Bay Area real estate agents under siege

SiliconBeat reports today that Redfin, an online real-estate brokerage, has picked up $8 million in funding from investors led by Paul Allen's Vulcan. The Seattle-based company has also expanded its one-year-old service from Seattle to the Bay Area. Redfin aims to compete with human real estate agents by working for a fraction of traditional real estate fees. It's a development that would seem inevitable -- SiliconBeat describes today's news as "one more nail in the coffin of the wealthy Bay area real-estate agent" -- but entrenched agents are not likely to accept it without a fight.

Indeed, writes TechCrunch, Redfin already has "war stories to tell about threats, stalkings and other disturbing behavior towards their employees and some customers from ... angry real-estate professionals." For their part, TechCrunch readers, including one self-described veteran of online real estate, have posted cautious comments about the company's chances for success: "There is an endless list of corpses around this business model," writes Wil Schroter, noting there are nearly one million licensed U.S. real-estate agents. "Technology people love to conveniently overlook installed bases."
Posted by Oliver Ryan 9:58 AM 0 Comments comment | Add a Comment

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