Redfin: PR and Community
Redfin may be one of the best at their own PR and community management. As many of you probably know (especially if you live in the Seattle area), Redfin is a new real estate agent that gives buyers and sellers a new and different experience when working with a real estate agent.
The primary difference with Redfin is that they return a large portion of the buyers commission to you once you have purchased a home. This saves the buyer thousands of dollars on a sale, putting the money right back in their pocket. Redfin takes a cut from the sale but less than a traditional buyer. As a result of this setup, Redfin agents are not paid on commission but instead are paid based on the reviews they receive from those they work with, whether or not they buy a home. Every agent that works with Refin has been reviewed. As a potential buyer, you can check out the agents, see who you would like to work with and know that you don’t have to worry about trying to upsell you or game the system.
Redfin agents all live in the communities where they work and agents get bonuses based on customer satisfaction and reviews. This built in tool is a powerful mechanism for strengthening business relations with the community, involving employees in the effort to build the Redfin name and brand, and helping the company break into new real estate markets around the country (Redfin recently expanded to Houston and North Carolina’s Research Triangle).
Clearly, Redfin has community management nailed.
On the PR front, Redfin has positioned themselves in a niche that provides access to media unlike any other real estate firm. Redfin provide both a comprehensive online database of homes as well as broker services. This has given them access to both online and in person data which, particularly in these economic times, provides a good idea of who is looking, who is buying, and who is doing both. They have used this to serve as a data provided. One example is their inclusion in a press release by Market Wire that notes Redfin tours are up 6 percent.
To secure this kind of press, Redfin has positioned itself as a leader and knowledge center in the real estate market. They consistently put out press releases with tips for consumers, numbers for analysts, and interesting news on the markets they are launching in. This has helped enhance their knowledge of and access to the consumer – something that is important in the housing market especially as the US continues to deal with economic uncertainty.
On the whole, Redfin has successfully managed community relations (much to the headache of traditional realtors) and continues to highlight their knowledge in the media world. With time, Redfin will likely emerge as one of the premier real estate firms if they stay on track.