While reading Real Estate Webmasters forums, I came across a fellow named Ron Park from Tuscon who was enamoured with the Redfin site, so he hired a tech company in India to try to re-create Redfin’s mapping technology and cababilities. He wanted a Redfin clone for the Tuscon real estate market, and it’s unclear if he just wanted the mapping capabilities or if he was also going to copy their business model too, but he’s unhappy with the final product.
By hiring a discount off-shore company and Google maps instead of MS Virtual Earth, he got a pale imitation of the actual Redfin technology, and the map is slow and buggy.
It looks like, from his comments on the forums, that he paid about $10K for a site that probably would cost about 10 times that to develop, but now he wants to dispute his bill and he wants his money back.
By doing a little research he could have had an acceptable mapping feature to frame on his website using Real Bird, for $19 a month, that integrates listings from his own MLS. I use Real Tech and get an adequate mapping tool using Microsoft Virtual Earth and I pay $10 a month for that, and I’m able to put it on Seattle Dream Homes for a seamless home search. It even comes branded with my photo and contact information, and there are some great features that allow a shopper to save their favorites and forward those to me for future viewings, plus they can save their search criteria and have new listings forwarded to their in-box everyday.
The folks from India, taking the directive to make a Redfin clone seriously, even added a “Sweet Digs” section and a “Redfin Forums” feature. No Kelman-type PR master was included, however.