AgentMatch — the agent search tool from realtor.com that ranked agents by their multiple listing service transaction stats before trials in two test markets were suspended last year — will soon have a successor.
The new version of the consumer tool will still have agent transaction history data, including active listings, but will not include some of the most controversial components of the original AgentMatch site, like average days on market or list-to-sale-price ratio, according to Ernie Graham, who led the development of AgentMatch as realtor.com’s senior director of product management.
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The new version will have five pillars, Graham told Realtor Magazine:
- Experience: including transaction history, but not list-price-to-sale-price ratio or average days on market.
- Expertise: Realtor certifications and designations, types of properties often sold, blogs or social networks that demonstrate specific knowledge, and showing activity in an area.
- Personal connections: reveal consumers’ social media connections to agents, bios and recommendations from clients.
- Brand: brokerage info and whether the agent is part of a team.
- Responsiveness: details average response time to consumer inquiries.
“We want to [create] rich agent profiles and let consumers choose what is most important to them,” Graham said.
Geared toward sellers in its original incarnation, AgentMatch ranked up to 28 agents by city, ZIP code and neighborhood by their MLS stats and client recommendations. The tool became a hot-button topic after news broke in early November that realtor.com had been testing the site in the Las Vegas and Boulder, Colo., markets for several months.
At the time, agents, and at least one large franchisor, Keller Williams Realty, expressed concern about the accuracy and merit of agent rankings based on MLS stats. Agent teams tend to skew individual stats, some argued. Others said it’s difficult for consumers to gauge agents’ abilities by statistics alone.
Announcing the suspension of the product in December, former realtor.com President Errol Samuelson said that although the company had concluded that “using an algorithm to ‘match’ consumers with Realtors” was “misguided,” it would continue to work on creating “the most accurate and complete resource for consumers looking for a Realtor online.”
“A lot of people got emotional about [AgentMatch], but no one was seeing the complete product or complete experience of it,” Graham told Realtor Magazine. “AgentMatch was only experimenting with one data set around transactions.”
In the new version of the agent search tool, realtor.com wants to include more well-rounded agent information, Graham said.
A spokeswoman for realtor.com operator Move Inc. said the firm was not ready to comment on the new version of the platform.
According to a declaration filed as part of Move and NAR’s breach of contract lawsuit against Samuelson and Zillow, Graham has been leading the modification of a “major project” that has been in development for several months and is in the process of being finalized.
An advisory board formed by realtor.com in mid-November to help shape the product has also been active over the last several months, according to Ryan Bokros and Kendyl Young, two original members of the 16-member board.