Where Real Estate Gets Its Dirt

Realtor.com suspends AgentMatch experiment.

Nothing to add here. I think Errol does a wonderful job of explaining how they reached this decision.

Innovation, AgentMatch and the Future

By Errol Samuelson, President, realtor.com

Realtor.com is a business with an industry mandate to position Realtors for success in a rapidly changing digital environment.

While we are a for-profit enterprise (no Realtor dues dollars are used to support realtor.com), we have an ironclad commitment to the interests of real estate professionals.

This requires us to innovate, experiment and take measured risks.

Innovation is in some ways like exercise: we accept a short-term discomfort for long-term gain. We strain, sweat, push — and occasionally stumble.

But we are almost always better for having made the effort.

This was the spirit behind AgentMatch, a pilot program, an experiment we’ve been conducting in two markets since July. AgentMatch came to be because we were (and remain) certain that the number of consumers that go online to research and find Realtors will continue to increase.

Yes, referrals will always be the lifeblood of many Realtors, and there are many marketing strategies that will always produce results.

But in an age of reviews, ratings, big expectations and small attention spans, we wanted to create a service that would place facts, and Realtors, front and center.

So, while we will continue to embrace that spirit, it is clear that we must resolve some important issues before moving any further ahead. We heard your feedback and intend to act on it. AgentMatch, in its current form, is being taken offline as we formulate, with your input, a better approach.

Let me share some of the things we have learned in this process. We learned that using an algorithm to “match” consumers with Realtors is misguided. Our next generation of software will eliminate the idea of “matching” or ranking agents. A computer cannot find the best Realtor for someone, just like a computer cannot place an accurate value on a home.

We also learned that metrics like days on market or list price to sale price ratio, while useful within a real estate brokerage, could be confusing or even misleading to consumers. Numbers don’t lie, but they don’t necessarily tell the whole story, either.
And yes, metrics matter, but we need to expand the ways that Realtors can highlight their other dimensions, many of which cannot be neatly captured by a number.

This AgentMatch pilot has concluded, but the larger project remains: We intend to create the most accurate and complete resource for consumers looking for a Realtor online, and to continue moving the industry forward with innovative solutions.

Realtor.com exists to connect consumers with Realtors. We do this in many ways. Some – like our SocialBios product, or our new Five Street lead application – will be embraced immediately. Others will be questioned, challenged and ultimately improved upon. We have a talented group of developers and remain committed to this process.

If you would like to help us shape the next phase of our effort, please email me and the realtor.com product team at AgentProfile@realtor.com.

Errol Samuelson

Sponsored By Paragon Connect