Posts filed under ‘Redfin’

Blow off a little steam here


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May 29, 2007 at 11:00 pm Leave a comment

The Aftermath

A couple comments on the Redfin 60 minute interview.

From a consumers perspective Redfin came out looking like a great alternative or at least something to check out. Those who are saying “when Redfin fails”, just don’t get it. The gaping void is the gap between what consumers think and what real estate agents think they think. Redfin, is stirring up the market because they are appealing to the cravings of the connected consumer. To a large extent, the connected consumer is young, tech-savvy and a niche group that is easily overlooked. But this connected generation is changing the rules, reinventing the infrastructure of the marketplace, and shifting revenue models and expectations.

Lisa Johnson explores new rules of engagement with the connected consumer in her book, Mind Your X’s and Y’s, in which she writes, “Imagine for a moment that the market has always been a play-ground-a place where people go to buy, sell, learn, engage, share, and socialize. The the past, this playground had a few toys and lots of rules. There was always someone carrying whistle, ready to stop the fun. Today, a new model is infusing this stagnant market with life, and in many cases creating new opportunities that no one imagined possible.”

Today’s consumers have a desire to get out there and try new activities, explore, have a part in the process. Redfin understands this. The traditional agent on 60 minutes doesn’t get it. Experience is the new currency. The conversations at cocktail parties have shifted from talking about material possessions to exchanging information about engaging activities. It turns out there are a lot of consumers that want to actively participate. People are tired of being treated as if they are incapable of learning on their own. They are tired of auto-responders and fake conversations. They don’t like being treated as a prospect and are leery of the hard sell. Today’s consumers are savvy, innovative and looking for ways to stop unnecessary, interrupting, or irritating messages.
There’s been a lot of discussion between agents about Redfin and the debate over full service vs discount service or limited service. The real question is what are consumers saying? What works for them? A model like Redfin will appeal to consumers because Redfin invites participation, they have a clear value proposition, and they have features that make the home buying and selling process more transparent and consumer-friendly. Perfect? Absolutely not. Appealing to the connected generation? Absolutely. Of course Redfin isn’t for everyone. But talking about its demise is like talking about the demise of the traditional agent.

Who’s going to win? The Clue Train Manifesto puts it best. “We ask questions about the future of the Web because we think there’s a present direction that can be traced into the future. But in fact, the questions we ask aren’t going to predict the future. They will create the future.”

Bottom line is this isn’t an either or conversation. It’s learning how to bring the off-line world and on-line world together. It’s learning how to be a professional on-line and off-line to serve the needs of clients and boy, do we have a lot of work to do. New models, competition, new ideas and thoughts eventually makes us all better, in our own way. What would happen if we responded to Redfin entering the market as a source of ideas and inspiration, not one of intimidation and defensiveness?

May 21, 2007 at 6:48 pm Leave a comment


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