Survey Says... Redfin's Best-Kept Secret is Its Customer Service - Redfin Real Estate News

Survey Says… Redfin's Best-Kept Secret is Its Customer Service

Updated on October 2nd, 2020

Redfin surveys people every day, all day: when they tour homes, when they make offers, when they cancel listings, when they sell their house. It’s how we decide what to pay our agents, and how we figure out when we’re screwing up.
But for every thousand visitors we get to our site only a few end up buying or selling a home — or getting a survey — from Redfin. So what’re the rest of you up to? Good question. Every summer, we survey the silent majority, asking how they heard about us and what they think of us. This time, 199 people completed the survey in the space of two weeks, clicking a link on our main map page. As promised, we’re letting you know about some of the results.
First off, the biggest source of visitors for Redfin is word-of-mouth. When we asked people how they heard about us, 35% said it was from a friend, who had either bought or sold a home through Redfin (6%), or just used our site for search (29%).
June 2008 Redfin Visitor Survey: How Did You Hear About Us?

The big difference between this year and last year was that we’re getting more of our traffic from Google search. If you compare this year’s responses to those from our last visitor survey, in August 2007, you can see that the contribution from Google and other search engines had been pathetic:
How Did You Hear of Redfin, August 2007 Survey
August 2007 Redfin Visitor Survey: How Did You Hear About Us?

The surveys reflect the growth of Google-originated traffic but our analysis of our logs show search-driven traffic increasing even more dramatically, accounting for about a third of our traffic growth, which has been 15 – 20% month over month. We still don’t feel like we’re doing a great job optimizing for search, but we’re getting better.
What Visitors Know About Redfin, What They Care About
Next, we asked people about their awareness of key Redfin facts, such as the nature of our business (we’re a real estate brokerage), the extent of our service (we handle negotiations and contingencies through closing), and how our process works (we talk with our clients before you are committed to any particular transaction).
The fact that visitors were most aware of was our commission refund, which just goes to show that how we think of ourselves (a fanatical customer service company) is different than how others see us (as a way to save $10,000):
Awareness of Key Claims
June 2008 Redfin Visitor Survey: Awareness of Key Redfin Facts?

Consumers seemed especially unaware (21% said this was clear & understood) that our agents must have experience with 20+ transactions before representing a client, while only 9% knew that our agents earn between double & triple the industry average. Other facts that only 1 in 5 customers knew about:

Then again, 18% of Americans believe the sun revolves around the earth. OK, now here’s what visitors considered to be “the most important” Redfin facts:
Importance to Consumer of Key Redfin Facts
June 2008 Redfin Visitor Survey: Importance to You of Key Redfin Facts?
The fact that we talk before you’re committed to anything, that our customers are happy, that we negotiate a good deal — all of these things were almost as important as the commission refund. If you combine these two graphs, to see what facts people care about that they didn’t previously know about, it turns out that our negotiating advantage and customer satisfaction ratings are the most under-marketed aspects of Redfin’s service…
High-Importance, Low-Awareness Redfin Facts
So we’ll do our best to get the word out about our customer results…
Many thanks to all the folks who filled out our survey, and congratulations to respondent lfischer46… you won our prize of a $250 Apple gift certificate, which we’ll be mailing to you today.
Questions, comments about the survey, please let us know!

Glenn Kelman

Glenn Kelman

Glenn is the CEO of Redfin. Prior to joining Redfin, he was a co-founder of Plumtree Software, a Sequoia-backed, publicly traded company that created the enterprise portal software market. In his seven years at Plumtree, Glenn at different times led engineering, marketing, product management, and business development; he also was responsible for financing and general operations in Plumtree's early days. Prior to starting Plumtree, Glenn worked as one of the first employees at Stanford Technology Group, a Sequoia-backed start-up acquired by IBM. Glenn was raised in Seattle and graduated from the University of California, Berkeley. He is a regular contributor to the Redfin blog and Twitter.

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