Some Noteworthy Personal News…

Well, it finally happened. You knew it was coming eventually. Yes, that’s right. The Tim is now officially on the payroll of the real estate industrial complex.

No, I didn’t break down and become a real estate agent (but don’t think I haven’t thought about that in the past). Last Thursday, yours truly started a brand new position as Product Manager: Statistics, Trends, and Expansion at Redfin.

[Update: As of January 2012, my new job title is Real Estate Analyst.]

It’s a perfect fit for me, and I’m really excited to be doing things that I love with a company that I have really respected ever since they first came on the scene six years ago.

So what does this mean for Seattle Bubble? Not much, really. I will still continue to update this site as usual, posting all the same data, analysis, and wry commentary you’ve come to expect.

Since I’m strictly forbidden from using any “insider information” for anything other than directly work-related tasks, the content here won’t be affected at all. It is also important to note that just like before, the opinions and commentary expressed here are 100% my own. Nothing I say here is endorsed (or even necessarily condoned) by Redfin, nor will I be providing Redfin with any promotional consideration beyond what they have already had in the past just for providing awesome tools and services.

Probably the biggest change you might notice on these pages going forward is that posts are likely to be more consistently scheduled, with new content here most mornings by 9:00 AM. Since I’m back on someone else’s payroll full time, I’ll be forced to maintain more discipline about my posting schedule here.

So, there’s my big news. Feel free to post any questions in the comments.

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About The Tim

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market. Tim also hosts the weekly improv comedy sci-fi podcast Dispatches from the Multiverse.


  1. 1

    Congratulations On Your Career Advancement Tim

    The fact that Redfin grabbed you up with statistical work experience on your on-going SB website, go hand in hand I imagine, so changing anything on SB is moot.

    Your current website format is a plus Tim.

  2. 2
    Pegasus says:

    Congrats Tim! And I always thought you would end up on John L. Scott’s payroll in order to silence you. Good luck.

  3. 3
    sallybuttons says:


  4. 4
  5. 5
    D. in Ballard says:

    That is big news, but not as big as you buying a house. Which is what I thought you were going to say.

  6. 6
    David Losh says:


    As I’ve told the Kelman guy in more than a couple of comments, you contribute substantially more to them in terms of credibility than they can ever pay for.

  7. 7

    Congrats! When I saw this Redfin job listing, I knew it was written for you.

  8. 8
    Ajax says:


  9. 9

    Congratulations. I would suggest one other change, which you probably already thought of, but just in case . . . . Whenever you link to an article by our about Redfin, you should disclose your connection, just as ABC discloses their connection to Disney when doing stories about Disney.

  10. 10
    S-Crow says:

    Congrats Tim.

  11. 11
    The Tim says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 9 – Absolutely. I’m all about full disclosure.

  12. 12
    One Eyed Man says:

    Redfin is fortunate to be acquiring your talents and has moved up a notch on my list by recognizing and incorporating your expertise.

    And congratulations on finding at least an indirect way to more fully monetize the stream of high quality internet content that you have created. The position at Redfin may be an indirect way to achieve that goal, but worthy of accolades none the less.

  13. 13
    Blurtman says:

    Way to go, Tim, especially in this economy. Sounds like a really perfect fit.

  14. 14
    BubbleBuyer says:

    So now really is a good time to buy a home?

  15. 15
    wreckingbull says:

    RE: One Eyed Man @ 12 – I agree.

    When I see a firm like Redfin hire Tim, it shows that they are a real consumer-focused organization. We all take a gamble when we change careers (I have done it about 6 times so far) and it is always great to see someone’s hard work pay off.

  16. 16
    Drone says:

    That’s awesome. Sounds like a great opportunity for you. Thumbs up!

  17. 17
    MarkM says:

    Congrats on your new job Tim! (queues up theme song from the Jeffersons… )

    So do we now take bets on when you might make a purchase?….

  18. 18
    ray pepper says:

    Holy Macrel!!!……………………… I hope you wear your 500 Realty Shirt into the office at least 1x a week.

    Suck up all that venture capital dough while you can!!

    I like Red Fin too !! Why didn’t they hire me!! I’m gonna write a letter to Glenn…..

    Dear Glenn…………..

    btw…super congrats!! There is no better fit for you then Red Fin…Maybe Zillow but they are busy with Yahoo now….If you went to ZIPR I would still be happy for you but ZIPR or LEDR are far inferior companies!

  19. 19

    Congrats Tim. Good luck with the new position!

  20. 20

    By ray pepper @ 18:

    I like Red Fin too !! Why didn’t they hire me!! I’m gonna write a letter to Glenn…..

    Dear Glenn…………..

    I would like to apply for the position of Commission Review Specialist. My goal when I obtain this position is to cut the commissions Redfin charges by 50%, because it is my belief that they are too high.

    I look forward to meeting you in person. You may contact me on Facebook.


    Ray Pepper

  21. 21

    By ray pepper @ 18:

    Suck up all that venture capital dough while you can!!

    Not that’s something we can all agree on. ;-)

  22. 22
    ray pepper says:

    Now when I think about it more I’m kinda cranky…As I told you Tim, I was itching to start a new endeavor in addition to 500 Realty. One of the names I had was 500 Bubble Real Estate. I started the business plan and was figuring out how exactly WE would make money with it.

    Now, I’m tossing around the names 500 Losh Real Estate, 500 Ira Real Estate, and 500 Tytler Real Estate…..but I really liked 500 Bubble…..

    Tim, I think your leaving VAST RICHES behind by leaving this on the table. Maybe you should rethink your decision and wait for me to finish my “vision.”

  23. 23
  24. 24
    matsayswhat says:

    By BubbleBuyer @ 14:

    So now really is a good time to buy a home?

    Hahaha good zing!

  25. 25
    deejayoh says:

    Good for you Tim! I am seeing more and more of those sold signs with the Redfin logo on them. Methinks all of Kary’s hostility toward your new employer is nervousness..

  26. 26
    sleepwalker says:

    I’ve been touring homes with Redfin. They’ve been awesome, unfortunately; the houses haven’t.

  27. 27
    Dan abrahams says:

    It’s the end of the world as we know it. The Tim has sold out to the Man.

  28. 28
    EEK says:

    Congrats! Hope you are able to keep up things here and still have a good work/life balance. As a fellow data hound, I do enjoy your posts.

  29. 29
    Magnolia44 says:

    Congrats, I am a fan of Redfin and their business model. Better to be making money in an area of interest, as long as you are working for the man.

  30. 30
    tomtom says:

    As The Lush would say: Go Rad Fun!

  31. 31
    Elizabeth says:

    Hi Tim – I find it somewhat ironic that you are going to work for a company whose very existence and livlihood relies on supporting and promoting homeownership – an institution that you seem to despise. Oh well, good luck to ya.

  32. 32
    The Tim says:

    RE: Elizabeth @ 31 – It always cracks me up when someone accuses me of hating home ownership. Seems people who say things like that are suffering from a case of selective listening (or reading, as the case may be).

    As I have said explicitly many times before, I think home ownership is great. I think owning a home is a good goal for many people, and it is in fact one of my own goals. I just think it should be done in a responsible and well-informed manner.

  33. 33
    Ross Jordan says:

    Great news The Tim. Good luck! You are a great fit for redfin.

  34. 34
    Bob Roberts says:


    You are the biggest sellout. Way to be impartial. Kinda like a tea bagger going to work for big government! Way to schill.

  35. 35
    Hugh Dominic says:

    I forecast an 80% decrease in snarky negativism, and a new interest in pumping up transaction volumes.

  36. 36
    The Tim says:

    RE: Hugh Dominic @ 35 – Yeah totally, because you can see there how my job title is all about sales. And Redfin is known for mindlessly pumping the market regardless of the data. Except neither of those things is true at all.

  37. 37
    Elizabeth says:

    The Tim @36 – You’re right – Redfin isn’t known for mindlessly pumping the market. Well, not really. I mean when they first came out they were all “We’re so great, we’re a discount firm that offers everything the big bad real estate companies do but we don’t charge you crazy fees for it”. And now? There is very little difference between them and the big firms. Well, other than the fact that they like to hire Russian spies. Sorry, couldn’t resist.

  38. 38
    patient says:

    Congrats Redfin, you gotta respect a company that allows their employees to run paid ads for competitors on their websites and post information that likely can be seen as hurting business by less open and more shortterm focused companies. Redfin, this elevates your already high status in my books as well. Well done. And a big congrats to The Tim as well. It’s nice to have regular pay check but this will of course lead to a more cautious approach to absorbing your posts going forward for us that has learnt the lesson to be suspect of everything that is provided by a “professional” ;-)

  39. 39
    harryberlin says:

    Way to go Tim!

  40. 40
    TheHulk says:


    Hearty congratulations. Can’t think of a better person for this job. My respect for Redfin just went up a couple of notches. I suspect you will now have “insider information” not just on Seattle but on a bunch of other cities as well.

    I hope you will still continue to find time for SB, and that maintaining this site wont conflict with your primary job.

  41. 41

    I think Redfin hired a top notch, stand up guy.
    Whether they themselves are a top notch, stand up company I have mixed feelings about. I love their website, I love the fact that they put information out there instead of drivel. But the fact remains that for Redfin to survive and thrive, people need to be buying and selling houses. And the more the merrier. They may be an alternative to the John L Scott’s and the Windermere’s, but they very much part of the system.
    I don’t think that’s going to have any impact on Tim’s employment there, unless there comes a point where the Tim is suggesting ” if you own a home, hold on to it, and if you want to buy a home, wait ten years.”
    Then he may be asking ” Would you like fries with that?”

  42. 42

    By deejayoh @ 25:

    Good for you Tim! I am seeing more and more of those sold signs with the Redfin logo on them. Methinks all of Kary’s hostility toward your new employer is nervousness..

    What hostility toward his employer? I’ve often said they write good contracts and I still to this day mention them by name to unrepresented buyers at my listings.

  43. 43

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 41 – There may be some difficulty in that regard for Tim.

    The last time I looked, Redfin closed a lot more transactions as the buyer’s agent than as the seller’s agent. To the extent that this site posts negative information that could scare off buyers, that could affect Redfin. To the extent this site posts positive information, that could benefit Redfin. That’s part of the reason why I mentioned above that he should disclose his employer whenever he mentions Redfin.

  44. 44
    Notorious ART says:

    Congrats! Redfin is a cool place to work. I’ve attended a few Redfin brown bag events at their office in the past. Maybe I’ll see you at the next one.

  45. 45
    Drshort says:

    Congrats! Redfin’s a great place.

  46. 46
    Chuck Ponzi says:

    Hey Tim,


    Remember, no matter what some negativists might say, you were one of the very few in the world who saw what was going on in real estate and spoke up about it. There are so few people in this world (and you can count them on 1 or 2 hands) with the courage to do that (and attach their name to it). Don’t let someone else underestimate your knowledge and don’t shortchange your ability to ask questions, even the hard ones.

    Redfin is a well respected organization among consumers and its customers. Everyone else is just eating sour grapes. Working for an organization that tries to change the world is probably the best way to earn a paycheck if, you know, if you have to work. Do they have any positions open in San Diego for an overpaid blogger or analyst? I’m jonesing to join you.

    Chuck Ponzi

  47. 47
    CCG says:

    Congratulations Tim. You definitely put in the effort and I’m glad to see it’s paid off.

  48. 48
    Jillayne says:

    Hi Tim,

    Congratulations on your new position! I’ve spent some time at Redfin’s Seattle office. We worked hard AND had a lot of fun. It seems like a very enjoyable place to work.

  49. 49

    Good on ya Tim and stay wry! Hell, get even more wry!

  50. 50
    ARDELL says:

    Awesome! Best of luck to you! Matt kept his when he joined Redfin and the site didn’t change one bit. I’m sure you can do it all…and do it all well.


  51. 51
    TJ_98370 says:

    Excellent news. You will be doing something that you like and are good at and that will lead to great success! You deserve it.

  52. 52
    rational says:

    Congratulations Tim.

  53. 53
    Scotsman says:

    Congrats, Tim- a natural fit, and one that’s sure to lead to even more insight and value for your Seattle Bubble readers!

  54. 54
    Tim McB says:

    Congrats Tim on the new job. I remember when my wife and I first went to a redfin open house event about a year and a half ago and in their presentation they had a few slides you created for SeattleBubble. It seems like a good fit.

  55. 55
    A Message to The Tim says:

    RE: The Tim @ 36 – You don’t think a product manager is accountable for sales and revenue? Then you shouldn’t be a product manager.

    Based on your job title I assume that you will run Redfin’s information services. (Services is the online word for “product” but nobody wants to be called a service manager) Maybe your services will be a free feature of Redfin. Or maybe you’ll create new premium information services for some buyer. In the latter case you will be more acutely aware of your revenue stream, but for your sake you should make sure you know the business case for your position and your product line.

    Look at your org chart. Trace it up to a position that starts with VP and a man whose name may rhyme with Flyin’. That guy knows that his R&D budget, your position, and everyone’s stock value depends on Redfin’s revenue numbers, and that means transactions. So get ready to join the team.

  56. 56
    EconE says:

    Right on! Good fit.

  57. 57
    The Tim says:

    RE: A Message to The Tim @ 55 – If Seattle Bubble were about “despising home ownership,” like Elizabeth @ 31 up there seems to think it is, you might have a good point. But in fact, Seattle Bubble only exists because I think home ownership is great, and I want to help people achieve that goal in a responsible way, like the story Sara posted yesterday.

    I fail to see how that goal is in any way counter to what Redfin does.

  58. 58
    David Losh says:

    RE: The Tim @ 57

    Well, redfin has been busily helping people sign up for debt on a declining asset value since they started. They are the ultimate big brokerage business model. The goal of the company is to get those pesky sales people out of the way so they can generate larger profits. They promote a rebate brokerage business model that has inducements outside of sound financial planning.

    It’s a long list of what’s wrong with America today, but they should be paying you. You, more than any one else I can think of, have given the company credibility far in excess of any amount of money they give you.

  59. 59

    By David Losh @ 58:

    RE: The Tim @ 57 – Well, redfin has been busily helping people sign up for debt on a declining asset value since they started. They are the ultimate big brokerage business model.

    I don’t know that I would call Redfin the ultimate business model since there are individual agents who have accomplished almost as much (and probably earned more) with much less invested, but it is true that they have been helping people buy in a declining market. To a lesser extent they’ve also been helping people sell.

    The thing is though, as I’ve mentioned before, IMHO real estate agents shouldn’t be helping people decide whether to buy or sell. They should help those who have already made that decision buy or sell. I would make an exception for some obvious things, like when a buyer says they want to buy this year and sell next year. Anyway, I’m not all that familiar with Redfin’s various news releases and the information contained on their site, but I would be surprised if they have actually been doing things to encourage people to buy who have not already made that decision.

  60. 60
    David Losh says:

    They are the business model Sears wanted in the 1980s and couldn’t get because of Federal consumer protection laws, which obviously went out the window in the mid 2000s.

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