New strategy: reveal deepest, darkest secrets

Here is the interesting story of Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman. Redfin is a company attempting to save people loads of money -- and obviously...

Here is the interesting story of Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman. Redfin is a company attempting to save people loads of money -- and obviously make some for themselves -- by saving them the cost of a brokers fee when purchasing a home. Problem was, real estate agents weren't too keen on it. They did mean, underhanded things and kept Redfin customers on the outside looking in.

Kelman admits their PR strategy at first was to not let anyone know what was going on, as he told Wired: "We were really ashamed that our customers were getting pushed around, so we tried to keep it this dirty little secret."

But then Kelman decided to change course. He blogged about all those nasty things the brokers were doing to keep Redfin customers out. He even made public small internal debates and arguments over the company's Web site design. And surprise, it worked!
Customers loved it. More and more signed on to use Redfin, and by the beginning of this year, Kelman and his crew were closing several deals a day. "Instead of discouraging customers, being open about our problems radicalized them," Kelman says. "They rallied and started pulling for us."

Like some crazed convert, he trumpeted his epiphany: "I honestly believe that if Redfin were stripped absolutely bare for all the world to see, naked and humiliated in the sunlight, more people would do business with us."

Follow me, he urged.

Score one for transparency -- and lets hope more converts follow.

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