Tech-based brokerage Redfin has launched a custom listing service for homebuilders in the 22 markets the brokerage serves nationwide, which it promises will provide builders with “massive exposure” to buyers surfing Redfin.com, targeted email marketing capabilities, and data-driven market research.
The first Redfin Builder Services client is the Solo Lofts, a 20-unit green condo building in Seattle to be built by Vancouver-based InHaus Development with presales beginning in January.
Redfin said the new service comes in the wake of a sales effort at the Vannoy Park community in Atlanta, where Redfin sold all 26 units in less than 10 months at 99 percent of the client’s target pricing.
The Seattle-based brokerage said Redfin Builder Services will provide market research to help builders make informed decisions about the number and size of units to build and how to price them, and help them build buzz around launches using traditional and social media, and community outreach and events.
Redfin will also help builders with customer relationship management, providing “a complete picture of online and offline buyer behavior to create the optimum sales and marketing plan.”
Although many builders employ their own sales teams, the homebuilding industry has been seeking to improve relations with real estate brokers who can bring buyers to a sale.
This year, when homebuilders launched a multimillion-dollar ad campaign aimed at persuading would-be buyers that brand-new homes are a better deal than resales, the campaign was also aimed at winning the hearts of real estate professionals. The “Start Fresh, Buy New” ad campaign is backed by Builder Homesite Inc., a marketing company owned by a consortium of 32 of the nation’s largest builders. BHI claims 1,000 builders in all parts of the country as clients.
Many real estate agents are wary of showing new homes to buyers, in part because builders are often reluctant to pay a full commission to agents who simply bring buyers to model-home showrooms.
Multiple listing services run by real estate brokers often won’t allow new homes to be listed on an MLS until a house is completed. MLS listings must be represented by an MLS member, and offer compensation to a cooperating broker who brings a buyer to a sale.
But inventory shortages in many markets have made real estate brokers and agents more willing to help sell new homes.
Homebuilder marketing company Builders Digital Experience Inc. (BDX) — a joint venture between Builder Homesite and realtor.com operator Move Inc. — recently announced that 16 MLSs have agreed to provide their members with new-home communities and plans data through a branded “new home channel” accessible via their MLS dashboard.
BDX, which powers the recently added “New Homes & Communities” section of realtor.com, operates new-home listing sites NewHomeSource.com and NewHomes.Move.com.
Realtor.com, the official listing portal of the National Association of Realtors, recently expanded its coverage of new-home listings, thanks to “historic” changes to the 1996 agreement between NAR and Move that governs operation of the website.