Redfin’s new ‘Scouting Report’ reveals the insider stats on real estate agents

A new feature from Redfin provides detailed stats on more than one million real estate agents

It’s kind of the equivalent of the stats on the back of a baseball card, but in this case for real estate agents. Scouting Report, a new online service that’s launching today from real estate broker Redfin, reveals the real-world stats of more than one million real estate agents across the country.

There’s no batting average or ERA, but users of the service can see how many homes agents have sold in the past three years and at what median price.

Glenn Kelman (Randy Stewart photo)

Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman thinks the service will stir up the industry (something he’s been prone to do in the past), noting that consumers “went nuts” for the concept when it was released in a test version last May.

“No one else has done this on a large scale,” Kelman tells GeekWire. “Consumers for the first time will be able to see how good their agent really is.”

Unfortunately, due to restrictions from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service — an agency in which Redfin has butted heads in the past — the Scouting Report feature is not available in the Seattle area.

But it can be used in most of the other markets where Redfin operates, including San Francisco, LA, Chicago, Portland and Boston.

Just like baseball cards, Scouting Reports provide all of the vital stats for a potential home buyer thinking about drafting an agent.

Those include how many homes the agent has sold in the past three years; the average number of price drops for each home sold; the median sales price; the range of prices; how often the agent represented buyers and sellers; and the number of distressed properties sold.

All of the information is plotted on a map, with pictures of properties. The stats apply to both Redfin agents and non-Redfin agents.

As I mentioned before, Kelman has certainly tried to stir up the real estate industry in the past. And releasing this treasure trove of data may not win him fans with agents who are struggling. But the Internet entrepreneur said that it marks an important feature.

“We released this so folks could get the facts about their agent, and make better decisions about whom to use to sell their house. We think more will, as a result, use Redfin agents,” he said. “But the reason we did this was also more animal. What we tell ourselves here every day is that we came here to change the game, to make real estate totally different and better — and this just seemed like a Redfin kind of thing to do.”

I was also curious to get more details on what it would take to see this service here, as I am sure the voyeuristic urges of Seattleites would want to see this in action for local agents. Here’s what Kelman had to say on that matter:

“I think it’s just hard for our Seattle data provider to keep all the brokers happy about what data we can publish, especially if Redfin comes to the party with a totally different idea of fun and starts guzzling down the punch,” he says. “So rather than being obnoxious about it, we totally understand the concerns around what we can publish, and just expect that we’ll be able to address ‘em over time.”

  • Guest

    Congratulations to Redfin! Realtors probably won’t appreciate having their performance measured, but house-buyers and -sellers will really love to have this data.

    Thank you, Redfin, for continuing to disrupt the traditional real estate business.

  • http://twitter.com/davidniu David Niu

    Way to go Glenn and the Redfin team!  I can’t wait until this service and transparency comes to Seattle.

  • Anonymous

    They need to figure out how to get info for the Seattle area. 

    • Lesliedickinson

      wait a minute – I’m a broker, and I say – BRING IT ON! Of course I want my potential clients to know my history. I work hard for my clients, do not take them for granted and negotiate hard on their behalf. A lot more than the average Redfin agent does.

      • Liberty Island

        what do you mean, “the average redfin agent” there is no such thing. it’s one closing agent and a whole bunch or faceless no opinion field agent bellboys running around showing homes for him – they only know how to open the lock box, that’s it. the closing agent gets the credit for the sale, even though he often first meet the client at the closing table..not even worth to talk about it, so we could all just get back to selling and serving our clients…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1139321258 David Milesi

    Thank You Glenn, for always pushing the envelope. I feel that both the residential and commercial multiples in Seattle/NW are not forward thinking. Maybe some day they will embrace the future instead of being so afraid of “what will happen”. Keep up the good work.

  • http://www.birthdayslam.com Jeff Robinson

    How about adding a statistic field showing the current estimated home value against what the broker had sold it to his client for.
    Buying a home is in most cases  the biggest investment an individual will make. Wouldn’t you like to know by how much your agent has made his other clients overpay?

    • Renting

      Dude, really?  Those Z estimates and the like are all over the place with what they think a house is worth.  Have you read the fine print on those estimates?  They say they can be off by 10% in either direction.  That is a huge swing.  Like every market for every product, a house sells for what a buyer is willing to pay and what a seller is willing to sell it for.  Agents don’t sign the contract, the buyers and sellers do.  Sorry, man, but your comment makes no sense.

  • http://twitter.com/HomeKeyInc HomeKey Inc.

    That kind of transparency is just AWESOME. Some brokers/agents will complain, but in the end, if it’s good for consumers, it will win. Great job guys!

    • Tim

      how the hell is it good for consumers??…it doesn’t address quality of service…plus..should you do it for doctors and lawyers as well?..does everybody’s personal finances need to “be transparent?”

  • guest

    Readers, please check out http://www.agentaquarium.com, the FIRST company to offer such a service. Agent Aquarium launched months ago, after being in development for over a year, and offers a more comprehensive tool to search and compare real estate agents. 

  • Tim in Berkeley

    hey Kelman…remember that scene in Jurassic Park, where Jeff Goldblum says, ” you were so busy figuring out that you COULD, that you didn’t even think if you SHOULD. Get off your nerd tricycle and make a real contribution, will ya?

  • Buddy

    Redfin agents are order takers.  They aren’t great at negotiating, they rarely know the difference in the houses because they rarely visit them, and they don’t feel a sense ownership like a commissioned agent does.  I would rather sell my house myself which would be a stupid decision on my part (too many pitfalls these days) than to use a Redfin agent for a couple thousand dollars back.  I think they have a great website – far better than any I have seen – but it doesn’t translate to the skill I need with such an important transaction.  If you hire the right agent, you will understand that.  Further what an agents median price range is, how many times there was a price drop (the seller could have decided to price it high against the data presented by the agent), and whether or not there are some distressed properties sold (I am sure they have all worked with a distressed property or two) doesn’t matter.  Wake up people.  This is an important and huge financial decision, don’t leave it to an order taker.

  • TM

    Redfin has a great website for property data, this is true. However, I am an agent and my data on the scouting report is completely inaccurate, probably because I changed brokerages. This is not a good thing for the consumer or me. My clients get incredible service, something not offered by many agents. Service and personal connections are not displayed on the scouting report.  At a minimum, there should be a way to contact the agent displayed, and errors should be corrected within 24hours.

    The Redfin business model depends upon traditional brokerages to pick up the ball where Redfin drops it. If all real estate was sold by offices such as Redfin, it would be like having Costco as the only place to shop. Costco is great, but only for certain things.