Posted by: Timothy Ellis (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.

28 responses to “Cool New Features on Redfin”

  1. vboring

    congrats on the new revenue stream.

    i guess this means we should expect more comparisons between Seattle and Redfin’s other markets, since you’ll have a broader focus.

    do you expect to get access to any additional information streams with the new hat? perhaps some subscription-only info?

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  2. Matt Goyer - Redfin

    We also added a property history feature so you can see every listing and re-listing. For example this home has gone off the market and come back on and you can now tell that on Redfin without manually keeping track.

    Few other things we added… Search for price reductions, exclude short sales, add notes to a listing, browse most popular in a neighborhood, we’re now using a better NWMLS feed so there is more info for each listing,…

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  3. gortnerp

    Matt,

    Awesome job with the improvements at Redfin. Please pass on my compliments to everyone working over there.

    Regarding the listing prices and price reductions for inactive listings, I see your policy states, “*Per MLS rules, we cannot display prices from inactive listings. ”

    Too bad. As a work-around, I am going to copy/paste all active listing prices (for all my saved FAVORITES) to MY NOTES, so that any future re-listings do not take this data away from me.

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  4. deejayoh

    you left out the coolest thing: Streetview for Seattle!!!

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  5. Gene

    Street View is actually enabled on the listing page (or is on one of the ones I was just looking at)!

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  6. masaba

    I just have one question, in the listing that Matt put up, we can see what the previous listing prices were before the house in question went off market, then came back on. However, on this listing, we can only see that it was previously listed but not for how much. Don’t get me wrong, I love the new features, but why is there the discrepancy?

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  7. gortnerp

    masaba,

    In Matt’s example, the house went off market then came back on WITH THE SAME MLS #. In your example, the house came back on the market with a NEW MLS #.

    That’s the discrepancy.

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  8. tomtom

    Redfin has bumped up buyers’ commissions as well:

    1/2 of buyers commission is rebated

    $5500 minimum.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  9. jon
  10. David Losh

    Congratulations,

    Of course I would have preferred you chose a reputable company to align yourself with, but maybe you can position yourself to take over the radfun mess.

    Yes radfun has come a long ways to being a main stream brokerage. Maybe with your help they will rely more on services rather than profit.

    I admire what you have done for the real estate community. In particular you brought a true sense of information rather than fluf to the internet real estate blogging world.

    Real Estate is a complicated business. By providing more information you have shown that there are layers to the investment aspects of home buying. It is a great and beautiful thing.

    So hopefully you can do something for radfun that the current ownership is missing.

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  11. jon

    The October MLS stats are up at http://www.nwrealestate.com/nwrpub/common/mktg.cfm

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  12. Joel

    These new changes are great. I hope redfin survives and thrives.

    Edit: Will non-MLS listings get price history for previous listings since they are not subject to MLS rules?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  13. EconE

    You goin’ REIC on us Tim?

    You’d better get on out back and cut a switch so you can get a proper whippin’ from the bubble community.

    (kidding)

    Nice Updates Matt!…even if you guys can’t map the properties correctly all the time.

    ;^)

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  14. Ray Pepper

    Now I see a FindWell advertisement pushing the 50/50. Apparently this is going to be the norm. As we strive to give more then 75% everyone else is retrenching.

    Very sad!

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  15. Matt Goyer - Redfin

    @Joel: I don’t think so.

    @EconE: We had this great intern who did an extensive study of geocoding solutions. We currently are using the best one. That said with this release for MLS listings that have agent entered lat/longs we’ll use those instead of our geocoders. We’re also looking at updating our geocoder’s data set to a more recent and even more expensive data set. We also have the ability to manually updated mis-geocoded listings so email techsupport@redfin.com and let us know where it should be and we’ll fix it.

    Everyone else, I just wrote a blog post with a list of new features. So… What features do you want next?

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  16. Ray Pepper

    I hope they are paying you well Tim. Why no press on the new 50/50 reduction to the Buyer. The new 5500 minimum? Good Lord! Here in Pierce County that would leave virtually nothing for the buyer. 5000 to sell? Plus another 2000 for extras? I mean lets be serious now. Consumers need the money our alternative brokerages offer more then ever. Who would list with Red Fin now. Thats nearly 2%. I love Red Fin and will continue to interview their Agents who got released but I don’t want to lose Red Fin itself.

    It seems to me they could sweeten the pot for the Buyer far more then 50/50. 1/2 of the independents out there will give 50% of their commission now to write up offers and tour their clients. Just ask!

    Truly very sad!

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  17. Everett_Tom

    So… What features do you want next?

    First off, thanks for what do you share, I know there are some mixed feelings here, but I absolutely love being able to pull up so much data on a house or an area!

    Feature Request:
    1) Favorite homes which go off the market keep their images (or at least one image), as I don’t remember addresses, but looks. (though the new street view option helps with this).

    2) Notification when an off-market favorite gets new sold data…. I don’t know about anyone else, but part of what I’m using Redfin for right now is watching the areas and types of houses I’ll eventually want to buy. When one sells I’d like to see it’s sale price (without having to manually review the list from time to time) – (also see request 1), as right now by the time the sell data gets updated by the county, I’ve no clue which one it was since it’s been so long since I saw a picture of it. ).

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  18. Matt Goyer - Redfin

    Hi Tom,

    1) We’re only allowed to keep one image per MLS rules. Unfortunately we aren’t taking advantage of that now but hope to add that feature in early 2009.

    2) We totally agree and hope to add this feature soon. Probably early 2009 as well.

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  19. Everett_Tom

    Thanks!

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  20. EconE

    Matt…

    since you’re answering here…I have a ton of ideas. Here’s a couple.

    First is just reiterating what Tom said WRT having a cache of the photos of homes that have sold so that people can see what’s selling. Primarily the condition and the updating that has been done. The listing agents original description would be cool too.

    Here’s an agent who’s site has the houses that *they* have sold with all the photos for an example.

    http://brazenrealestate.net

    2. More complex…but some way to draw a virtual line around a neighborhood and only get updates on homes within those boundaries. This helps when people are looking in “pocket neighborhoods” that although the neighborhood may be small…it is made up of multiple zip-codes that cover far more territory than the “neighborhood” in question.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 1

  21. Matt Goyer - Redfin

    The draw a line thing is definitely on our list. There’s some performance and usability improvements we want to make to the site first but that’s one of the next big features.

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  22. Joel

    It’s too bad you can’t cache old listings because that would be a really useful feature. I had a friend trying to sell his condo a few months back and I thought he was asking too much. I looked up the last sales (indentical models) in his condo and there 2 within weeks of each other. One sold for $340k and then just a week or so later one sold for $370. My friend priced theirs at $369 possibly because of that last comp, but I found a cached listing for the more expensive condo and the reason it sold for more was because it had been recently rennovated. Maybe if he had that information my friend could’ve priced his condo better (but probably not because $340k would’ve been below his mortgage balance).

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  23. Harley Lever

    The Tim,

    Congratulations!!! I was surprised that you were not approached earlier by one of the real estate sites. Regardless of differences in our opinions it is hard to have anything but compliments on your analysis and the hard work you put in.

    I wish you the best!

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  24. Herman

    Great features, and great ideas for more! I am willing to trade the 16.7% of the commission for the free tours.

    With all the info – the page gets busy. Maybe there could be summary info and a button that expands the amount of info on the page.

    Also we should be able to decide if street view or aerial view is the default. (My pref is aerial)

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  25. buyStocks

    hey,
    The additions to property history and street views as mechanism to look at sold homes is awesome. Perfect example of why this is useful is this MI home I saw listed for 725K 8/11/08, then sold 8/21/08 for 560K, then relisted 9/10/08 for 725K:
    http://www.redfin.com/WA/Mercer-Island/4114-Island-Crest-Way-98040/home/256632

    Doing a great job starting to open up the shady black box of the MLS. thanks.

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  26. S. Marty Pantz

    If you are searching for a brick home only, can you do that? (I confess I have not looked at Redfin or the other similar sites in some six months or so, but I could not see any way I could hunt for a brick home for sale way back then.)

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  27. Curtis

    There is one simple but most important piece missing. And I asked this to Redfin many times…

    They should have add the price reduction based on MLS records and filter it based on some levels in search tab..

    ie bellevue, price drop 20k to 50k, 3 + bedrooms, >2400sqft etc

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  28. Redfin Bubble to burst? » 360Digest

    [...] the most curious thing they’ve done is hire Bubble-Blogger Tim to write for their Sweet Digs [...]

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