60 Minutes ran a segment last night about the real estate industry.
On one level, it was a story about an industry undergoing great change due to new technology (and, to a certain extent, a great economy, etc.).
On another level, it was an 18-minute commercial for Redfin.com.
Redfin, as you may know, is “the real estate industryâ€™s first online brokerage … Customers who use Redfin.com to buy or sell properties earn a refund of most of the commission traditionally due their broker, and get full support in paperwork, offer presentation, negotiations and closing.”
I’ve been an unabashed supporter of Redfin since I first heard of them, last year. I like the idea of offering consumers the option of paying their agents a “discounted” commission.
But, this blog entry isn’t about Redfin, it’s about the 60 Minutes story about Redfin.
Talk about a one-sided story!
Redfin got the equivalent of a big, wet kiss from Leslie Stahl.
At one point she goes, “REFUNDED???” Then she goes, “HOW ARE YOU MAKING MONEY??? YOU HAVE AN AGENT WHO CAN CLOSE EIGHT SALES A WEEK??? ARE YOU SPINNING ME???”
Remind you of anyone?
The story was just about as unbiased as an infomercial.
I love this part.
Leslie Stahl spends five minutes explaining how broker commissions work. Using a diagram aimed at … five year olds?
Anyway, I don’t know if there was anything interesting in the story. It didn’t seem to cover any new ground.
The National Association of Realtors got their panties all up in a bunch over the story, naturally. Redfin, they say, got a bunch of good press and a lot of potential business out of it.
The average consumer, however, probably didn’t care, one way or another.
More: Chipping Away At Realtors’ Six Percent – 60 Minutes
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