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And Redfin wonders why some traditional real estate agents are, um, “hostile”?

Kevin Boer, Broker Owner, 3 Oceans Real Estate, Inc. ()

December 28th, 2006 · 11 Comments

This just in from the “Google Adwords” crazy advertising department…

Do a search on Google for the phrase “Redfin Reality” and the only sponsored link you get is this one:


“The site Realtors don’t want you to see?”  Now that’s a way to spread the love…

Glenn Kelman has just got to stop the complaining about the attitude of traditional agents towards Redfin as long as they’re doing this sort of thing.  He can either

a) Position himself as being against the traditional industry
b) Expect the traditional industry to embrace him with open arms
…but not both.

Mind you, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the ad.  In fact, I think it’s pretty clever, actually, and a great way to hook in the type of client Redfin wants, namely those who don’t have much good to say about the traditional industry.  But it’s pretty disingenuous for Redfin to complain to complain about not being loved while simultaneously being somewhat, um, hostile itself.

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Tags: Glenn Kelman · Google Adwords · Online advertising · Real estate · Redfin

11 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Doug Quance // Dec 29, 2006 at 8:43 pm

    It obviously didn’t take Redfin too long to pull that ad. :lol:
    Since listing agents control the co-broke, they really should be nicer about the way they conduct their business.

    All my listings now will carry a co-broke reduction to 1% if I show the property to another brokers client. They can share that 1% however they see fit.

  • 2 jf.sellsius // Dec 30, 2006 at 8:00 am

    I agree with you Kevin. Better to pick a side, even if it’s adversarial, than to ride the fence. Polarization is not a bad thing. Those that take the contrary view against the traditional way of doing things, and do it strongly, will attract similar strong willed followers/clients.
    The problem with real estate, however, is that the co-broke is an interwined element. That is an issue Redfin has to overcome in some way. Time to get creative Glenn.

  • 3 Jim Lee // Jan 3, 2007 at 10:23 am

    No kidding, not a good way to win friends &…….etc.

    We don’t have Redfin in our area yet; be interesting to see if they last long enought to make it east of the Mississippi River. ;-)

  • 4 marla mullen // Jan 3, 2007 at 12:09 pm

    If they don’t last past the Mississippi River another agency with the same business model will, trust me … Sorry, guys, your monopolistic business model is about to be broken so instead of being scared and angry i would prepare for the inevitable.


  • 5 ehomesblog.com » Blog Archive » New business that offers disintermediation launched… // Jan 5, 2007 at 1:30 am

    [...] With massive savings to be made by vendors who embrace the cheapest, most efficient mass-medium yet devised by man entrepreneurs are seizing the opportunity to take a slice of the lucrative real estate pie… No wonder estate agents get a little sensitive over this issue. Redfin is a new brand based in the west coasrt of the States. There are some comments on 3 Oceans blog - a good blog site by a west coast realtor Kevin Boer - if you want to see the reaction by traditional agents. [...]

  • 6 360Digest » Worth repeating // Jan 6, 2007 at 1:55 am

    [...] Kevin Boer featured this lovely ad on his site the other day in this story “And Redfin wonders why some traditional real estate agents are, um, “hostile“?” [...]

  • 7 Norm Fisher // Jan 6, 2007 at 9:08 am

    Good post. It brings to mind a recent post on Seth Godin’s blog titled, Electable vs. Marketable.


    This ad is probably the wise approach for Redfin to take but they have to willing to quit the team if they want to do it.

  • 8 TRANSPARENT REAL ESTATE (www.TransparentRE.com) // Feb 10, 2007 at 3:54 pm

    Cyberhomes learns from Real Estate 2.0 Pioneers…

    Last week, I had a conversation with Marty Frame, Fidelity National Real Estate Solutions (FNRES) Chief Information Officer, and builder of its Cyberhomes automated valuation model (”AVM”) product. We discussed the state of Real Estate 2.0 and Marty …

  • 9 Redfin Launches Consumers’ Bill of Rights | 3 Oceans -- The San Francisco Bay Area Real Estate Blog // Apr 2, 2007 at 8:05 am

    [...] Not because I am uncritically accepting of everything Redfin foes; quite the contrary, I have called them out on blurring the distinction between correlation and causation (see my articles Redfin Numbers Food Fight and Agents Who Take More Pictures are Better Negotiators), I have criticized their advertising as needless stick-it-in-the-eye tactics, and I have criticized Glenn for making reckless statements to the media that does nothing to endear him to the real estate community. Not because I think Redfin’s business model will revolutionize the industry and change the way things are done forever. Quite the contrary, I remain skeptical that reimbursing 2/3rds of the commission on the revenue side, while spending heaps of money on the technology side, is a long-term recipe for success. Why then am I supporting this initiative? Simply because I like the idea of somebody shaking up this industry and standing up for the consumer, and if that “somebody” happens to be a competitor, so be it. I have never doubted Glenn’s commitment to being firmly on the consumer’s side, and I have no problem with his company making money from it. I don’t even have a problem with Redfin getting positive publicity from it because I know that’s not the primary reason they’re launching this initiative. As this conversation continues — which will no doubt become quite contentious, as befits many Redfin initiatives — we’ll get into the meat and potatoes of the Bill of Rights itself. I’m not in unanimous consent on all the issues — for instance, I think there are situations in which dual agency is not only needed, but is best for both clients — but overall I like what I see and I’m happy putting my name behind it. [...]

  • 10 Jay Matthews // Apr 4, 2007 at 7:08 pm

    In response to Marla’s comment:

    I’m not scared, or angry. The emergence of Redfin and companies like it speaks to a market niche being identified and exploited - it’s business as usual in the bigger picture of capitalism. It truly isn’t as “revolutionary” as so many seem to think - these models are simply catering to people who shop strictly on price. This niche has always existed and it always will (think Wal-Mart). Those who contend that all consumers will eventually shop only on price lack perspective on how consumerism really works, in my humble opinion.

  • 11 Chris Dade // Aug 28, 2007 at 7:22 am

    In response to Jay Matthews:

    I guess you forgot how Walmart revolutionized the retail industry. They employ over 1 million people and have more revenue than some countries total GDP. There will always be other real estate companies, just like there will always be other retailers, but there will be a shift from paying 2 to 3 times as much for the same thing. There is a price point where people are fed up with the commisions made on minimal effort.

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