Friday
April 18, 2014

Realtor.com® Ends AgentMatch Pilot Program

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Realtor.com® Ends AgentMatch Pilot Program

Move Inc., the San Jose, Calif.-based company that operates realtor.com®, has concluded a pilot program it was running in two markets on a product that would match potential sellers with agents in their area. The test of AgentMatch, which operated in Boulder, Colo., and Las Vegas starting in July, was the subject of some discussion, debate, and concern among NAR members.

Some real estate practitioners vocalized their worries on social media that AgentMatch — which ranked practitioners in each market based on sold data from MLSs, including their number of recent sales, list-to-price ratio, and average days on market for their listed homes — created an unfair advantage for some agents. For example, an agent with very low production volume could still show as a top agent in a specific area if he or she had recently sold there. That could edge out other local agents with far higher production levels and better results just because they hadn't sold in that area, critics argued.

In a letter to NAR members Thursday, realtor.com® President Errol Samuelson talks about the spirit of the program and the company’s intention moving forward to deliver a more qualitative tool for sellers.

"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," Samuelson says. "We learned a few things in this experiment. We learned that using an algorithm to 'match' consumers with REALTORS® is misguided. 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."

While the AgentMatch pilot has ended, realtor.com® is still committed to producing a product that will help consumers connect with REALTORS® efficiently, Samuelson says.

"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," he says. "Innovation is not easy. It means accepting risk, and the occasional stumble. But it is, in all cases, energy aimed forward."

Read more:

Realtor.com®: Change is Here