US online real estate broker Redfin has announced a string of upgrades to its website, aiming to benefit both partner agents and redfin.com users.
Partner agents can now communicate through a web dashboard, while the website’s users are offered text matching for misspelled searches, a free-text search of marketing remarks, upgraded neighbourhood statistics, and listing alerts with more information and RSS feed options.
redfin.com’s new neighbourhood statistics include graphs showing changes in inventory and whether homes sold above or below the asking price. The number of listings and homes sold in an area is now separated by house and condo, and includes a year-by-year comparison.
Named amongst finalists in the “most innovative brokerage or franchise” category for this year’s Inman News Innovator Awards, Redfin says it plans to reach every US market and will cover a total of 13 in 2009. Another set of website changes were unveiled in February this year, when redfin.com began including data-driven agent reviews and opened its business to partner agents.
redfin.com states that its agent reviews have increased demand by 116 percent since their launch. Agents are not able to censor reviews, but do have the right to comment on them.
The redfin.com blog post does point out one issue with the updated website:
“The MLS in Long Island has given listing agents there the ability to withhold the address of a listing from the Internet unless we register the visitor as a client. Weirdly, about 68% of the listings have been marked so as to require registration (dual agency — where a listing agent also represents the buyer — is common in Long Island). So that means we can show the property on our map, but we need to get your email address and a password to show you the street address.”
redfin.com joined the Hitwise top 20 real estate website for May this year, moving up three places to number 20.