Why Aren't Husbands More Like Redfin?

One more thing about yesterday’s website upgrade… did you notice how much faster the site loads each listing?

The turbo-charging is largely due to the work of our principal engineer, Michael Smedberg, who figured out new ways to cache data about a listing so we don’t have to query our database for basic property history every time a user wants to see the page. This caching is a little like keeping a fridge upstairs so you don’t have to walk so far to get a soda. Some of the caching technologies we used have also been used by Facebook.

In a more elegant turn, Michael also re-worked how we load a web page about a listing, so you can see a listing’s photos and basic details at the top of the page, while the bottom is still fetching the list of comparable properties.  This is a little like getting to eat  your sandwich while your husband gets dessert.

And on top of all that, we installed a super-duper solid-state disk drive — it got passed around at a company meeting and I got to fondle it for a moment, without really knowing what it was — into one of our database servers.

So our approach to performance this time was a classic case of beauty and the beast. What this means is that the site should really hum now.

Long-term we’ve wondered whether so many details about a single home — its neighborhood, its yard outline, its listing history, its property taxes, its Zestimate, the similar listings and and recent sales — belong on one web page. Amazon has a long web page about every book it sells because people like seeing all the details in one place. Are real estate consumers the same?

For Michael that question largely comes down to whether we can deliver all that information in one page with reasonable performance — we can! But would you prefer to see the information organized into different tabs?  Let us know!


  • Mary K

    Most definitely!!! I use your website precisely because you do provide so much information in one place, on one page. I’d be extremely disappointed if you changed this! I recommend your site to everyone I know. It’s well thought out, and provides me with what I need to make good decisions.

    Thank you, Redfin, for all you do for us!

  • Carl Lumma

    Seconded. The info-rich pages are great. Glad the performance has been improved.

    The only thing I want that isn’t on the page now is schools. Probably you are thinking about this; it’s hard to do right. Movoto shows nearby schools, which is better than nothing, but ideally the actual schools for a property could be worked out from map data. An agent or specialist could enter the boundaries for each area you serve. For districts that don’t use map boundaries, the system could list the appropriate phone number or URL.

  • Alison Snow

    I vote for same page. It’s like staying in the moment – you switch to another page and it’s an abrupt change to the emotions and the energy. Redfin and Amazon have a good thing going!

  • http://blog.redfin.com/blog/author/glenn%20kelman Glenn Kelman

    @Carl: we DEFINITELY need to do schools
    @Alison & MaryK: your votes have carefully been recorded (I happen to agree with you, too!)

  • Marce

    Carl, did you see the link to schools and scores all the way at the bottom of the page, lower left?

  • Kimberly

    Please, please, please, please, pretty please do NOT segregate out info into different tabs or pages.

    Please, please, please, please, pretty please keep them on the same page.

    Thank you. You rock.

  • http://blog.redfin.com/blog/author/glenn%20kelman Glenn Kelman

    @Marce: good bust, I should have pointed that out (and how the heck are you?)

    @Kimberly: it’s hard to tell what you’re really saying here… :-) Thanks for the feedback!

  • Steve

    I love the single all-inclusive Redfin page. It’s a plus, don’t change it: the first things you want to see are at the top, and you can scroll down for however much more you want, without flipping around to other pages, or else stop scrolling at any point when you lose interest: no waste, no bother, works fast, viewers see all they want & no more than they want: very cool as it is!

  • Marce

    Doing great, Glenn, thanks. :)
    I’ll have to swing by soon- I miss you guys!

  • Justin

    Stay with the single page. Sometimes I’ll have a few browser tabs open (one per property) and it’s nice to be able to flip between each tab and see the same info for each house in the same place (position on the page).

  • http://blog.redfin.com/blog/author/glenn%20kelman Glenn Kelman

    That’s a good argument I hadn’t thought of Justin. Thanks for the feedback!

  • http://savan.posterous.com/ Savan Kong

    Redfin had tabs on the map before. They were junk compared to the single page view.

    Keep the single page view; it rocks.

  • http://blog.redfin.com/blog/author/glenn%20kelman Glenn Kelman

    How could I forget Savan? Thanks for reminding me old buddy…