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Redfin releases “instant” email alerts

I have broker friends that rib me about being something like a “Redfin-loving xxxx” because of the frequency with which the company is mentioned on this blog.

But here’s the thing: love ‘em or hate ‘em, there’s a lot to learn from their technology efforts. Redfin has the money and high-dollar talent to do things their competitors, who excel at other things, would do well to emulate.

Today’s news: “Instant” email updates.

Rather than waiting a day to send an email listing alert, Redfin will now ping the user within “15 – 30 minutes after a real estate agent lists a home for sale.”

Not too long ago, most MLSs were still updating their brokers and IDX solution providers via behemoth FTP pushes. Now, almost all do this via RETS server.

So there’s no reason, technically, why any broker couldn’t do this.

If I were one of those “any brokers” I’d be on the phone now with my technology vendor asking why this wasn’t done yesterday.

I’ve always believed the email listing alert was the killer online real estate application of the past 15 years. It serves everyone well: the consumer gets exactly what they want, pushed to them; the broker gets distribution and user data; the agent gets leads.

The trouble is, most alert implementations are poor. They get lost amid the “draw a map search, <company name> home hunter, advanced power search” mess most sites sport.

It would be better to clear the decks and focus on the things we know users want.

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68 Responses to “Redfin releases “instant” email alerts”

  1. Michael Rahmn says:

    Brian – couldn’t agree more. We’ve offered our clients instant notification for ~8 years now (many of whom are in Redfin’s first major market – Seattle).

    Unfortunately, these guys aren’t as savvy as Redfin about promoting the service — they need to hire you help help them with that :-). Well, that and more could be done to promote the service in-line in the app — point taken about it getting lost.

    • Brian Hickey says:

      Michael,

      Got you beat, I think we are on about year 10 of sending email alerts for new listings directly those who have asked for the specific locale of the new listing’s origination.

      $30/50MM buys a lot of PR and attention – good for them, I’m jealous.

  2. Russ Bergeron says:

    “Not too long ago, most MLSs were still updating their brokers and IDX solution providers via behemoth FTP pushes. Now, almost all do this via RETS server.”

    Brian

    You would be shocked and awed if you knew the number of data recipients who continue to demand ftp feeds – this includes large brokers as well as large tech firms.

  3. walidmrealtor says:

    Nice to see their customers finally getting the service we’ve delivered for a while. Why not just work directly with a broker and get direct, tailored, “instant” emails from the source?

  4. Jeff Beck says:

    Just playing devil’s avocado here, but one downside will be that more alerts would have no picture because the agent didn’t put it in right away.

    Then Mr Finger-on-the-pulse either…

    *A- emails me wondering why I am so frickin’ stupid as to send him a $350k house with no GD pictures, you betcha.

    OR

    *B- deletes the update while making a mental note that I am stupid.

    Yes, they think we manually send out the updates.

    • Sasha Aickin says:

      Sasha Aickin, Redfin CTO here.

      It’s worth noting that, based on user feedback, we don’t really consider a listing fully imported if the photos haven’t finished uploading. Many MLSes will tell us that photos are on the way, and in that case we wait up to (I believe) an hour for the photos. Our customers were crystal clear that they don’t want listing alerts without photos.

  5. Todd Miller says:

    A couple issues with this…

    First, RETS isn’t available in all MLS’s as of yet. So the “instant” notification isn’t really instant, except in a few markets. Consumers who are getting these “instant” notifications are only getting them instantly after Redfin gets them, which isn’t when its listed.

    Also, I’m not sure of how this “instant” information really helps the consumer. We’ve been on this path of trying to move real estate “online” when in fact, the only online value is capturing the customer’s attention and trying to sell them something. They aren’t going to be buying houses online and this isn’t going to make the process any simpler for them.

    Redfin, Zillow, Trulia, et.al. are all in the business of convincing consumers that they control the data, and that their info is more accurate, and then gaining enough consumer confidence to hand that client off to an agent who’s only real value is usually that they paid Zillow, Trulia, etc to get leads.

    The internet is great and tech and new ways of using data can make our lives much easier and add value, but it feels like this entire attempt to “google-ize” real estate isn’t authentic and its just misleading the public.

    • Brian Hickey says:

      Todd,

      There are models that operate away from the traditional MLS/IDX/RETS platforms – local online marketplaces. Under that scenario, instant and simultaneous notification is designed to give buyers an equal and fair opportunity to compete for the new listing.

      Much better than the trickle effect the MLS provides i.e. “did my agent see the new listing”, “is she on vacation” etc.

      Think “open-outcry” at the Exchanges.

  6. loren sanders says:

    This is nothing new, we have been doing that for quite awhile now. Not everyone wants instant updates so we can send them once a day or on certain days…we try to match what the client wants .

    • Brian Boero says:

      Loren –

      I would think most people in serious buy or sell mode would prefer to receive new information sooner rather than later. But in any case, it should be a choice (which Redfin has done).

    • Brian Hickey says:

      We’ve offered an “opt-out”, “opt-in” for instant notifications forever…….and that’s a long time.

      Maybe not so jealous anymore – now beginning to get a little frustrated with all the “innovation” over there at Redfin.

    • Brian Hickey says:

      Brian,

      I wrote a response, then deleted it – I either don’t have the courage or my business sense took over – either way, we’re not in a position to throw stones – we want to get bigger not smaller.

      You almost had me though……..thanks.

      This could have been the result of a rant – http://bit.ly/iTuQCd

    • Alon Chaver says:

      Why indeed?

      It is common knowledge that first generation innovators rarely get a return on their investment…why not let them blaze the trail (on their venture money) and improve on the innovations you like?

      Look at what Apple did with others’ innovations….be productive, not frustrated :-)

      – Alon

    • Brian Hickey says:

      That’s part of my frustration/curiosity – I’ve yet to identify the innovation – rebates, salaried employees, email alerts, real estate data – still looking to see what trail they are blazing? What are they pioneering? All I see that is to be admired is their ability to raise capital (which is commendable)…other than that can anyone show us something that has been disrupted or innovated in the real estate transaction or business process?

      No mischievous intention – but as a fellow broker, I just can’t see what is driving the attention – beside that fact they can draw attention (again commendable).

      Thanks,

  7. Russ Bergeron says:

    It may be old hat, or overkill or fairly common throughout the industry, but it sure gets a lot of press. I don’t see any MLSs promoting themselves as the first line of delivery for this type of information.

    • Alon Chaver says:

      And I would argue for pushing it even further Russ – why not give MLS members the data first, “hot off the press” as a benefit of membership?

      Impose a time delay on non-members’ ability to display data and you’ve leveraged your (MLS) competence to deliver a competitive advantage to your members.

      The press would love it, search engines would crave it, and consumers would value it.

      – Alon

    • Alon Chaver says:

      Really?

      You think a consumer portal or publisher would have an anti-trust claim against members of an MLS getting a benefit of membership?

      If that was the case, I would think they would also have a claim against an MLS allowing members to display all MLS data while non-members can only display “opt-in” data.

      But what would I know about anti-trust….I am only an IP lawyer by training :-)

      – Alon

    • Russ Bergeron says:

      Alon, Alon, Alon

      How quickly we forget. That is exactly how we (NAR) got into the original mess in the first place. :-)

    • Alon Chaver says:

      I know I am just a kid Russ…barely 15 years in the IDX space so lacking in wisdom :-)

      Let’s just say that only MLS members (but all members, no discrimination against different business models) have RETS access while non-members get a daily FTP push. Unfair competition? Harm to consumers?

      Are you saying that MRED is legally obligated to give any non-member instant access to MLS data?

      If so, can I have some for my personal use or should I call DOJ :-)

      – Alon

    • Russ Bergeron says:

      At the advice of my attorney I am no longer responding or commenting on this topic. Good luck.

    • Alon Chaver says:

      They are Brian – which is why we should all be thankful to them for showing the industry what an MLS member can do to build a sustainable competitive advantage in the marketplace based on the benefits of MLS membership.

      Everyone who complains that “industry outsiders” are competing unfairly because they are not constrained by industry rules and regulations should look at what an “industry insider” can do to excel and compete effectively in the market…and stop spending all their energy on what they can’t do.

      And Redfin is not an ideological dreamer – they chose to be members based on hard ROI, and their venture investors clearly see the returns

      – Alon

    • Jeff Beck says:

      Redfin runs a VOW, not IDX. A VOW requires registration.

      Almost anything goes in a VOW, except for a few protected MLS-member only fields.

      AFAIK “Everyone who complains that “industry outsiders” are competing unfairly because they are not constrained by industry rules and regulations” is referring to IDX, which are akin to ZTR in that they do not require registration.

      Ergo. Also. Too.

  8. Brian says:

    I think Jeff brings up some good points because, as he says, many buyers really do think we’re manually sending them these updates. What if the first thing they see is a picture of something they specifically told us they don’t want, like a tile countertop or a blue toilet?

    I also think that the value we add as buyers agents is not just bombarding our clients with what could be dozens of emails a day; It’s protecting their time by acting as a filter and showing them the ones we’ve vetted and know meet their criteria.

  9. Carmen Brodeur says:

    Having instant email alerts would certainly help in a hot market. When things are selling fast, finding out about a property at the end of the day is often too late.

  10. Jeff Beck says:

    Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!! Lotsa comments!

    Yes Redfin is an MLS member somewhere. Not my MLS, but somewhere.

    Also, I’m not so sure that Redfin has all that much money. Their recent actions/flailing and reinventions seem to indicate desperation more than anything.

  11. loren sanders says:

    we have been giving buyers instant updates as well as weekly daily or they pick the day of the week for their updates for quite some time now. So to me it is funny that Redfin made a big deal of it.

  12. Alon Chaver says:

    Russ,

    DOJ debate aside, what I find so “refreshingly productive” about Brian’s post/s is that he keeps pointing out how folks with a “can -do” attitude can deliver value to consumers and build a successful business…all while being a members of the “dreaded MLSs” and abiding by the rules everyone else has to play by.

    Instead of complaining about the “MLS shackles” and/or trying to “gain independence from MLS rules and Regs” like the Franchisors, Redfin is “going deep into MLS land”…and making it work.

    Shouldn’t MLSs be looking at the Redfins of the industry and asking their members “How can we help do that, and more?”

    – Alon

    • Jeff Burke says:

      Maybe I should clarify….I dont know what they have spent but last time I checked in CrunchBase profile, thats what they had raised.

    • Alon Chaver says:

      It is not just the total amount raised, but the fact that they were able to raise several rounds.

      This means that they are meeting goals based on hard metrics, and maintaining investor confidence in the vision and the expected ROI.

      Easy to criticize – but worth learning from, emulating what makes sense, and improving on what doesn’t…if you can.

      – Alon

    • Michael Rahmn says:

      Alon,

      Shouldn’t MLSs be looking at the Redfins of the industry and asking their members “How can we help do that, and more?

      Why should it fall to the MLS to create public-facing, market differentiating technology? The MLS should focus on great tools for their members and a reliable near-instant feed out of data.

      It’s the Broker/Agents job to figure out how to use access to that data to differentiate themselves in the market. Plenty of us have been doing that for years — just not with the same marketing savvy and scale as Redfin.

    • Alon Chaver says:

      Michael,

      I am not advocating for MLSs to create public facing technology – I don’t think that is their core competence.

      But I do think that MLSs under-sell what they do well – which is provide enormously valuable resources (for almost nothing in my opinion) to their members who could/should use those resources to build successful businesses.

      Many MLSs do not do a great job communicating that value to their members.

      So when an MLS member (Redfin in this case) leverages the value of their MLS membership to build a huge consumer audience, I think the MLSs would benefit from using them as an example for other members to follow, and improve upon.

      An MLS saying “Here is an example of a successful MLS member – how can we help YOU be successful as an MLS member” is different from an MLS actually creating a public-facing technology.

      Hope this clarifies,

      – Alon

    • Drew Meyers says:

      “I am not advocating for MLSs to create public facing technology – I don’t think that is their core competence.”

      Totally agree. I’ve had many discussions on this topic, and really struggle to see how an MLS is ever going to win going down that path.

    • Russ Bergon says:

      IMHO any large MLS has a much better chance of creating a successful public facing experience than most brokers.

    • Alon Chaver says:

      I agree completely Russ…and as you know, have put my money where my mouth is (see what MetroList MLS in CA is doing with MetroListPro.com).

      To clarify my comment, I don’t think that most MLSs (or brokers) have the Technical competence to create public facing technology that would successfully compete with venture backed technology companies.

      They do, however, have the highest competence (IMHO) in providing deeply local real estate content and if they leverage that competence in collaboration with a modestly competent technology partner, they can make a big impact on the competitive SEO landscape in their market.

      I also agree with you Drew – local brokers (and even agents) can leverage their deep local market knowledge to win in the hyper local SEO game if they generate meaningful and organic local content on a consistent basis.

      The other main competence MLSs have (again IMHO) is in facilitating broker cooperation, and they can be leverage that competence for online lead generation by facilitating member cooperation in organic local content creation.

      MLSs like MetroList CA are using a “collaborative content creation” technology platform and educating their local agents and brokers on how to use it to cooperate on generating local leads.

      They are now generating a significant (and rapidly growing) amount of free leads for their brokers (and agents) by merely doing what they already do best – making it easy for their members to cooperate.

      I don’t see how any venture backed company could overcome the inherent competitive advantages of local MLSs…but the MLSs have to focus on their defensible competitive advantages, continually develop them, and relentlessly improve how they leverage them to deliver value to their members.

      – Alon

  13. Bill says:

    redfin needs to show it’s investors it’s doing something – any agent worth their salt is going to tell the seller of a desireable/hot listing to see what offers come in a feeding frenzy.

    this is all marketing and sales to attract more customers even if the service doesn’t accomplish much in the end.

  14. Jeff Burke says:

    Oh boy! This is the best thread I have read in a long time!

    Personally…I cant believe this is getting any play at all! No disrespect to you Brian :) I am floored. If this is what excites the industry then I feel very VERY comfortable with the position I am in as a start-up VOW provider. Not to mention that I am in Houston where we have HAR.

    Please understand this is no commercial for my company.

    I read every post in this thread and still cant figure out why industry people dont get it. For those who think the Zillows and Trulia’s of the world have an advantage that is unfair…they are completely wrong. The brokerages have the single best opportunity right at their fingertips with a VOW. A brokerage can basically replicate the MLS and be in complete control of the data and the entire user experience.

    Real time emails…really…REALLY? Every aspect of the online experience should be real time. Every listing update, status change, price change, sold update! Every element of collaboration and communication. The entire experience!

    Maybe my unbridled enthusiasm comes from the fact that I personally helped do this in the financial industry where we helped move the industry forward from what used to be posting quotes on a chalk board through single bid and offer display to complete Level 2 quotes showing every market makers update in real time to flash trading by the nano second. All to the CONSUMER. Does this really matter in real estate? Maybe…maybe not. But it helps create a value proposition that is not there today except through the likes of Redfin and a few others.

    Zillow and Trulia are at a disadvantage to brokerages bc they aren’t brokerages…YET! They dont have access to all the data. You guys do! Embrace it! Get to work and stop belly-aching (sp?)! That’s a shout out to anyone who complains about the Zulia’s.

    Try having a start-up in Houston where the monopoly belongs to the MLS. Are you kidding me? In an earlier posts someone talks about the role of the MLS. What is it? To monopolize the region it provides and stifle all technological innovation? or is it to standardize the brokerage experience unilaterally across every brokerage and convince everyone they are doing the brokerages and consumers a favor? or is it to create extremely useful tools for the brokers and agents so they dont have to worry about it and let the agents do the selling? There are arguments both ways and they both make sense. HAR has done a phenomenal job and should clearly be recognized…but at what cost? They have also been extremely helpful to me bc they have the right attitude. They believe in data transparency and helping everyone in the process. BUT…there is a line that an MLS should not cross bc then they are competing against their own members. Where is that line? I will reserve judgement right now.

    What I do know is that I have all the tools to create a kick ass client experience and that is our goal! If I can stay in the game and develop what is in our scope (we need money too :) You guys will be blown away bc it isnt real-time email updates!

    I have finished my rant!…for now.

    • Russ Bergon says:

      All right my attorney said I could do one more post.

      HAR great – but they got into it 15 years ago before brokers had web sites. Good move..

      Broker sites sound good on paper but how do you get people to visit them when 99 percent of the traffics goes to ZTR and only minute organic traffic shows up on broker sites.

      IDX v VOW. Again sounds good on paper. Years ago here in Chicago we add nearly 2000 VOW sites because of opt in versus opt out. IDX opt ins were at about 30% Today we have a handful of VOWs. Why? Because consumers did not want to register to see listings and we are now at near 100 percent opted in to IDX.

      And add that to the paranoia of brokers. We had plans for a great public facing web site – could have driven tons of traffic directly to brokers and agents. The response? Torches and pitchforks. You ( the MLS) should not be competing with us you will take traffic from us but not from ZTR. What about ZTR? They saw them as a necessary evil, MLS as just evil. Of course much of this might have one from the sordid history of MLS here in Chicago.

      ZTR DO have access to all the data – all that’s relevant to the consumer. And they have none of the rules that real estate practitioners and MLSs have to deal with – after all they are merely advertising.

      Kick ass client experiences are great as long as you actually have clients.

      And as an aside all of the focus is always on data and it’s delivery. If that’s all that was involved in a real estate transaction MLSs, associations and brokerages would have been out of business long ago.

      Now I’m done. Thx.

    • Jeff Burke says:

      “Broker sites sound good on paper but how do you get people to visit them when 99 percent of the traffics goes to ZTR and only minute organic traffic shows up on broker sites.”

      Make your brokerage site better. Not only does mine have to be better than ZTR to get eyeballs, mine also has to be better than HAR. Dont your brokers strive for that level of excellence?

      “IDX v VOW. Again sounds good on paper. Years ago here in Chicago we add nearly 2000 VOW sites because of opt in versus opt out. IDX opt ins were at about 30% Today we have a handful of VOWs. Why? Because consumers did not want to register to see listings and we are now at near 100 percent opted in to IDX.”

      In my opinion the days of not wanting to register are over. Everyone in real estate loves to hang on to that excuse as a reason not to go to a VOW and create a better experience. I am of the opinion that 1) a real prospect will register, and 2) consumer sentiment has completely changed about registration in the last 2-3 yrs. The younger demographic (for example) could care less. You register for every website today. Facebook, twitter, Linkedin, Yelp, Groupon…you name it. If you are to have a “user experience” and a “profile” with saved properties & preferences, you MUST register. People may not register for basics but if they want deeper, richer, faster data…they will register…and they should if they care when purchasing an asset of this magnitude.

      “ZTR DO have access to all the data – all that’s relevant to the consumer. And they have none of the rules that real estate practitioners and MLSs have to deal with – after all they are merely advertising.”

      When you say ZTR has access to all the data-all thats relevant to the consumer…Does ZTR have all the pricing history? All the cumulative DOM’s? All the Sold data? All the status updates? Everything the MLS has to offer? Or are you just saying consumers dont care about that?

      “And add that to the paranoia of brokers. We had plans for a great public facing web site – could have driven tons of traffic directly to brokers and agents. The response? Torches and pitchforks. You ( the MLS) should not be competing with us you will take traffic from us but not from ZTR. What about ZTR? They saw them as a necessary evil, MLS as just evil. Of course much of this might have one from the sordid history of MLS here in Chicago.”

      As the MLS, if you were to offer all this data and give the agents a way to deliver it to their clients that want it online WITHOUT the fear that other agents will pop up in advertisements and…show your agents that this is a better way bc it is a touchpoint for your agents rather than having the consumer go down the dark alley’s of the internet to find the data they want and then have no idea if the data is accurate or has integrity, or their client might get sucked up by another agent…dont you think your members would prefer this to ZTR? The MLS is the best source. I support you guys. The consumers are just searching out the data and the best experience. Thats why they go to ZTR. Dont the agents get that? The consumer is the biggest driving force. Not the industry. Instead of agents going to where the consumers are…ZTR, make the consumers want to come to where the agents are…maybe its too late.

      “Kick ass client experiences are great as long as you actually have clients.”

      Maybe I am missing something but I believe you can make a kick ass client experience to “earn” business and keep business. There are a lot of different ways to compete in this industry. Kick ass technology is only one of many…but there is a whole demographic that wants exactly that and I think it is growing.

      I may be way naive… but I believe there is a paradigm shift taking place…even if only for a certain group of clients. But that group must be represented in the most forward thinking way of advanced technology…and its not just “instant” email alerts.

      At this point we are just sharing opinions but I certainly enjoy your perspective. Historical knowledge may be the most valuable.

    • Jeff Beck says:

      He Jeff. It’s funny that you closed with “am I naive”, that exactly what I was thinking when I read “Make your brokerage site better. Not only does mine have to be better than ZTR to get eyeballs, mine also has to be better than HAR”.

      That is somewhat naive, is it not? But- I like where you’re going with your site and would like to buy one if it were remotely affordable when you’re ready.

    • Jeff Burke says:

      Jeff…I think that is my point. I might be a self professed naive entrepreneur in this industry but at least I am smart enough to know it :) Keep following us. I appreciate your support!

    • Drew Meyers says:

      “Broker sites sound good on paper but how do you get people to visit them when 99 percent of the traffics goes to ZTR and only minute organic traffic shows up on broker sites.”

      99% of brokerage sites aren’t driving traffic because a) their website suck and b) they don’t understand SEO/online marketing/online conversion. Winning the seo game and driving traffic takes investment and hard work, but it certainly can be done — and is being done by many. Take a look at msqrealty.com in Washington DC.

    • Russ Bergon says:

      Nice little zillow site you have there. :-)

      And on a google search it came up on second page when looking for Washington dc real estate.

    • Drew Meyers says:

      Geek Estate was founded while I worked at Zillow on their dime. But it’s been an independent site owned by me since late 2010.

      On the SEO thing – winning the “city real estate” keyword isn’t the only way to succeed with driving seo traffic. Lots and lots of sites get an unbelievable amount of traffic from long tail keywords. M Squared is working on that Washington Dc real estate keyword, but that doesn’t come overnight — my hunch is they will be in top 3 sometime late 2012.

  15. Bill says:

    Simple way to fix 80% of the broken real estate system: eliminate paid referrals. Refer professionals because you feel they will do the best job and not because you’ll get a check for handing out a name.

    Let people who actually have listings and buyers – and do the work – make the money and stop selling leads as referrals.

    Eliminate all these add-on levels of value-sucking, money-sucking leeching by business referral models that do nothing but skim $$ for virtually no work.

    And stop being afraid of letting consumers have all the data. They will use an agent if the value proposition is there. Data wants to be free and there is no putting the genie back in the bottle.

  16. Jeff Beck says:

    It’s mutual. I could care less about “consumers”, until they become “prospects”… at which point it is my goal to turn them into “clients”, which I care passionately about.

    Once they have become our “clients”, we strive to create what we call “transactions”, ultimately culminating in “closings”, a phrase you may be unfamiliar with.

  17. Jeff Beck says:

    @alon : (Briefly), when I go to http://www.metrolistpro.com/ and try to search via the initial input box, I immediately run into 2 issues.
    1- The price slider is a mess. When I put the sliders 1/16″ apart the range is still $425k to $700k. That’s a much wider range than my prospects typically browse. This immediately gives the user a very bad feeling about the efficacy of the site.
    2- But let’s say my price range is $425k to $700k… and I need 4 bedrooms. So I click search. And… I’m teleported to a NEW search box where I get a message in RED that says “No City or Zip specified – please try again.”

    Well, I’m relocating Alon… and I don’t know the cities/zipcodes. So, now what? My frustration is starting to rise…

    So… in order to get the site to do *anything* I click in the location box hoping for a dropdown or something. Nothing.

    I click View All, and finally get a drop down. I click Beckworth, get Zero results again, and for some reason my price range has reverted to $0 to $600k.

    OK, I guess houses are pricy in Beckworth!!!

    I up the price range to $0 to $10M! No results.

    YMMV.

    • Alon Chaver says:

      All UI’s are fair game for criticism and should be continually improved upon (even if consumers use them in rapidly increasing numbers to make appointments with listing agents and local market experts :-))

      This is just an example of how an MLS can leverage their strategic assets (listings content & local brokers and agents with market expertise) and their internal competencies (member education & facilitation of cooperation) to generate additive business for local brokers and their agents…. without spending millions in venture money.

      – Alon

  18. Jim Van Heule says:

    We are a small IT firm based in West Michigan and have been providing solutions for real estate since 1996 (way before IDX, VOW and RedFin). RedFin isn’t doing anything that can’t be done by anyone that has access to the IDX/VOW data access and rules. For example, check out http://www.PPRMI.com. Our mapping features exceed what RedFin offers using real instead of arbitrary boundary outlines while also including county, city, school district and school data. We even display sold info on the map based on public data.

    Email alerts? We’ve been doing that since 1996. Instant alerts only started happening once we started updating our data every 15 minutes via RETS.

    I’ll agree, RedFin is a great site, but they are not the only one out there innovating. While RedFin is in it for themselves, we build these for real estate firms.

    One last note… RedFin is not a VOW-only site. It is both an IDX and VOW site combined. They display the IDX available data anonymously and require login for the rest to comply with VOW regulations just like we do. We’ve been doing it that way since 2003 when the very first VOW rules came out and recently adjusted what we do show when signed in when the new VOW data became available from the RETS MLS feeds we receive.