redfin-v-assetTake a look at the Web site of Asset Realty Group, and you might start to see some striking similarities to Redfin.

Tim Ellis, a longtime real estate watcher who pens the popular Seattle Bubble blog, discovered those similarities recently and started asking some questions.

The result? Ellis contends that the Asset Realty Group’s site is a “shameless rip off” of Redfin.

“Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but straight up ripping off someone else’s hard work is… something else,” writes Ellis, who previously worked at Redfin.

In a series of screen grabs, Ellis compares the two sites, pointing out the similarity in design and layout between Asset Realty Group and Redfin. Perhaps most damning, Ellis looks at the source code behind Asset Realty Group and finds 54 instances of the word “Redfin” in the code.

“They literally copied and pasted large amounts of Redfin code and didn’t even bother to do a find and replace,” Ellis writes.

The home pages of Redfin, top, and Asset Realty, bottom.

We’ve reached out to Asset Realty Group for comment, and we’ll update the post when we hear more. A Redfin spokeswoman tells GeekWire that they are aware of the Asset Realty Group Web site, but they are “not discussing any potential actions right now.”

Seattle-based Redfin, a 10-year-old online real estate company, raised $50 million in venture funding last fall. Asset Realty Group, based in Kirkland, was founded in 2005 by Chad Storey.

Interestingly, this is not the first time that Web site copying has been alleged in the real estate arena.

You may recall back in 2012 that a Canadian real estate company by the name of Sutton WestCoast Realty received a cease-and-desist letter asking that the brokerage take down a Web site that allegedly mirrored one from Seattle online real estate company Estately.

“This looks a lot like what happened to us: a straight lift of the html, CSS and javascript,” said Estately CEO Galen Ward when contacted by GeekWire. “Outsourced firms often take the ‘we want it to look similar to ____’ a little too literally.”

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  • Forrest Corbett

    HTML snippets from the home page of each site:

  • Viet Nguyen

    This gives me an idea about starting up a new tech news blog serving the Puget Sound region and maybe Portland. . .

  • Drew Meyers

    where there is good work done, there will always be copycats who follow

  • PA

    source code on assett’s site is copied directly from redfin:

  • Kevin Lisota

    We had this happen with our site a few years back. They stole the entire site, including all of our written copy.

    • Marc

      How did you discover it?

      • Kevin Lisota

        Friend of mine in the Bay Area caught it and recognized the huge similarities.

  • Sam DeBord,

    They had to add “# of feet of snow walking speed adjustment” to their algorithm, Mike.

  • Corey Swelling

    Is it bizarre to anyone than Asset is the largest privately owned real estate company? Is the person that created the feed a Redfin shareholder? Interesting…

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