34. Redfin

Online real estate search and brokerage

Glenn Kelman, CEO of Redfin
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Glenn Kelman, CEO of Redfin

Founders: David Eraker, David Selinger
CEO: Glenn Kelman
Date launched: 2004
Funding:
$96.8 million
Industries disrupted:
Real Estate/Housing
Disrupting: ReMax, Trulia, Zillow
Competition: Estately, LessThan6Percent, Movoto

Redfin, the technology-powered real estate brokerage firm, is trying to make the nerve-racking process of buying and selling a home a little easier. Unlike other real estate websites, the Seattle-based company hires its own agents, who do all the things that other brokers do: Arrange open-house showings, put up For Sale signs, and work with buyers and sellers.

It parts company with traditional brokerage firms, however, since Redfin pays its agents an annual salary rather than commissions. Bonuses for the company's brokers are tied directly to customer reviews of their performance during the entire home-buying/-selling process. The company claims that by focusing on customer satisfaction rather than commissions, Redfin brokers can offer better, more customer-centric service than online competitors, such as Trulia and Zillow.

Read More FULL LIST: 2014 CNBC DISRUPTOR 50

It currently operates in 23 markets in the U.S. but recently revealed a massive expansion plan to 46 new markets over the next year. Since the company was founded 10 years ago, it has closed more than $13 billion in home sales.

On the company's disruptive impact:

"Few businesses can make customers weep with joy, but that’s what happens when you help someone buy the perfect home." -Glenn Kelman, CEO

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