It was a quick divorce from a two-month romance. And to be honest, sort of a head-scratcher.
In mid-March, RE/MAX, the 40-year-old, Denver-based national real estate franchise broker announced a unique partnership with Redfin, the tech-focused brokerage that has morphed over the years, from trying to wipe out the Real Estate agent to employing them with discounted commission fees. The partnership gave RE/MAX agents exclusive access to Redfin’s agent referral program — albeit at a discounted rate (25 percent versus 30 percent of the agent’s commission, the standard for referral fees) — in 5,000 U.S. ZIP codes and throughout Canada, where Redfin recently launched its highly navigated home search website.
Ostensibly this was done, RE/MAX leaders claimed, to partner up with an online brokerage.
“Redfin is a good complement to the RE/MAX model, given their online presence and our offline presence,” Kerri Callahan, RE/MAX’s chief financial officer, said to Inman News in March.
Leaders of both companies were crowing about reciprocal revenue potential, but the honeymoon ended on Monday.
Redfin’s launch of a new program that would essentially cut out buyers agents altogether had one unanticipated result: RE/MAX withdrew from its corporate partnership with Redfin.
“Redfin has the utmost respect for RE/MAX as a company, for its agents and leaders. RE/MAX agents who already work as Redfin’s partner agents will continue to be our partners, and RE/MAX agents can continue to enroll in our partner program, but Redfin can now enroll partner agents from other brokerages to serve Redfin.com visitors in the U.S. and Canada,” the company said in a statement.