Redfin Open Book Reaches 10,000 Reviews

Redfin Open Book, our directory of lenders, inspectors, real estate attorneys and escrow agents, just posted its 10,000th review of the service these folks provide, all from the customers who tried to buy or sell a home through Redfin.

What’s amazing is that we reached this milestone in just the eight months since Open Book launched – and in every case we first validated that the customer had worked with the professionals being reviewed.

We identify the inspector, lender, attorney and escrow agent working with a customer when setting up Deal Room, our online work-space for a Redfin agent and her customer to keep track of the tasks, deadlines, people and documents involved in the escrow process.

Keeping tabs on all the folks involved in the deal lets us survey the customer afterwards about their service, not just about the Redfin agent. Getting the customer’s perspective is particularly important with inspectors  because customers so often worry that our own recommendations favor inspectors who minimize problems that could blow up a deal.

Open Book’s goal is to use our technology and our scale to ensure that every single lender, inspector or escrow agent pulls out all the stops to advance our customers’ best interests. And believe me, it works: the reviews our partners get on Open Book can determine whether they  get a lot of business from Redfin, or none at all. We recognize the best-reviewed folks with a “Redfin-recommended” logo beside their names.

This is an endorsement money can’t buy. Nobody pays to be in the Open Book directory and no one ever will, so I don’t expect we’ll ever make any money from Open Book. But the benefit to customers has been enormous:

  • 31% of our customers used the Redfin-recommended inspectors from Open Book
  • 23% of our customers used the Redfin-recommended lenders on Open Book
  • 3,782 service providers appear in the directory
  • When you look at just the reviews of the service-providers, the customer satisfaction score of the professionals we recommend on Open Book is 30 points higher than for all other service-providers.

This makes our customers happier not just with their lender or inspector, but with Redfin overall. Just look at what one customer, Brian Yamagata, said when reviewing Redfin agent Nancy Roos in Boston:

The whole home buying process went pretty smoothly, and it helped that she has a good network of professionals that you will need during the entire home buying process. The attorney she referred us to, Shivani, was great! Couldn’t have asked for better.

Ryan Metzger, a Seattle customer who took me to coffee to explain why Redfin needed to ship Instant Updates, came to the same conclusion:

We had no idea how to find quality vendors and we were fortunate that Redfin was able to recommend people we really liked.  This helped me realize that Redfin has an advantage in the high number of deals they close as well as the transparent feedback they collect. 

It’s reviews like these that keep us going, all night long. We’ll continue working to bring accountability and transparency to every step of the real estate process. As Shahaf Abileah, the leader of the Open Book engineering team, said when emailing me about this milestone last week: “On to 100,000 reviews!”

Discussion

  • http://twitter.com/pmbydesign Alfredo Mendez

    Congrats on this awesome milestone!

    • http://blog.redfin.com/ GlennKelman

      Not a sparrow falls without your noticing. Well done to you too Alfredo, since you designed the feature before running a team at Amazon, and thanks for being such a great supporter. It means a lot to us here at Redfin.