Redfin Strikes Again: Sweet Digs on Steroids

Every day over the past six months, Redfin’s Seattle and San Francisco blogs have reviewed the most popular, the most interesting, the most expensive and the most depressing houses for sale in Seattle and San Francisco.

We initially called this “House Porn,” which my twin brother Wes described as “one of the only truly interesting things you’ve ever done,” then changed the name to Sweet Digs. Wes stopped reading in disgust, but today there are thousands of subscribers.

Now Redfin is invading Seattle neighborhoods with a small army of real estate bloggers. Our goal: every day, eyewitness reviews of listings from all over town. You can sign up spamlessly to get these reviews by e-mail. We’re putting a lot of energy into our local real estate blogs because it’s consistent with our mission to use the Web to bring more candor to real estate, and also so we can save you the trouble of driving around Seattle to check out new listings.

If it works, we’ll expand to other cities, like San Jose, Oakland and San Francisco.

Our Seattle editor is Marie Hagman, whom we first met during a focus group about how to improve Redfin’s Web site. The moment we realized she’d be the perfect real estate editor was when she said that she often has to browse listings in California, because there aren’t enough in Seattle. Another charming thing about her is that, for the year that we have known her, she has been looking to buy a house that meets her standards.

Then we had to find a few good real estate mavens. So last month we advertised on Craigslist for bloggers (the only rule was that no one selling real estate could apply). Three hundred sent in their writing samples, and we chose seven of the most clever writers out of the bunch, every single one as much of a real estate freak as we are. I am not sure why, but I have rarely been as proud and excited of a new team as I am of this one.

We hope you enjoy the new version of Sweet Digs. If you don’t, or if you have any thoughts on how we could make it better, just drop me (glenn dot kelman at redfin dot com) or Marie (marie dot hagman at redfin dot com) a line; or better, leave a comment!