In response to solicitations and “cold-calling Congress” Redfin got itself 5 minutes before a Congressional Subcommittee on Housing and Community yesterday.
In their statement by Glenn Kelman, he complains about how the “industry is stifling innovation”. He continues, “Weâ€™ve posted photos of dirty agents on a Web site we called the Hall of Shame, only to have other agents apply to join.” He’s right, I did ask to be featured on the site… I’m not quite sure what I have to do to become a member, but consider this my official application
Redfin’s main complaint seems to be how “unfair” the whole system is, how they’ve been “threatened” and how they’ve met resistance from other agents. Let’s see……Kelman’s been quoted in dozens of articles, websites and press releases about how he’s going to “disrupt” the real estate industry and disintermediate the agent, and then they complain that they’ve met with some resistance from the very people they’re threatening. Hmmm…. It could also be because of their historical hostility to real estate agents rather than their current business model. Or maybe it’s just personal. Could this be the future of the real estate industry?
Anyway, bottom line is Redfin wants the federal government to pass legislation forcing private MLS’s to provide Redfin with all their private data, and they want the right to distribute this data any way they see fit. “Redfin thus asks that Congress act to give brokerages of all types equal and unfettered access to listing data, and to authorize the Federal Trade Commission to regulate statesâ€™ minimum-service and anti-rebate laws, so consumers can make their own choices about commissions.” And while we’re at it, allow all the listing information to appear free-of-charge on all the real estate portals and then sell the leads that they get back to the agents who own the listings. And make sure you charge the agents for ads on the portal, next to the listings that were originally scraped from the listing agents site….
BTW, “Realtor” is a copyrighted term referring to members of the National Association of Realtors. Please capitalize the term. Thanks!
The Top Sixteen Lies of CEO’s, at the suggestion of, and with the help of Glenn Kelman, on Guy Kawasaki’s blog (is this irony or sarcasm? I can’t tell….)
Discounters, FSBO’s and Redfin – Oh My! (Rain City Guide)
Scoble sell his house — Where was Redfin?
Redfin goes to Washington (From John Cook’s Venture Blog. Note Kelman is quoted as being “kicked and spat on” by by the Multiple Listing Services in California and Washington. But a few quick phone calls to each confirm that Redfin’s application was accepted and confirmed by each, and they are subject to the same rules and regs that every other licensed brokerage must abide by. One official noted that a Redfin rep didn’t feel as if the same rules should apply to them as to other brokerages …. I guess they won’t have to worry about rules and regulations if their dream of destroying the MLS’s comes true.
Read all prepared statements from the Hearing entitled “The Changing Real Estate Market.”
Peter Coy of Business Week sheds a tear for poor Redfin getting punched around like a weight bag in a gym (sniff!)