Redfin appeared this weekend in Damon Darlin’s New York Times article about the conflict between online home-buyers and traditional realtors. For the past two days, the article has sat atop the charts as the most e-mailed, ahead even of news that Australia’s crocodile-wrestler died of a stingray shot to the chest.
And now the fur has started flying.
In blogs about the article, traditonal real estate agents are compared to drug-addicted prostitutes and encouraged to pursue careers at Burger King. Elsewhere agents accuse Redfin of manufacturing controversy, then wonder aloud whether they’ll be murdered by Redfin buyers (belying claims that reluctance to show properties is “an absolute absurdity”). Others predict that our business will collapse because our prices are too low only to have the same person later wonder whether our prices are too high. On the news-rating site Digg, the NYT article has over 250 votes, and over 50 comments.
We all had fun being part of the story. Bahn Lee spent an hour on the road with Damon, driving to a customer meeting in Bahn’s 1991 Mazda Miata. Allie Howard and Rob McGarty told the journalist about the crazy, early days of Redfin Direct, and I was quoted saying something David Eraker once said to me, about being able to find out more on the Internet about pez dispensers than about real estate.
(Note: in an earlier version of this post, we had compared predatory tactics for procuring cause to praying mantis mating habits, mostly so we could include an interesting photo, but after realizing this seemed hostile toward all agents rather than toward a particular tactic for limiting consumer choice, we are removing the comparison and the photo. We apologize to agents unjustly tarnished by the comparison.)