More Homebuyers Now Making Offers on Homes They Toured Virtually
SEATTLE, April 9, 2020 — (NASDAQ: RDFN) — One-third of home-tour requests made by customers last week were for agent-led video-chat tours, according to Redfin, the technology-powered real estate brokerage. That’s up from less than 1% during the first week of March, according to a new report by Redfin. Additionally, of the offers signed last week, 12% were signed by customers who had toured the home they made an offer on via video, double the prior week’s share, and up from close to zero at the beginning of March.
Since early March, Redfin has been implementing a wide range of measures in response to the coronavirus, including letting homebuyers request agent-led video-chat tours with a single click on Redfin.com and the company’s iOS and Android apps. Other recent technology features and safety measures from Redfin to help keep customers and employees safe include:
• Redfin.com will soon launch a map that shows which homes have virtual walkthroughs available and allows customers to filter search results to show only those that can be toured in 3D. We know customers want to quickly find homes that can be toured virtually; so far in April, we have seen views of these walkthroughs more than double from the prior month.
• On April 4, the company began piloting live video open houses via Zoom in three markets: Portland, OR, Boston, and Oklahoma. Redfin conducted 10 live-video open houses this past weekend, which were accessible to multiple homebuyers at the same time, and plans to bring the service to additional markets soon.
• On March 27, we published an online tracker for the industry that maps state and metropolitan area stay-at-home and shelter-in-place orders, what they mean for residential real estate and where real estate is considered an “essential service.”
• On March 19, we established a company-wide COVID-19 response team that is monitoring all state and local government orders and providing guidance to our employees to ensure compliance with the letter and spirit of the law.
“Being in a city like Portland where many people want to live, I’ve been doing video-chat tours for out-of-town customers for a long time,” said Portland, OR agent Daniel Brooks. “The biggest difference we’re seeing today is that people already living in Portland are requesting them now too. I think we’ll see local residents doing more video tours and open houses long after the pandemic is over—once people do one, they realize what a convenient way it is to see a home without driving across town.”
Digital closings with Redfin subsidiaries Title Forward and Redfin Mortgage have also spiked in recent weeks, as customers increasingly turn to technology to safely close deals. In the first five days of April, 10% of deals that were closed with Title Forward were done electronically, up from an average of 3% in March and 1% in February. At Redfin Mortgage, about 12% of April closings are expected to be entirely virtual—twice the share we saw in March and up from zero in February.
Redfin is a technology-powered real estate brokerage, combining its own full-service agents with modern technology to redefine real estate in the consumer’s favor. Founded by software engineers, Redfin has the country’s #1 brokerage website and offers a host of online tools to consumers, including the Redfin Estimate, the automated home-value estimate with the industry’s lowest published error rate for listed homes. Homebuyers and sellers enjoy a full-service, technology-powered experience from Redfin real estate agents, while saving thousands in commissions. Redfin serves more than 90 major metro areas across the U.S. and Canada. The company has helped customers buy or sell homes worth more than $115 billion.