How to Build a Billion Dollar Business

Despite the fact that COVID-19 shut down the entire housing market in early 2020, it was booming again with feverish demand just a few months later. U.S. homes sold faster and at higher prices than ever that year. The next Leadership Lessons episode features one of the most recognizable names in real estate to disrupt the traditional brokerage: Glenn Kelman, CEO of Seattle-based real estate firm Redfin (NASDAQ: RDFN ).

Kelman’s hybrid business model that uses both innovative technology and human expertise – overseeing more than 5,000 real estate agents nationwide and a team of data scientists and economists – has saved clients over $1 billion in fees since launching 2006. In 2021, the company generated $1.9 billion in revenue, representing 117% annual growth. Serving more than 100 markets in the US and Canada, it has 53 million average monthly website and app users.

Series host Jason Nazar will talk with Kelman about his experience leading the company five years after its IPO, in addition to the toughest leadership lessons he’s learned during his 25-year career. Discussion topics include:

  • Disruption of a traditional industry
  • Building a billion dollar business
  • Real estate market trends
  • Taking a company public
  • How to become “The Great Expressor”
  • The most valuable trait of a CEO
  • Identify your weaknesses and overcome them

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About the Speakers:

Glenn Kelman has been the CEO of Redfin since 2005. Prior to joining Redfin, he co-founded Plumtree Software, a publicly traded Sequoia-backed company that created the enterprise portal software market. In his seven years at Plumtree, he has at different times led engineering, marketing, product management and business development. He was also responsible for finance and general operations in the early days of Plumtree. Before starting Plumtree, he worked as one of the first employees at Stanford Technology Group, a Sequoia-backed start-up that was acquired by IBM. Glenn grew up in Seattle and graduated from the University of California, Berkeley.

Jason Nazar is Co-Founder/CEO of Comparably, a leading workplace culture employee review site. A serial entrepreneur, investor and consultant, he was previously co-founder/CEO of Docstoc (acquired by Intuit). Jason was named one of the Los Angeles Business Journal’s Most Admired CEOs and was named the inaugural Entrepreneur in Residence for the City of Los Angeles in 2016. The Los Angeles native received his BA from UC Santa Barbara and his JD and MBA from Pepperdine University.

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