Changes at Redfin have made all sorts of headlines this year, but the only change our customers really want from us is more home tours. Historically, the first four-hour home tour has been free, and the rest cost $250 up front.
One isn’t enough. We’ve never had a focus group where customers didn’t bay for more tours, while the interns heedlessly wolfed the catered sushi.
So in yet another mutation from the dainty little web company we originally imagined ourselves to be, we’ve now got a new proposal to run by you: quadrupling the number of home tours customers can get from us before paying any money.
Of course there’s a catch. In fact there’re three:
- You have to be pre-approved to buy the places we’re touring: it’s ok to look, but let’s at least make sure we’re in the right ballpark.
- The home tours last two hours, not four: most people want to see three or four homes in one go, not eight or ten.
- For home tours #3 and #4, we take $250 per tour out of your refund: for someone who took all four tours, this would reduce the average refund from around $10,000 to $9,500, and only if you end up buying through Redfin.
After tour #4, you could still pay $250 up-front for additional tours.
We’re hoping this won’t screw up our per-transaction costs, mostly because the tours will be shorter, and asking for pre-approval letters from a lender will make sure customers getting a free tour meet us halfway.
We were thinking of giving this policy a try at least for the rest of the year, starting after Thanksgiving, but since the topic has been so controversial with customers, we thought we’d see if anyone had any refinements to propose first. Thoughts?