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Turn Realtor.com into nonprofit information source

Guest perspective: New strategy for real estate Web site

The Inman News editorial, "Realtors association should unleash Realtor.com," presents some interesting ideas. However, the basic premises that Homestore should be allowed to implement a referral-for-a-fee business model and that Realtor.com is an asset too valuable to lose are flawed in several respects. Realtor.com is good at being a free information source. But how valuable is this free information? People clicking through a listing database like Realtor.com are of no value to home sellers or Realtors. It matters not how large that database is or how widely distributed it is. The purpose of listings is to sell homes. Ultimately, sellers don't care how a home is marketed as long as it sells in a manner that meets their objectives. Realtor.com should prove its worth by answering the hard questions about the results the site produces for Realtors and home sellers. How many homes were sold as a direct result of the listing being on their site? How many clicks on any given listing and ho...

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