Redfin hires Amazon behavioral economist Daryl Fairweather to lead housing market research team

Redfin’s new chief economist Daryl Fairweather. (Redfin Photo)

Daryl Fairweather is joining Redfin as chief economist, bringing with her wide-ranging credentials that include studying behavioral science at Amazon and interviewing foreclosed homeowners for the Federal Reserve during the financial crisis.

Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman said he’s excited to bring on an economist who can “understand the animal spirits that send the market shooting up or down” in addition to crunching the data. Fairweather will lead Redfin’s housing market research team, reporting on real estate trends.

“The housing market is a perfect example of how psychology affects the economy,” Fairweather said in a statement.

At Amazon, Fairweather managed a team that analyzed employee performance and engagement. Before that, she held research roles at Intensity Corporation, Morgan Stanley, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. Fairweather holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago and a bachelor’s degree from MIT.

Fairweather will work with Redfin’s team of real estate agents and executives around the country to take the pulse of homebuyers and sellers, combining anecdotal research with the company’s housing database.

“For most of us, buying a home is the biggest financial decision we’ll make in our lifetime, and yet traditionally, homebuyers have little experience and limited education on the process or the market,” she said in a statement. “Emotions play a large role in real estate. I’m excited to use Redfin’s unique data to understand these dynamics, and ultimately, educate consumers so they can feel confident and informed in their decisions.”

Fairweather replaces Nela Richardson, who left Redfin in June after four years and was first to hold the chief economist role at the publicly-traded company.