Letter from Realtor.com® President Errol Samuelson:
Realtor.com® is the consumer website for the National Association of REALTORS®. Its primary purpose is to connect REALTORS® with consumers in the digital world. This is a mandate we take seriously.
Realtor.com® is also a self-supporting entity operated by a for-profit company that does not utilize any NAR dues. No NAR funds are contributed toward the operation of realtor.com.
Both of these factors require that we innovate, experiment and look into the future in close coordination with the industry we serve.
This past summer we launched a pilot called AgentMatch in that spirit.
As you are aware, our competitors are moving ahead with their solutions regardless of industry involvement. In an age of reviews, ratings, big expectations and small attention spans, we wanted to create a service that would place facts, and the REALTORS® behind them, front and center.
AgentMatch, which we tested in two markets, aimed to do that. During this testing phase we learned that we must resolve several important issues before moving any further ahead.
We have concluded the AgentMatch pilot and are working with Realtors across the country to evolve the program and find a better way to highlight their unique attributes. NAR has been, and will continue to be, a strong advocate for its members in this process.
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 just how much lies beneath metrics like days on market or list price to sale price ratio. Numbers don't lie, but they don't necessarily tell the whole story, either.
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.
Innovation is not easy. It means accepting risk, and the occasional stumble. But it is, in all cases, energy aimed forward.
I look forward to the next steps.