[photopress:sasha_with_troll.JPG,thumb,alignright]I’m extremely disappointed in the latest direction that Redfin has taken and I’d like to use this post to explain why I’ve completely stopped doing business with them.
For those of you not familiar, Redfin is a company that has developed a really great aerial technology for viewing MLS data. When they came out, I signed up as a “Redfin Agent” because their technology was superior to anything else available for searching the MLS. In previous blog entries I’ve mentioned how great their technology is.
How did they plan to make money? In the simplest sense, their business plan involved displaying MLS information via an intuitive interface using aerial images. When prospective clients would look for a home, Redfin would direct them to local real estate agents. After the prospective clients purchased a home, the real estate agent would send a portion of the closing commissions (20%) back to Redfin. By repacking the MLS data in a new way and getting real estate agents to promote them, they hoped to take the industry by storm. However, their site must not be nearly as popular as they hoped because their newest business venture turns them into a discount real estate company.
However, I wouldn’t write this blog entry if they were just another discount real estate agency. I don’t have a problem with discount real estate agencies and I think they provide a useful service for a subset of sellers (and besides, they keep us full-service agents on our toes!). The reason I write this article is that Redfin went from being a partner with real estate agents to a competitor. I think they assumed they could use the goodwill that they’ve built up with agents to slip a fast one on us.
The worst part is that Redfin didn’t have to go that route. Early on, I talked with them about licensing their technology to display MLS over my site. When the showed only passing interest, I decided to develop the MLS Search Engine myself… And while my technology is still in the infant stage, I’ve found a way to display MLS data over aerial photos (so don’t believe their front-page marketing that says that are the only ones doing this!).
If you are currently a “redfin agent” (like I was!), please join me in severing your business relationship with Redfin until they decide to join us again as a partner. As Redfin doesn’t offer a way to “delete” your account, I recommend doing the next best thing. To delist yourself from their database, go to: http://www.redfin.com/stingray/do/my-redfin. Log in using your username and password. Click “edit your profile