Realtor.com is beta-testing AgentMatch in Las Vegas and Boulder, and just announced that they have selected 16 realtors to form a advisory board “to work in tandem with us on this important project”.
From the article:
AgentMatch ranks agents by city, ZIP code and neighborhood based in part on their transaction histories, with data sourced from the local multiple listings services. Other information, including certifications and recommendations, is also factored in.
The agents’ reaction to AgentMatch has largely been negative, with many expressing apprehension toward the accuracy of rankings that rely on statistics, and the inherent ambiguity in determining what makes one agent rank higher than another.
Redfin, Google, and others have rolled out their versions, and if it weren’t for the vehement objections by realtors, there would be several agent-rating websites in business by now.
There needs to be a solid, dependable agent resource center – the data is available, and third-parties are going to publish it, if we don’t.
It makes sense that realtor.com would be the natural portal. They have the direct connection to every MLS, and should be able to verify its accuracy. Agents should trust realtor.com more than the rest, and if realtor.com would have been dedicated to lead the industry, then we probably wouldn’t be talking about this. It would have already happened two years ago, before Redfin tried their agent-ranking version for a week.
Here’s what I wrote about it then:
I’m not on their advisory panel, but I’ll offer my thoughts anyway:
1. Delete the ‘ranking’ of agents, and just make it an agent-resource center loaded with facts – and education. Give instructions on what the data means, and on how to properly interpret it.
2. Include an agent-profile box where realtors can manually input their own introduction and make a pitch why they deserve your business. Provide a link directly off the website to the agent. If an agent wants to dispute their sales counts publically, do it here.
3. Make the data readily consumable – easy to read with helpful tips along the way. For starters:
Total sales closed in the last 12 months:
Number of agents in group who reported sales under this agent:
How many off-market deals did you close:
Short-sales listing closed: Short-sale buyers closed:
REO listings closed: REOs sold to buyers:
Total sales closed in the last 36 months:
- (comparing 12-month totals vs 36-month shows professional growth)
- And more.
4. Allow clients and other agents to give feedback, just like Ebay. The realtor would be allowed to give rebuttals, and we’d have to deal with fake feedback. To make everybody happy, we’d probably have to allow agents to delete negative comments up to a point.
Realtors have enjoyed relative anonymity, and our commitment to educate the consumer is dreadful. A powerful agent-resource center that was properly positioned would help focus the attention on facts, and give the industry some much needed direction. It is in everyone’s best interest to work together to create a package that works.
Transparency would be greatly enhanced. Agents who focus on truthfully marketing themselves would benefit – the stats would back them up. The agents who depend on a fluffy image would still get by, because consumers attracted to that, probably wouldn’t be scouring the internet for data.
Some of the biggest objections will come from those whose shady dealings will now be exposed – it would help keep agents honest!
Most of all, it would give clients a resource from which to learn about the agents who are assisting them with one of the biggest decisions in their life. It’s the least we could do to help.