I realized my company had to change after talking to an African-American woman who’d just quit Redfin. When I asked her what it was like being black at Redfin, she simply said “lonely.”
Most of what we buy — bubble gum, blouses, books, baseball — is destined to last days, weeks, maybe years. But we think of houses as investments rather than consumable goods because houses last decades or centuries. Over that time, what makes a house valuable doesn’t change much: we’ll always like plenty of square footage, views, and mostly prefer living in cities with nearby restaurants, train stations and jobs.
A model of Internet coexistence based on the national breadth of listing search portals and the local depth provided by brokers will give the consumer the most complete real estate experience. But we need to make a few simple changes through our multiple listings services to create a balanced Internet ecosystem.
Last week, Redfin released our new “Price Whisperer” tool, which allows a homeowner to email 250 buyers on Redfin.com about the price he hopes to get for his property. The email includes four pictures of the home, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the square footage, and the neighborhood in which the home is located. Forty-eight hours later, the owner gets a report from Redfin explaining how many buyers were interested in the property at that price.