Redfin helps people find the right house at the right price, using Google Maps APIs

Editor's note: Today’s guest blogger is Curtis Howell, Redfin senior product manager for customer engagement. Read how Redfin makes it easier for buyers to find their ideal homes.

Redfin launched in 2006 with the mission to change the way people buy and sell homes. Unlike traditional real estate brokerages, Redfin real estate agents are paid based on customer satisfaction, not just commission, so the agent’s and client’s interests are aligned. Redfin uses technology to improve the customer experience at every step, from the initial home search to the closing table.

We used the Google Maps Javascript API to build the web interface for and the Google Maps Android API for the Redfin Android app. People are familiar with the Google Maps interface so they intuitively know how to navigate and search when they come to our site or use our Android app.
People often want to search for houses based on places-of-interest, such as a park or a landmark, and the Google Places API allows them to do just that. They can also find houses for sale in specific neighborhoods by drawing a polygon on a map and then searching within that area.

Finding houses for sale on a map is only the beginning of the homebuying process. The next step is touring homes in-person with a Redfin agent. Our customers often schedule multiple tours in one day, so Redfin uses the Google Maps Distance Matrix API to estimate the time it takes to drive between homes.

Google’s location-based search increased the rate of completed searches performed on our site by 4 percent. Data shows that faster searches leads to more satisfied and loyal website users, which ultimately leads to more clients for Redfin.

Map-based search is one aspect of our technology that makes our agents more efficient and able to deliver great service to Redfin customers. Because Redfin is more efficient than traditional brokerages, we’re able to provide full service and still save our customers money.