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.