Redfin’s desire to compete in every area of the real estate transaction appears to be paying off as the tech-powered brokerage sailed past Wall Street expectations for the fourth quarter and 2018 as a whole. However, Redfin’s net loss more than doubled in 2018.
Revenue: In the fourth quarter Redfin posted revenue of $124.1 million, up 30 percent over a year ago and well ahead of analyst expectations of $117 million. The strong fourth quarter brings Redfin to $486.9 million in revenue for the year, up 32 percent over 2017, $7 million ahead of analyst expectations.
Profits: Net loss in the quarter was $12.2 million, or $0.14 per share, rising a whopping 577 percent over fourth quarter losses in 2017 of $1.8 million. Still, Redfin did better than analyst projected, besting expectations for losses of $0.18 for the quarter. For all of 2018, Redfin recorded a net loss of $42 million, up 147 percent from $17 million lost in 2017.
Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman said on a call with investors that the growing losses resulted from more direct advertising and increased investment in its own services.
RedfinNow: The company breaks out its direct homebuying and selling operation RedfinNow under a reporting group called “Properties.” The Properties group brought in $21.6 million for the fourth quarter, quadruple the revenue from the fourth quarter of 2018.
Properties revenue for all over 2018 was $44.9 million. That’s a rapid rise from a year ago when the company brought in $10.4 million from the Properties segment.
Just this week, RedfinNow expanded to Dallas, its first market outside of Southern California. In addition to Dallas, the service is now active in Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange County and the Inland Empire.
A look ahead: Redfin expects to post revenue of $101.5 million to $105.1 million in the first quarter, right in line with investor expectations. Redfin expects the Properties segment to be responsible for $15 million in revenue in the first quarter.
“Redfin’s fourth-quarter results again exceeded our expectations, with continued year-over-year gains in market share, and a new report showing that our customer satisfaction is 49% higher than our competitors’,” said Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman. “But what we’re most excited about are the first signs that our broader vision is coming to life in 2019: more Redfin homebuyers are choosing a Redfin mortgage because of an investment in local service, more Redfin home sellers are signing up for our concierge service to spruce up the home before its market debut, and then more of those home sellers are also meeting our agents to buy their next place. RedfinNow, our business of buying a home on our own account and then selling it, is increasingly drawing on our brokerage’s field organization and systems, giving us more confidence that we can grow this business quickly without having to build everything from scratch.”
Redfin stock is up more than 2.5 percent in after-hours trading.
Redfin just this week kicked off its expansion into Canada, the company’s first foray into an international market. Redfin is starting with Toronto, then Vancouver, and will expand brokerage services to other cities and provinces later.
Redfin’s entrance in Canada comes just a few months after its crosstown rival Zillow made a similar move. In October, Zillow reached agreements to receive more than 50,000 listings from Canadian brokerages and franchisors.