The acquisition is Redfin’s first and the reason for it is simple: We want to give folks a complete portrait of what it would be like to live somewhere new, within the house and in the surrounding neighborhood.
Since developing its original idea, Walk Score has become an online authority on neighborhoods, adding cycling and transit metrics to the mix, and delivering 20 million scores per day through 30,000 partner sites. Even better, Walk Score has rental homes. This is all stuff that Redfin needs on its own site.
Redfin, meanwhile, with its membership in the Multiple Listing Services used by agents to list properties, is the authority on homes for sale; as a broker, we can also convert traffic into lasting, profitable customer relationships.
The two businesses together nicely address one another’s needs: for Redfin, richer content about neighborhoods; for Walk Score, homes for sale to engage its online visitors, and a way to convert those visitors into happy, paying customers.
But as complementary as our differences are, we’ve also got plenty in common. Both companies are mission-driven, founded not just to make money, but to empower consumers to make better decisions about where to live.
We both have special appeal to a new generation of urban consumers. We’re both a bit nerdy. We’re both based in Seattle. We both want to encourage people to make sustainable choices about where to live. We’re both tenacious as hell.
I know it sounds silly, but it also made a big difference to us when we met the Walk Score folks that everyone was just so nice.
Now together, we can realize a key component of Redfin’s strategy, to get local, which means putting everything we know about a neighborhood, and everything we’ve done there, into our website and mobile tools, so we become a go-to destination for people exploring a move.
We’re going to continue to invest in Walk Score and its partner network. As part of the announcement, we’re making Walk Score data more accessible to other sites, supporting 5,000 Walk Score requests per site per day, free of charge. Previously, free access had been limited to 100 data requests per day. Anyone with a website can include this data for free in just a few minutes .
For our part, we’ll also make walk, transit and bike scores more prominent on Redfin.com, then get to work on enriching Redfin.com with rental listings and with juicy neighborhood information, including pictures, commute-times, pricing trends, safety stats and lots more on schools.
Walk Score’s indefatigable CEO, Josh Herst, is going to sleep for 48 hours straight, then advise us during the initial integration of the team and the technology. The rest of the team is staying for good.
We could not be more grateful to have such a wonderful group of folks join us, and we’re thankful too to Mike Mathieu, Walk Score’s founding chairman, to all the other lovely folks who brought Walk Score to life, to Ilan Lovinsky for calling me in the middle of the night and telling us to follow our heart on this deal, to Fenwick and DLA Piper, to the amazing Redfin team.
We promise to give this technology a good home.