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Redfin hires away new chief economist from Amazon

Daryl Fairweather. (Credit: iStock, Redfin)

Redfin has hired Daryl Fairweather to be the Seattle-based brokerage’s new chief economist, four months after Nela Richardson left the role.

Fairweather comes to Redfin from Amazon, where she was senior behavioral economist. Her team reportedly worked with data to improve performance and engagement among the e-tailer’s employees.

At Redfin, Fairweather will lead a team of economists, draft market reports and be the face of Redfin’s economics and data operations. She will also work directly with the brokerage’s various offices and agents around the country, providing data about their local markets, according to a press release.

Before Amazon, Fairweather worked at Intensity Corporation, Morgan Stanley and the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, and she earned her doctorate in behavioral economics from The University of Chicago. The field, which incorporates psychology into the study of economics, was thrown into the spotlight a year ago when behavioral economist Richard Thaler, who teaches at The University of Chicago, won the Nobel prize in economics.

“Daryl is the perfect chief economist to understand the animal spirits that send the market shooting up or down, and the instinct for truth-telling to guide people on what to do no matter what happens,” CEO Glenn Kelman said in an interview with HousingWire.

Fairweather is Redfin’s second chief economist. The company hired its first chief economist, Richardson, in 2014 and stationed Richardson in Washington, D.C. where she spent much of her time working with the media and interfacing with the federal government on housing issues. Her hiring was part of a major expansion at Redfin as it jockeyed for position with rival Zillow as the go-to source for consumer information on the residential market.

Zillow itself was largely responsible for expanding the role of the chief economist in real estate tech. Chief economist Stan Humphries carved out the role in the industry by following the example of economists at major tech firms like Google. [HousingWire]–Dennis Lynch

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