Once Again, Real Estate Professionals Go To War Against The Web

from the gotta-protect-those-margins dept

Last month, popular real estate site Zillow was enjoined from operating in Arizona because the site didn't have an appraiser's license. The action was a pretty bald-faced move by the state's real estate appraisers to keep a potentially disruptive service from messing with their business. It looks like another similarly disruptive real estate service, Redfin (which allows people to buy and sell houses at a fraction of a broker's typical fees), is under attack in Washington. Real estate brokers are upset about a Redfin-sponsored blog that allows non-brokers to post reviews of properties that appear in the area's Multiple Listing Service, a database that brokers use to get information on properties. Access to the database is limited to registered participants, which Redfin is. But one of the rules is that brokers are given the sole right to manage their marketing campaigns, and the brokers aren't happy that Redfin lets outsiders post housing reviews. The situation is a little different than the Zillow case in that it's the MLS that's threatening to revoke Redfin's access to the service rather than an official state agency. However, because the real estate industry operates as a state-blessed oligopoly, the MLS' threat basically carries the full force of the government. Because Redfin can't afford to lose its access to the database, the site has removed the offending blog. Chalk it up as another victory for professional organizations and their constant efforts to keep disruptive tech services at bay.

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  1. identicon
    Larry Welner, 19 May 2007 @ 1:33pm

    Note to redfin

    Sorry for straying off topic here, but Redfin.. Kick 'em where it hurts! So a few realtors saw the 60-minutes article and went online and found reviews they didn't like. They've over used rule 190, and it's about time to bring in the big guns to create a workflow that addresses the core issue.

    From a high-level, I imagine that this is proposal would work within Rule 190: Redfish just needs to add an approval process to the blog that shoots the comment to the selling agent with instructions to "click here to approve". On the listing, I would also suggest adding "# of approved reviews" in addition to "# of reviews queued".

    Net goal- show potential buyers that somebody had something to say about the property, even if it just hasn't been approved yet, and incent realtors who adopt technology.

    I love your site!

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