SEATTLE, March 22, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Redfin, the technology-powered real estate broker, today released Instant Updates, the first service to immediately email new home listings and price changes to customers, and let them schedule tours directly from the email.
While other major real estate websites send listing update emails daily or weekly, Redfin customers now have the advantage of being notified as soon as the changes happen. Buyers who save searches on Redfin's website can receive Instant Updates within 15 to 30 minutes of when new homes are listed for sale that meet their search criteria, or when prices drop on homes that are already on the market. When buyers mark homes as favorites on Redfin's website, Instant Updates notifies them if the homes sell or go back on the market.
In real estate markets where bidding wars are increasing, the number of homes for sale is decreasing and home buyers are feeling anxious, knowing about a home as soon as it goes on the market is a crucial advantage for buyers. In the 19 markets Redfin serves, 17% of the listings that both debuted and sold in 2012 were under contract in three days or less, giving buyers a very small window of time to learn about a property, tour it and prepare an offer.
"Technology accelerates markets," said Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman. "In a world where a Las Vegas chef can now buy a fish caught in the Adriatic before the fisherman has even returned to the harbor, it's crazy to think that real estate for the most part has run on 1950s-newspaper-time, with one email update in the morning. Instant Updates changes the whole speed of the game."
Redfin was able to develop Instant Updates because, as a licensed real estate brokerage, the company has direct and complete access to the databases that contain all broker-listed homes for sale. Other real estate websites get only partial or indirect access to some of this data. Redfin uses this advantage in Instant Updates to allow customers to be among the first to get time-sensitive information about homes for sale. So far in 2012, more than 1.2 million homes have debuted or changed price in the 19 markets Redfin serves. With Instant Updates, each of these could trigger an email that gives a home buyer the first chance to see the home in person on a home tour.
"Instant Updates very quickly became a huge priority at Redfin," said April Alexander, product manager for Redfin. "As agents were sending in stories from the front lines about the tooth-and-nail competition they were seeing for all kinds of homes, we knew we had to give Redfin customers a leg up. Instant Updates is a data-based leg up that we can deliver to their in-boxes, as homes go on the market."
To turn on Instant Updates, customers can perform any search on Redfin, and then click on the "Email me new listings" button and choose the "Instantly" option. To turn current Daily Updates into Instant Updates, customers can sign into their Redfin account, select MyAlerts& Emails, and choose the "Instant" options under Listing Updates.