Redfin on 60 Minutes: "It Could Have Been Much Worse"

As you may have heard by now, Redfin will be on 60 Minutes this weekend. In an online teaser, Lesley Stahl has compared the Internet to a shark in “Jaws,” set to devour the real estate industry.
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The National Association of Realtors distributed to its 1.4 million members a memo about the piece with a vaguely military ring: “Operation Tip-Off Publicity Alert.” The first media talking point for members was that the segment, which no one outside of CBS has actually seen, “could have been much worse.”

The NAR boasted that it had managed to convince 60 Minutes that the Department of Justice lawsuit was too complex to explain to consumers; CBS, it said, was only able to publish a “highly abridged version” of the story it originally wanted to air.

This is one of those mind-boggling lies that brought to mind Paula Poundstone’s reaction when Hillary Clinton claimed she hadn’t thought about running for president. “It’s like one of those lies your teenage daughter tells you where you can only ask, ‘Why? Why?’”

60 Minutes is a television show whose ENTIRE PREMISE is based on the length of its segments. Its logo is A TICKING STOPWATCH. Every show runs three segments, and every segment runs 13 minutes.

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Taping the show was fun.

The occasionally clueless Bahn Lee walked right up to Lesley Stahl holding a home-movie camera. The cameraman who powdered my nose said, “we never do this for the bad guys” (I later learned they do it for everybody). In awe-struck voices, members of the crew said “Lesley’s an animal” and “Lesley is hell on wheels.”

I agreed to be shot riding my bicycle into work, but still tried to look commanding in a blazer, scarf, helmet and cycling shoes. The producer got one gander of Allie Howard jabbing her finger into a table and said “that, I want that.” All the equipment blew our circuit breaker and, on one of our busiest days, the office went dark.

Then, when the lights went up, and three different cameramen called out their time-codes, and the sound guys crouched forward with their boom mikes, we froze up like idiots. Before Lesley Stahl had even climbed into the car that would take her back to the airport, we all wished that we had done much better.

Tune in Sunday night at 7 and tell us what you think!

(A bonus shark link from a friend of Redfin.)

Discussion

  • http://doingboeing.blogspot.com Adam Phillabaum

    Wow! Thats really exciting. I’ve got my DVR set to record it. Congrats!

  • http://www.searchingseattleblog.com ARDELL

    Good Luck Glenn!! I’m 99.9% sure that IF there is a “Good Guy” in the piece, it will be you.

  • http://www.searchingseattleblog.com ARDELL

    Good Luck Glenn!! I’m 99.9% sure that IF there is a “Good Guy” in the piece, it will be you.

  • Nick D.

    Excellent segment on 60 Minutes – It seemed the way that the NAR is trying to elbow out competition screams anti-trust. I’m not entirely certain what the “full service” brokers are scared of – there will always be customers who want to use an agent. There will never be a lack of customers – or money.

    My main question is, when is Redfin coming to Columbus, OH. Take a look at the area – we are RIPE for a service like this. Large, young, and technological adept population who would embrace something like this. OSU would provide thousands of possible employees who would make the startup work from the beginning.

    Hope to see you there soon.

  • Kathy

    I just happened to watch 60 min. this week. Glad to see it happening. My husband and I sold our own place in Florida about 10 years ago before we moved back to Tennessee. It will probably be a while before it gets here to the East coast. My mom used to say we were 10 years behind times.

  • Jason

    Wow. I think this 60 min segment has huge implications for the real estate industry. I had 2 friends call me during the show to ask if I was watching. Let us know how we can support you and stop the “real sharks”. I wish you were in Colorado and Arizona. Thx

  • anonymous

    Nice job.

  • miguel

    I just saw the 60 minutes piece (I taped it) a few minutes ago and I am so OUTRAGED that the state of TEXAS where I reside has denied me the option to use your services. If you need someone to partner with to SUE TEXAS for the right to use your services email me and let’s get busy!
    Miguel

  • Rita

    Just saw 60 Minutes and you all looked great and came over really well. I wish you were in Colorado. I hope you expand nationally soon.

  • http://www.ekday.com/blog/blog.html Shaun McLane

    I’ve heard nothing but good about the report. Looking forward to seeing it. I’d love a post with the hate mail you received. :-) Think it would be interesting to hear the arguments.

  • Lydia

    good job guys. thank you

  • http://BetterHomeSelling.com Richard Greenwood

    There are many companies that are using technology to cut costs and share those savings with consumers. Learn more at http://BetterHomeSelling.com & http://BetterHomeBuying.com

  • redfin fan

    I loved the piece but part of me said “shit” because I’m in the middle of a deal with redfin. I liked being stealth.

  • mattb

    Why are the only people who take issue with Redfin real estate agents? I haven’t noticed any customers or consumers complain about what they are doing. Are you professionals (and I use that term loosely for the majority of agents in the business) really trying to say that we need to pay more because it’s for our own good? It makes me feel like I’m 6 years old again and the catholic school nun is saying, “this is in your best interest” as she smacks my knuckles with a ruler. I didn’t understand that argument then and it still makes no sense to me today.

    BTW, I’m not clairvoyant but I predict a bunch of anonymous posts from agents, I mean “customers” complaining about Redfin.