Archive for the ‘redfin’ Category

Redfin Turns Profitable

July 10, 2009

Glenn

According to CEO Glenn Kelman – Redfin has turned profitable.

I did not think it would/could happen – Glenn proved me wrong.

Congratulations to an outstanding team that has executed (way) beyond my expectations.

2008 Predictions

December 30, 2007

Real Estate 2.0 Predictions

Redfin will run out of money. Unable to raise another round, they will enter the TC deadpool towards the end of 2008. The company’s assets will be listed on Ebay and the reserve price will not be met. Glenn Kelman (CEO) will go back to school, get that MBA from Harvard and become an owner/operator of a Quiznos sandwich franchise. Subway sandwich artists around the country will cry foul.

Since every major real estate company that signed up with Trulia has now inked deals with 993+ me-too real estate search sites (including my 14 y/o neighbors startup), Trulia’s initial successes have become null-and-void. Agents and brokers will continue to feed their listings to as many sites as possible, making it impossible for Trulia to gain a competitive advantage or any real traction. Trulia will continue to operate throughout 2008 but Bjorn and Sven will sell cheap (2nd quarter 2009) and start their search for the next big thing (they will utilize heat map technology to discover their next endeavour).

Zillow will continue to display declining values to a shrinking pool of real estate masochists. Agents will realize that paying $0.01 per ad impression ($10CPM) to put themselves in front of the wrong audience is a losing proposition. Zillow investors will push the company to ramp up the marketing spend and we will see a Zillow commercial during the Super Bowl. Zillow’s revenues will not support an IPO and the company will be sold to Yahoo! towards the end of 2009 or beginning of 2010 for a small profit.

Craigslist will introduce a small fee to post in the real estate section. Everyone will pay it.

Greg Swann will start a cult. The BloodhoundBlog Unchained Conference is the opening he has been crafting in his head since he was 4 years old. All conference attendees will be deloused, forced to remove their shoes/socks and don a robe of hemp for the initial weekend of re-education. Their brokers will never see or hear from them again.

Redfin on 60 Minutes

May 14, 2007

Well,

I had to come out of retirement seclusion for this one…

Like most everyone else who reads this blog from time to time – I watched 60 Minutes this evening.

Where do I start?

1. Let’s see…Let’s use a Harvard MBA/CEO to represent one side of a story and a “certified home stager” with her name on her car to represent an entire industry.

2. Let’s allow the Harvard MBA to spit out unchecked, inflated numbers to a world-wide audience and throw a surprise attack question at the “certified home stager” who was probably doing everything she could to stop her knees from knocking.

3. Let’s allow the Harvard MBA to tell the world how inflated real estate fees are – but not ask him about his companies profitability…or lack thereof.

It is basically the same as some guy sitting outside of Best Buy selling LCD TV’s for $25 per unit. He loses money on every TV he sells, but 60 Minutes still allows him to go on television and tell the world that Best Buy is ripping everyone off.

How can Redfin attack any business model when they have no business model? Losing money on every transaction is not a business model.

I could feel my face turning red (like redfins books) when Kelman looked at the camera and told the world that he has an agent closing 8 deals every week. I believe that was a lie…and I invite him to comment on this post about that line. Redfin released their numbers a while back…the math is pretty simple…it was a lie.

This was a bogus segment. Rush Limbaugh shows less bias.

I will also throw this in…

I think it hilarious that Redfin announced that they have entered the Boston market. Calling one agent working out of his basement “entering a market” is pretty fricking funny.

Later…

Update: Glenn Kelman stops by Real Estate 2.x and defends his line about the redfin agent that “closes 8 deals a week.”  Also points out that he does not have a Harvard MBA…

I’m not sure why that Harvard MBA was locked in my brain…must be the TC effect.

I do have to chuckle at this line from Mr. Kelman in the comments:

“Redfin generates profit on each transactions, but does not complete enough transactions to turn a profit” 

Sounds like CEO, VC seeking double-speak to me.  Redfin actually generates revenue on each transaction Glenn, it is not called a profit until the numbers lose that minus sign you have in front of them.

How is Redfin Doing?

November 2, 2006

I am asking agents/brokers in Seattle & San Fran to provide me with some data – or maybe the good folks at Redfin can stop by and let us know.  I want to find out how Redfin is doing.  Does anyone have any current numbers?  How many properties are currently listed through Redfins $2k flat fee?  How many deals has redfin closed (either side)?  What are the numbers?

If you have any info, you can leave it here (as a comment) or send me an email at realestate20@gmail.com

Maybe I could find this data at the Redfin site…but the have made some changes (I have not been to their site in a while) – I cannot even figure out how to find the “for sale” listings anymore.

Petition 2.0

September 20, 2006

real estate 2.x

Redfin, I respectfully request that you allow me to revert back to “real estate 2.0” as the title of this blog.

———-

As you all know, a couple of days ago Redfin asked me to change the name of this two-day old, free, non-commercial, non-revenue generating wordpress blog.  Eric Heller, the director of marketing, felt that the original title of my blog – real estate 2.0 – infringed on Redfin’s real estate brokerage service mark – so I changed the name of the blog to real estate 2.x within 24 hours of receiving his request.

From the beginning, I felt that this was a barrel of bullshit.  The words real estate 2.0 are all over the web – it is a generic description – not of a service, not of a product – but of a genre…something that should not be trademark-able.  But, I decided to change the name of this blog to real estate 2.x – because I do not need a lawyer up my ass about the name of a frick’n blog.

The response I have received from the real estate (and others) blogging community has been overwhelming.  I want to thank you all for the interaction, debate and support.  I think that most of us believe Redfin would not have been pissy about the name of this blog if I did not write up a negative review of their website in my second post.

So here is the deal…

I have received some comments and emails from some very smart people.  It sounds like the best way for me to use the original name of this blog (which I would like to do) is to file a trademark for the name of a blog vs. Redfin’s service mark for a real estate brokerage.  The thing is, I do not want the trademark (I’m not trying to make money from this) and I do not give a shit if anyone else uses the words and numbers.  They have already been in use for a couple of years…and like I said, it is a generic description.

Although this is one of those corny things you normally would not do (and I sure as hell would not try to start), I am asking all of the readers of this blog to sign my petition to get the name back.  I would like to ask redfin to allow me to reinstate the original title of this blog…and I have a feeling – you/we can make it happen.

How do you sign?  Leave a comment.  Thanks everyone. 

P.S.  I am going to get back on topic tomorrow today.

Stop The Presses

September 19, 2006

This just in: Redfin Does Not Own Registered Trademark “Real Estate 2.0”

Is this solid?  What would you do?

Real Estate 2.0 Renaming Ceremony

September 19, 2006

real estate 2.0 grave

I received a ton of great ideas for the re-naming of the real estate 2.0 blog – thank you all very much for participating in the contest!  You can see most of the entries here.

I actually received a few new-name ideas from the real estate 2.0 trademark owners themselves (via email).  Eric Heller (Redfin’s director of marketing) suggested:

1. Real Estate Revolutions
tagline: Revolutions in Real Estate

2. Real Estate Technology Wrap
tagline: The Future of Real Estate Technology (sorry about this one…I just love Joel’s blog and couldn’t resist)

3. Real Tech in Real Estate

And Sebastian Simsch (Redfin’s director of business development) offered:

1. New Millennium Real Estate
2. Next Generation Real Estate

Again, I enjoyed reading all of the comments, but in the end, I came up with real estate 2.x – not what I want, but we all know how the song goes.

I have to say, I believe that Eric @ Redfin is a good guy, by making me change the name of this blog, he is only doing what he thinks is best for Redfin (even if he is wrong and misguided).  He even invited me to lunch (if I am ever in Seattle) and asked me if I would be interested in participating in an upcoming focus group – unfortunately, I am not planning on visiting Seattle anytime soon – and I am not a focus group type of guy.

I appreciate the thought guys (Eric & Sebastian) – but it seems like you still don’t get it.  I started this non-commercial, non-revenue generating blog to voice my personal opinion on the current trends in the online real estate sector (and web 2.0 in general).  Even the names you recommended suggest very slow loading, zero search engine visibility, Internet pure-play, cash bleeding fads are the future of real estate (and the Internet).  I am here to tell you that you’re wrong…that’s the point of this blog.

New technology, if implemented poorly, does not make for a better experience.  This is where my non-trademarked tagline comes in – simple is always better.  One-click, speedy navigation will always trump two, three, or twenty-click navigation – period…Even when the end result is the coveted satellite view of a roof.

Now on with the show.

Cease and Desist

September 18, 2006

cry baby

Well, it took a whopping 2 business days to receive a comment and then an email from the good folks at redfin.  Eric Heller, director of marketing, just informed me (very kindly) that Redfin Corp. owns the words (and numbers) Real Estate 2.0

Here is the email:

—-start—-

Hi,

Thanks for your quick response.  You may have seen that we had a competition back in April for a new tagline:

[Read Here]

The winner got $500 and we got the rights to a new tagline, which we trademarked and have been using in commerce since June, 2006.  The tagline, Real Estate 2.0, is now a registered trademark of the Redfin Corporation, which you can research at: http://tess2.uspto.gov/bin/gate.exe?f=searchss&state=kpe5ta.1.1.  (I’ve included the results of a search on their site below for your convenience.)

While we recognize the right for your blog to exist and look forward to many future posts from a long-overdue blog on new technology real estate sites, we’d like to respectfully ask that you change the name to a term that does not infringe on our mark.

Thanks for your understanding and quick action on this.

Eric Heller
Director of Marketing
Redfin.com – Find, Buy and Sell Homes Online

—-end—-

As you can see, Eric seems like a very nice guy, he was sure to use just enough lube.  He could have been much nastier – but he really does seem like a good guy.

So, since I cannot use Real Estate 2.0 as the name of my blog any longer (I will change it within 24 hours), I have decided to have my own contest. 

Unfortunately, I will not be able to offer a $500 grand prize (I do not have $8M to give away), but I will share the trademark with you (If you pay for the trademark).

I do not think Redfin owns Real Estate 2 0 or Real Estate 2..0 or Real Estate Two Point Oh…so…

Please send suggestions to: realestate20@gmail.com (or better yet – leave a comment)

Thanks for your help.

Redfin will flop like a fish out of water

September 14, 2006

redfin

Seattle startup Redfin, which has raised over $8M, doesn’t have much time left on the dock – they are sucking for air and here is why.

First – Their website just plain sucks.

Q: If their mapping technology is so great, why did they take it off of their homepage?

A:Because everyone left their site while the homepage was loading – that’s why. 

Now, instead of the homepage, the search page takes what feels like an hour to load, then it only takes 50-60 more clicks to zoom in on an area, then only another hour for the map to re-load, then a little more zoom, then another 45 minutes or so. 

Now I get to look at the roof of a home for sale.  Technology rules! 

Sure a few geeks, with nothing else to do, like to use it (I am not ripping on geeks, I am one myself), but the general public wants a fast, easy to use website that they do not have to learn how to use.  Just ask Craig and Sergi.

Second – Their founder recently quit or was fired.  Enough said.

Third – They do not make money. 

Their model will simply not support a business.  They are basically giving away the $8M+ that they have raised to any buyer willing to use their service.  I have news for Redfin – you will not survive on your margins…period.  Impossible.  End of story.

Fourth – They are not doing much business.  In this blog post, they claim to already have two pending in sales in California – after two months in the market.  Two pending sales in two months?  With how much money these guys are spending on PR– that is absolutely horrible.  Their financial backers have to be freak’n out.

In closing,I have to say that I whole-heartedly believe that real estate and the Internet go together like peanut butter and jelly – its a perfect match.  But I think that the VC’s and Entrepreneurs starting these new Real Estate 2.0 companies better get back to basics before they go broke.  Real estate buyers are looking for properties – not the latest widgets.  I understand that adding needless steps to a process is something that some people think is cool – but like parachute pants and fancy flash websites – they are fads that will eventually go away.  When it comes down to it – simple always prevails.