Redfin Pulls Agent Scouting Reports, Cites Inaccurate Information

Last week we wrote about Redfin’s new agent “Scouting Report” and asked our readers to check and see how accurate the information was. Many of you responded and claimed that some of the information was wrong. Well, it turns out that you weren’t alone. Redfin has decided to pull the reports, citing “inherent problems in the multiple listing service data the reports were based on that weren’t easy to fix.”

According to a blog post from Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman, Redfin’s agent Scouting Report didn’t reflect the most accurate information mostly because agents work informally in teams, or sometimes don’t formally record when an out-of-town agent represented a buyer in a deal.

This won’t be the last time that a company tries to publish scores for agents based on how quickly they sell a home and how much money they get for it. But this should provide a valuable lesson for all agents to manage their reputations online and through services like this.

All agents have to trade on is their reputation and their results. Redfin’s attempt to publish that data showed how difficult it is to get that data right.

Some credit must be given to Redfin and their management team. They recognized problems with the service and acted quickly to correct the situation. But they may not be done yet.

“I don’t know when Scouting Report will see the light of day again, though I am hopeful that if we allow any agent to curate her own profile, we will resolve many of the inaccuracies,” Kelman said. “In the meantime, we’ll use some of the data to tell consumers when a Redfin agent has worked with another agent before.”

When that data is released, agents should check to make sure that it is accurate.