What is Redfin, and why should you care?
According to the Bureau of Real Estate, there were a reported 264,816 active real estate agents as of June 2016. And if you think the competition is fierce enough at that level, consider the successful emergence and progressive push of online, discount real estate providers such as Redfin, whose revenue was over $50 million last year alone! Not to mention, they employ and train their own agents, and guarantee that sellers will save thousands in closing costs, asking for only 1.5% commission.
What’s worse, their standard marketing package does a pretty decent job of selling homes! In addition to great looking photography, Redfin provides 3D interactive tours on every single one of the properties they sell, plus a featured listing on their site. Needless to say, Redfin is an enticing option for sellers everywhere.
If you’re feeling a bit anxious at this point… you should be! Redfin is a force to be reckoned with, as sellers are being presented with more and more reasons to part ways with the traditional real estate agent. So when a seller asks why they should use you instead of Redfin, you had better be ready with an answer! It’s a reasonable question and one that you should be prepared to give a strong rebuttal for.
Here’s some material to get you started.
For starters, it’s important to remember that discounted services come with the stigma of lower quality services. You simply don’t go to the Dollar Tree for top quality items. They may house decent products, but it would be silly to believe you’re getting the best available. In your discussions with prospective sellers, play to this concern. Remind them of what that extra
1.5% in commission you’re asking for actually gets them. Talk about the incredible things you do to generate greater exposure for a listing, and what your customized approach will be for their unique situation. Explain to them that this is one of the most important transactions they will ever complete and that selling a home is not something one should seek discounted services to accomplish.
Here’s another chink in their armor. That standard marketing package we talked about earlier? It’s just that. Standard. Redfin agents don’t have the freedom to tailor-make a marketing package that will optimize a home’s narrative! You are ultra knowledgeable about your market, so you know kinds of people will likely be interested in homes in it. You have the freedom and the know-how to weave a true narrative for your seller’s home. With so many incredible tools out there, Redfin is going to make their sellers settle for some photos, a 3D tour, and a featured listing on their website? You can do better.
Another interesting point is that Redfin agents are paid bonuses based on their customer’s feedback, which is an incentive to “people please.” This could become problematic in a real estate transaction. For example, what looks to be a great offer to a seller may not actually be, and if you as an agent notice little red flags popping up in an offer, then it is your job to speak up and walk them through your reasoning as their trusted adviser. A great real estate agent understands that you can’t always be a yes-man, and that at times you will have to be the bearer of bad news, presenting perspectives that a seller may not have considered, even if it’s not news a seller wants to hear.
The Bottom Line:
The Redfin agent is coming for YOUR next listing. They’re on a war path to upend this industry, and if they continue at the
pace they have been going, you will be seeing their little red for-sale signs a lot more. The bright side? There’s a beacon of hope at the end of the tunnel! Their one-size-fits-all solution is a little bit of a downer for sellers who want the personal attention, and local expertise only YOU can provide. Being prepared to explain this in a listing appointment will ensure your success this year, and beyond.