Redfin-Based Financial Model Template
Originally published: 12/08/2016 11:34
Last version published: 24/01/2017 10:44
Publication number: ELQ-34649-3
View all versions & Certificate

Redfin-Based Financial Model Template

Browse through's adaptable Financial Model. Find what brought it to success.

The following model is not the model used at Redfin. It is its layout, where different numbers have been used; however, the only that are not made up are those that are available on Guy Kawasaki's blog.

The model does reflect peculiar things about Redfin as a business:

- Our online real estate brokerage, where we use technology to lower our customer acquisition costs and to automate paperwork.

-But, we also employ licensed agents to offer clients advice and negotiate deal terms. The usual real estate transaction brings our clients revenues of $10,000 refund.

Shameless plug: if you happen to find the model helpful, do tell someone you know about our business, Redfin. Our marketing budget isn't sufficient, specially to compete against behemoths like Century 21.

We would like to emphasize that unlike other venture-funded real estate sites, our website offers direct access to the MLS broker databases for a complete view of inventory. Also, when we broker a deal our agents aren't paid commissions but they are paid customer satisfaction bonuses.

Redfin has completed over 1,000 transactions in our first
year of service, where we have the highest customer satisfaction rate in the industry.

Below, on the objectives, you can go through what you will come across in the model and some details on the custom made Excel functions.

- Glenn Kelman (2007),

This Best Practice includes
1 Excel Model

Glenn Kelman offers you this Best Practice for free!

download for free

Add to bookmarks


Further information

So what will you find in our model?

-One-page summary of earnings, capital expenses and cash balance

-Ratios of revenue and profits to employees and program expenses.

-Assumptions created to call out investors to evaluate dependencies.

-Assumption-driven formulas, so changes to the assumptions propagate through financial statements.

-Unit economics isolated on a separate page: for Redfin, this is how much profit each real estate market can generate.

- Charts of headcount growth, cash balance, earnings segmentation, revenue segmentation.

- Hiring detail with headcount and salary sums for each department.

The model also contains a few Redfin-built, custom Excel functions:

-Counting the number of employees in a department, by counting the number of times a department value like “Engineering” appears in a column.

-Summing the salaries of employees in a department, by adding up salaries for each employee where the department value for that employee equals a value like “Engineering.”

-Calculating how a Redfin market grows in revenue-capacity to reach maturity, and then grows more slowly thereafter.

-Calculating the number of support personnel needed to accommodate demand, and when those support personnel start. This allows us to update the staffing projection automatically when we change demand assumptions.

To get the custom functions to accommodate changes in the assumptions, you will have to set Excel’s macro security to “Low” (Tools | Macro | Security | Low). The file does not contain any malicious macros.

(Guy Kawasaki)

The layout of the model may help entrepreneurs that lack direction on where to start.

The model has been built by someone with no background in finance, so it may be flawed in many aspects.

4.7 / 5 (13 votes)

please wait...