A Safari into Freakish Depth

A gorgeous new version of Redfin was just released. The premise of the release is Freakish Depth: to update our website with up-to-the-minute data on every new listing and to provide more information about each listing and its neighborhood than any other website. We still have a long ways to go.

Russian Hill Real Estate

But look how far we’ve come! Some of the big changes aren’t easy to see. The first order of business in this release was to increase the frequency with which we draw data from ten Multiple Listing Services (MLSs) covering San Francisco real estate, Los Angeles real estate, Orange County real estate and San Diego real estate (we have always had high-frequency updates in markets like Washington DC and Seattle), so that we now check as often as every fifteen minutes for new listings. It took us months to sort through all the feeds.

Just as importantly, we increased the amount of information we display about each listing. Beyond all the MLS-provided details and photos of the property, the county tax records and the Zestimate, we now add:

  • a set of similar listings and recently sold properties
  • a complete history of any price changes since the listing became active
  • a second market value estimate from eppraisal.com
  • local Redfin blog and message board conversations
  • a detailed overhead image of the lot outline
  • photographic bird’s-eye views of the property.

And our favorite feature may be the neighborhood outlines that now set the boundaries of map-based searches. This allows you to analyze the median price, square footage and days on market for your neighborhood, and now too you can download that data to Excel, where you can really go hogwild with formulas and charts. This is an idea we took from one of our user groups.

There are a bunch of little things too, like showing condo icons, and favorites on the map, and unit numbers, and actually making address search work. And because we finished swapping out MySQL in favor of Postgres, which features geospatial indexing, the whole site is screaming fast. What all this means for the true real estate freak is one of the deepest, fastest, most addictive highs on the Internet.

AND DID I MENTION THAT, AT LONG LAST, WE SUPPORT THE SAFARI BROWSER! Or, as a matter of interest, that Safari 3.0 is by a wide margin the browser that renders our site most quickly?

Hats off to Shahaf, Jamie, Arthur, Sasha, Matt, Jane, Dan, Navtej, Michael, Leo, Jeff, Llewellyn, Mose, Bryan, Mike and the rest of the Redfin team for all their awesome work, and to all the customers who helped us too! And even though we complain a lot, we’re grateful too to the Microsoft Virtual Earth team that worked with us on Safari support.

If you have any thoughts on the new site, or suggestions for what we should do next, please just leave a comment!

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