Redfin Becomes First Real Estate Site to Add Zoning and Land Use Information to Its 70 Million Home Descriptions - Online Marketplaces Takes a First Look

December 8, 2022
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US portal Redfin has become the first residential real estate site to add detailed zoning and land use information to all its listings—approximately 70 million properties across the US and Canada.

Zoning laws are critical for consumers to understand the regulations behind how specific properties can and cannot be used—including whether they can build extra dwellings, run businesses from the property, rent it out on Airbnb, keep farm animals, and more. This information is typically opaque and hard to obtain for "Average Joe" buyers.

Redfin therefore becomes the only portal in the US and Canada where prospective buyers can find this information directly from a corresponding listing—ahead of rivals Zillow and CoStar.

The information has been added as part of a partnership with data vendor Zoneomics, a real estate intelligence specialist.

Buyers can freely access the information from Redfin listings for both for-sale and off-market homes.

Christian Taubman, chief growth officer at Redfin, said:

"Zoning is a defining characteristic of real estate in North America. It impacts everyone, and you shouldn’t need special research skills to find the information you need.

"Redfin users ask us every day whether a property can be rented out on Airbnb or whether building another living unit in the backyard is allowed, and now they can find answers directly on our home detail pages. We’re proud to be the first real estate website to make that information clear and easily accessible to consumers."

This is a serious coup for Redfin—a portal that has always prided itself on comprehensive listings and a good user experience. The table below shows how Redfin's app compares with other US portal rivals:

wdt_ID Company Simplicity and Design (%) Loading Speed (%) Information Display (%) User Experience (%) Apple Rating (%) Android Rating (%) Online Marketplaces Rating (%) Total Average (%)
1 Zillow 100 100 80 90 96 90 93 93.0
2 Redfin 100 100 80 100 94 92 95 93.7
3 Trulia 100 90 90 100 96 90 95 93.7
4 Realtor.com 100 80 90 80 94 90 88 90.5
5 Homesnap 100 80 80 70 96 86 83 88.2

 

And the portal can now attract buyers with a newfound unique selling point—find everything you could possibly know about this property, and make an offer on it, in one place.

This launch is a welcome break for Redfin, which has been decimated by losses this year. The portal announced that it would close its failed iBuying business after losing in excess of $90m in Q3. 800 employees will also be made redundant—nearly double the size of the 470-employee mass layoff in June.

Online Marketplaces has checked out the new information to test it for usability and ease of understanding. Redfin's listings are already information heavy, including sections showing information about local schools, the listing's sale and tax history, and climate risk (including floods, storms, and heat waves).

The zone information is an easy-to-follow and comprehensive set of data points, and is given prominence around halfway down the listing.

For your convenience, we've added some screenshots of the type of information included below:

 

Redfin Property Details 1

Source: Redfin

 

 

 

Redfin Property Details 2

Source: Redfin

 

Redfin Property Details 3

Source: Redfin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

December 8, 2022
Harvey is an experienced property journalist and copywriter. He has written about the property industry since 2015, starting at The Property Franchise Group in the UK, before moving to Spain to work for Spotahome. He has blogged for the private rented sector, ghostwritten for UK property experts and written case studies for franchise owners around the UK. Harvey joined Online Marketplaces as a News Editor in 2022.

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