More functionality to help buyers looking to do research online, courtesy of Redfin.
Redfin is launching a new version of the site on Wednesday morning that will let consumers get analytics at the neighborhood level directly from the MLS – we are the first to do this on the neighborhood level. Consumers will be able to view new listings, price reductions, open houses and trends on how many homes are selling, how long they are taking to sell and at what price.
It’s significant because MLS data isn’t easy to come by, and the neighborhood pages will let consumers really dig into a neighborhood’s sales instead of the entire city, even though they can look at that too. Each neighborhood has such different characteristics, so if you are buying a house in Back Bay, don’t you want to know how long houses are staying on the market in Back Bay, not all of Boston?
We’re also adding a new way to manage home tours and favorites – two things users ask us to improve all the time. I think we get at least one email a day. The top things are that homebuyers can bundle homes into one tour, and create a multi-point map with directions from their list of favorites.
The press release, after the jump.
Redfin Launches Neighborhood Analytics
First-Ever Neighborhood View of MLS Data, New Online Home-Tour Organizer, Enhanced Favorites
SEATTLE – Aug. 13, 2008: Online real estate broker Redfin today released a major new version of Redfin.com that allows consumers to evaluate neighborhood inventory and pricing trends, using data previously accessible only to real estate agents. For each neighborhood, city or postal code covered by Redfin, consumers can view new listings, price reductions, open houses and trends on how many homes are selling, how long they are taking to sell and at what price.
No other website provides metrics for each neighborhood from the Multiple Listing Services used by brokers to list properties and record sales.
“Housing numbers for all of Boston or Los Angeles don’t mean much to someone shopping in a particular neighborhood, which may be holding up while prices across the tracks are collapsing,” said Redfin VP of Real Estate Operations Scott Nagel. “This is the first time consumers have gotten data at the neighborhood level they can trust, straight from the agents actually putting properties on the market.”
The new version of Redfin.com also lets consumers map their favorite listings, organize Redfin-assisted home tours, and evaluate the Redfin agents with whom they’ll be working; for each Redfin agent, consumers now can see the details on every recent home she has helped buy or sell. Finally, the release adds thousands of for-sale-by-owner listings from Redfin partner Zillow.com, extending Redfin’s advantage in showing more houses for sale in its coverage areas than any other site.
“Our goal is not only to offer the most complete real estate search experience, showing homes for sale that other sites don’t, but to build a complete home-buying application from the initial search through move-in,” said Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman. “This release focuses on what happens after you preview a home online but before you make an offer: touring, comparison shopping, pricing, agent evaluation. We believe we can offer more value to consumers by taking them much deeper into the process.”
Neighborhood Pages Help Consumers Evaluate Listings in Context
Neighborhood pages are the first major addition to the Redfin search experience since the site’s inception. Whereas Redfin’s search application previously consisted of a map of the homes for sale and a page detailing each property, the new site now also features a third type of web page for each neighborhood, city and postal code that Redfin serves. More than 9,000 neighborhood-level pages display new, price-reduced and open-house listings along with pricing trends and school data.
Neighborhood pages open a new competitive front in Redfin’s Freakish Depth strategy to make consumers more self-sufficient when searching for a home. Where the strategy originally focused on providing the most information about each listing, now the company also will strive to provide in-depth data and discussion about each neighborhood.
Shopping Cart for Home Tours Streamlines Home-Buying Process
With this release, Redfin developed an online shopping cart to organize and schedule home tours with a Redfin agent. Previously, homebuyers identified listings to tour one at a time, but the new organizer lets homebuyers group several homes into one tour. Homebuyers also can review scheduled and completed tours.
The free home tours that Redfin offers potential clients have become the main source of demand for its home-buying service. In the last three months, Redfin has conducted more than 1,200 client tours nationwide, and nearly 500 in July.
Enhanced Favorites Encourages Comparison Shopping
Consumers already can save listings to a list of favorites, but with today’s release users now can select one, some or all of their favorites to display on the map, to get multi-point driving directions, to email to a friend, or to download for offline analysis. In addition, customers now can arrange their favorite listings by criteria such as how long each has been for sale, open-house dates, price-per-square-foot or the last time the listing agent updated it.
Redfin invested in these personalization features to deepen its advantage among serious buyers who want to plan home tours and compare their favorite listings with one another. Together, the new features focus on how to make it easier for homebuyers to do everything between finding the houses they like to making an offer.
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