Redfin sets sail: Are you following?

Redfin broke a big taboo this week by “co-mingling” FSBO’s and foreclosures with MLS listings.

Under every circumstance it’s the right thing to do. It delivers exactly what the customer wants: All the listings, in one place.

But there’s something more here. Look beyond the mashup. How do you think the Redfin brand is being strengthened by offering every housing opportunity, politics be damned?

I’ll suggest the following:

  • It makes the company and its agents appear distinctly more expert.
  • It makes the company seem more consumer focused and more trustworthy than other brands.
  • It makes the company appear more sensitive to the needs of the community by providing representation to people with alternative needs.

I don’t believe the first question most consumers ask when they hit a site is if it has all the listings. I believe they don’t know to ask. Trulia’s fabulous traffic proves that. If anything, the consumer has been slipped that false notion mickey about coverage for a long time.

But that’s certainly about to end. And it’s about time.

So what’s next? Well, it wouldn’t hurt to follow suit. The data feeds are out there. Along with a herd of new company sunrising across real estate’s horizon with new ideas, tools, apps and possibilities. And it certainly wouldn’t hurt to leap frog either. One up them as they say.

Or not. You certainly have options. You can use this opportunity to vilify Redfin. Or allow your local MLS to ban you from co-mingling.

I think that continuing to moor your boat to old taboos is a bad idea — especially when your competitors have set sail into the future.