Name I’m Hearing A Lot: Redfin

January 6, 2009


A friend, Andy, and I took our kids out to play baseball last Sunday. Andy’s son and mine are baseball freaks and the 28 degree day was not enough to stop them from getting in a few innings of play-lot baseball. As we were walking to the school, the conversation turned, as it often does, to real estate. Andy is constantly combing the Internet for good deals on single family homes in our neighborhood and he wanted to let me know that a gorgeous house he’d always admired was up for sale. He said he’d been surfing Redfin and found it.

Redfin was a name I hadn’t heard in a while. I knew the basics: they specialize in being buyers’ agents and give 50% of the commission back to the buyer. They expect the buyer to do a lot of legwork, so they tend to only work with savvy, Internet-smart consumers. Andy let me know that Redfin will arrange for three showings for free and then there’s a fee. When I went to their site, I found that they now offer unlimited tours for free and allow you to pick your agent. In fact, they kind of have a store where you select your agent and put them in your shopping cart.



Andy also let me know that he likes the way the search works on Redfin’s site. More importantly, he was under the impression that they had more listings than the local sites. I let him know that all brokerages pull their listings from the same place and that they weren’t really different. However, somewhere, somehow he had gotten this impression and that’s what’s important. I played with Redfin’s search and found it to be quite easy to use, but it isn’t that much different than several Chicago-based brokerages’. But, Andy liked it better, and again that’s what’s important.

Then this morning my iGoogle displayed this article from the Wall Street Journal. It details the purchase by one of their reporters of a new condo in Chicago using Redfin. And, she loved Redfin. Can’t get much better PR than that. She also pointed out the foibles of the listing agents and sellers: incorrect bathroom counts and stubborn resistance to price reductions in the face of obvious market realities.

In this buyers’ market, I suspect we’re going to be hearing the name Redfin more and more often.

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About Rod Holmes

Rod has been a broker working in Chicago since 2004. He has worked with developers, buyers, sellers, and as well as managing offices. He is currently a partner in Chicago Style SEO working primarily with real estate firms to improve their Internet marketing. Rod lived for nearly ten years in Japan where he owned a corporate training and executive coaching firm with clients including Hitachi and 3M Japan. He lives in Lakeview with his wife and two children. He enjoys coaching and watching his kids participate in sports, cycling, camping, and traveling in general. You can find Rod online on Twitter at @roddesu, Facebook and LinkedIn.

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3 Responses to “Name I’m Hearing A Lot: Redfin”

  1. Mike Says:

    Mike from Redfin here. I just wanted to let you know that Redfin does indeed have the most listings by combining local MLS listings from MLSNI with for-sale-by-owner (FSBO) listings as well as bank-owned foreclosures (aka, REOs). We update every 15 minutes or so to keep the site as up-to-date as possible. Our approach is to provide maximum data transparency and build trust with potential clients. Hope you enjoy the site!

  2. jolie Says:

    I found my condo there! I love the map search. Easiest website real estate site to use.

  3. Brad Walbrun Says:

    I’m now a fan of Redfin. Thanks for the info Rod. I used to think Zillow was the best out there.