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Redfin smacks down MLS hit piece

by Greg Robertson on December 21st, 2017

Well it looks like at least Redfin isn’t blaming the MLS.

Glenn Kelman and Chelsea Goyer of Redfin published a blog post, titled, A Tragedy of the Commons, which rebukes a paper published from the Center for Data Innovation. Everyone should read the whole post. Here’s a few highlights.

Redfin Has Not Been Hindered by the MLS

The study’s claim that it is unnecessarily cumbersome for “Redfin to be licensed brokers” in every state or to “apply for and maintain membership in every single MLS within these states” is wrong. Redfin’s expansion efforts haven’t been hindered in the slightest by MLS licensing requirements because we already require a brokerage license to employ agents and serve customers. We join the local Multiple Listing Service not only to access other agents’ listings, but to distribute our own agents’ listings to others.”


Local Differences Between MLSs are Not Nefarious

To be sure, the study is right that Redfin incurs costs accommodating differences in MLS data about waterfront properties in Seattle, gated communities in Phoenix, or historical registries in Richmond. These differences are cumbersome for brokerages as well as third-party portals, and, as a strong supporter of the Real Estate Standards Organization, Redfin has advocated for standardization where possible. But the local differences that exist today aren’t nefarious or anti-competitive.”

Much different tone than these guys, what could possibly be the reason??

The MLSs Are Not Discriminating Against Low-Fee Brokers

We thus find each of the study’s claims about Redfin to be wrong. The authors of this study could have avoided making claims about Redfin that Redfin itself would dispute, just by contacting us beforehand. Our position on the MLS and data syndication is well known: we’ve stated publicly many times that we’re a strong supporter of the Multiple Listing Services’ efforts to share listing data among all brokers, especially small brokers who compete aggressively on price.”

One could argue initiatives like Upstream are more about helping larger brokers, and stifling smaller brokers or brokerages with alternative business models like Redfin.

Maybe the real reason that brokers belonging to groups like The Realty Alliance want to circumvent MLS Providers is that MLS Executives are doing their job, maintaining a fair marketplace, and doing it well.

From → MLS, Redfin, Upstream

  1. This is very thoughtful from Redfin. Commenting on Facebook.

  2. Roland Estrada permalink

    Interesting. This kind deviates from the post a little. So much has been made about culture lately. Redfin and Compass to be specific. If you want to get an insight into the culture of the companies, go read the reviews on Glassdoor for for both Redfin and Compass. Compass tends to be cast in a more favorable light. Fun stuff depending on which company you favor.

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