experiences this summer have been the long conversations I’ve have with members of the analytics team about real estate and our thoughts on the direction of the company. Add in perks like catered lunches, unlimited snacks in the office, green transportation reimbursements and intern outings, and you’ve got yourself an unbeatable internship!

As a data analytics intern, my job was to dive into and perform statistical analysis on Redfin’s data. I worked on measuring the success of a new site feature. I also looked into the effect of Oregon’s prohibition of customer refunds. And finally, I analyzed site behavior driven customer metrics to better understand the type of customers in each business market. I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to present my findings to Redfin’s executives (twice!) as an intern.

Overall, working at Redfin has made me love the company even more. The snazzy website is what initially drew me in, but the company values and people are what make me believe they will succeed. When I first heard about the Redfin model – they are a tech-savvy brokerage AND their agents are paid on customer satisfaction AND you get a refund after you close – I didn’t believe it. It was too good to be true. But here’s the crazy part – IT’S ALL TRUE. Just like other technology companies have reinvented the way we book flights, the way we access movies or the way we take taxis, Redfin is reinventing real estate and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

If you’re interested in reading more posts by our interns, check out the other posts in the Internships category.