November 6, 2008
Redfin Ships New Search Features for Finding Value in Distressed Markets
SEATTLE, Nov. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Online real estate broker Redfin this morning released a major upgrade to its real-estate site to support consumers searching for value in distressed markets. The new release shows a listing's entire history, so consumers can for the first time see when a listing has been cancelled and re-listed to make it seem new. Redfin also integrated a wide range of new search features, and extended its inventory advantage over other sites. Separately, Redfin announced a major upgrade to its brokerage service, offering home-buyers unlimited tours and their choice of agent.
(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20070426/SFTH054LOGO)"This release of Redfin.com addresses a new reality," said Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman. "The drop in home prices over the past year has changed how consumers search. People want to know when a property is re-listed just to make it seem new, they want to exclude short sales and bank-owned properties, and they want to search specifically for listings that have dropped their price. No other major site gives home-buyers this much power, free of charge, without registration. It's another example of our Freakish Depth strategy, to freely give people more information about a property than any other site. Consumers will go hog-wild."
Searching for Value in Distressed Markets
To support consumers searching for distressed properties the new Redfin.com features:
-- Price history: Redfin tracks a properties listing history so consumers know how long it has been for sale and at what prices. No major national site offers consumers this important negotiating data.
-- Short sales: Redfin now lets consumers include or exclude listings where the seller is facing foreclosure; short sales are identified explicitly by some data providers or, when that data is not available, by key words including in the listing description.
-- Search by price reductions: Redfin now lets consumers search for listings that have recently reduced their price, so bargain-hunters can strike first. Only sites requiring registration now offer this feature.
Major New Search Features: Search for Parking, Exclude Townhouses
The site also adds several new search and neighborhood-browsing features, important especially for consumers in dense urban areas:
-- Parking: see only listings that include parking spaces or that have a covered garage.
-- Search options: include or exclude townhouses or waterfront listings, one of Redfin's most-requested enhancements.
-- Hot properties: see a neighborhood's most popular listings, updated in real-time, to monitor which listings are getting the most attention.
-- Notes: write, store and retrieve notes about a listing after viewing it online or in person, important for a search that can stretch over months. Notes are available from a personalized My Redfin page or from any listing page.
"People are going to freak about the parking filters," said Redfin Director of Product Management Bryan Selner. "It has been requested often, with an intensity bordering on derangement, and for good reason, as anyone knows who has actually tried to drive in San Francisco."
Redfin Search Now Includes All Property Types
Finally, Redfin added support for two new property types: multi-family buildings -- especially popular in cities like San Francisco, Boston and Chicago -- and undeveloped land. Redfin now includes all types of residential property for sale, from more sources than any other major site:
-- MLS: Redfin synchronizes with the Multiple Listing Services (MLS) used by brokers to market their listings.
-- For-sale-by-owner: Redfin combines listings from Zillow.com and dozens of other independent sites.
-- Bank-owned listings: Redfin includes listings marketed on bank sites that have not yet been listed with a real estate broker in the MLS.
Redfin continues to invest in showing the most homes for sale in each of its markets because consumers care about this feature more than any other. In the five months since Redfin first added for-sale-by-owners and bank-owned listings, unique visitors to the site have increased 91%.
Redfin (http://www.redfin.com/) is the real estate industry's first online brokerage, currently available in the metropolitan areas of Boston, Chicago, Seattle, Washington D.C. and Baltimore as well as across the San Francisco Bay Area and Southern California. By combining maps, listings, tax records and analytics, Redfin has become one of the most popular brokerage search sites. Customers who use Redfin.com to buy or sell properties earn a refund of half of the commission traditionally due their broker, and get, on average, a better price on their home. Redfin has one of the highest customer satisfaction rates in the industry. To learn more about Redfin's service, visit http://www.redfin.com/; to track of our daring exploits, subscribe to blog.redfin.com.
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