Northwest Multiple Listing Service Rules Stop Redfin from Reviewing Other Brokerages' Listings
SEATTLE - May. 18, 2007:
Online real estate broker Redfin Corporation today announced that it is discontinuing its "Sweet Digs" property reviews, published on the company's blog and sent via e-mail, in order to comply with Northwest Multiple Listing Service rules. The broker-owned listing service, which Redfin uses to promote its own listings and display other brokers' listings in the Seattle area, ruled that the independent, in-person reviews violated its regulations against advertising other brokers' listings.
Employing 15 reviewers who posted more than 1,000 reviews of open houses during the past five months, Sweet Digs sought to provide Redfin's online home-buyers with an eyewitness perspective on properties for sale in Redfin's Seattle and San Francisco Bay Area markets. Since Sweet Digs launched in December 2006, the property reviews have attracted more than 3,000 e-mail subscribers.
By complying with the NWMLS ruling against Sweet Digs, Redfin was able to maintain access to up-to-date information about virtually all of the homes for sale in the Puget Sound area. Redfin's website, Redfin.com, combines listing data with county tax assessor information, property shape outlines and valuation estimates, as well as school and community information.
"As a broker, Redfin depends on its ability to participate in local listing services like the NWMLS," said Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman. "What's different about us is that we supplement up-to-the-minute listings from the real estate industry with perspectives from outside the real estate industry, so that consumers get a more complete portrait of a property for sale."
"Our in-person reviews were a particularly useful example of this approach, as the main challenge in real estate e-commerce is consumers' need to get an in-person perspective on a home for sale," Mr. Kelman continued. "We will continue to encourage the listing services to which we belong to adopt a more open approach to real estate data, but we also will comply with their rules."
Redfin plans to maintain Sweet Digs as a local source of information about each of the markets it serves, but will have to shift its focus to analyses of pricing trends and recently concluded sales. Redfin will provide more detail about these plans in a future announcement.