BuySide Realty Inc. launches in Seattle and goes head-to-head with Seattle based Redfin Corp. Buyside Realty through Iggy’s House lists home for free while Redfin charges a flat fee for their MLS listing.
Will Buyside eat the perch for dinner? Who knows, but this will be more than interesting considering Redfin put a 23 day hold on all new listings. I suspect this is all in Buyside’s favor as Buyside enters and sheds a new opportunity, hype, publicity and a larger rebate to buyers. Redin offers a 66% rebate where Buyside offers a 75% rebate to home buyers. There is obviously no floor, but Redfin has already decided not to compete on the lower commissions, offering a localized service in comparison to Buyside who will operate online and by phone. Refdin does offer limited personal service at their discounted fee.
It would appear that the two VC giants are making nice at the moment- although both Heads have publicly commented on the other. Chief Executive of Iggy’s House, Joseph Fox takes a less confrontational approach:
“I believe that you have to change an industry from within the industry,” said Fox, who drew comparisons to his days in the online stock trading business. “I don’t believe that online buyer’s agents like us and others will knock out traditional agents. I was a believer in the 90s that online stock brokers will work with traditional stock brokers. And guess what? Ten years later there are still traditional stock brokers and online brokers. They have learned to work together.”
Glenn Kelman at Redfin basically dismisses Buyside:
“A long time ago we had to decide if we were going to match BuySide’s price and we decided not to. We decided to compete on quality of customer service, not on price.”
Fair enough. However, this past week, a blog came out exposing Redfin’s Listing agents’ lack of attentiveness to a listing and an unhappy listing client. The link and post were later pulled for concern that the blog post was in regards to an ongoing transaction. We aren’t sure if it was a direct result, but the day after the post was pulled, Glenn at Redfin issued the 23 day halt to listings via the Corporate blog making this admission:
“And yes, I know that traditional real estate agents don’t get a day off during the busiest time of the year either, and I don’t know how you do it. It’s a tough job. In the case of our agents, it seems to be especially stressful because they’ve been at the office late into the night, every night.”
With new competition looming, I would suspect they’ll be in the office even more.