Whoa! What is going on out there in this real estate world this month? Hot off the press today some major movement in the discount real estate brokerage business, & mainstream real estate media verticals.
Redfin – which announced a few weeks ago to layoff a big % of their staff has rolled out another adjustment to their offering plan for buyers and sellers in the 8 markets that they serve. Today they announce: Redfin Upgrades Online Brokerage Service on their very nicely new fresh designed website. Great work guys. Looking sharp!
Zillow – (via the Sellius Blog and Inman News ) announced that the real estate media company Zillow has chosen to give up all but two of its state real estate broker licenses as a cost cutting measure. (It kept Washington and Texas). On October 17, 2008, Zillow CEO Rich Barton publicly announced the layoff of 25% of its workforce.)
Zip Realty – Zip Realty adds 551 real estate agents in an aggressive recruting effort and boosts sales. ZipRealty Inc. managed to trim third-quarter losses to $1.7 million as the company added 551 agents and took advantage of continued turnover of foreclosed properties to achieve double-digit growth in sales and revenue from a year ago.
From the street level it looks like all these major movements to innovate this stale traditional industry is taking a beating because of nationwide market declines. In short, Redfin tacks on is giving less commission rebates back but offering up more services and dedicated time to their clients. Zip is taking the old old OLD tactic of add more agents and get more deals – yikes. And Zillow who really stands separate from the pack as an ad based business is a clear impression that there is less $$$ being spent in the industry at this current time. Will all these companies survive … absolutely, and we are a big fan of all of them.
CondoDomain.com – (A little “self love”) – Little’ole CondoDomain.com still sits quiet in the pack (even though we are yelling as loud as we can) on the sidelines. Bootstrapped to the max, operating in 4 markets (soon to be 6 this week), our mini-Redfin web-based buyers brokerage business model is trending in the opposite direction. Possiblly hte markets we are in? Maybe our cheap flimzy business cards and marketing material? Who knows, but we are excited to be growing in a time like this. A little birdie told me that San Diego & Washington DC will have a CondoDomain website & buyers brokerage business model there very soon.