Are agent ratings real estate’s ‘Moneyball’?

Guest perspetive from ZipRealty's Lanny Baker

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The red-hot debate that’s recently erupted about revealing real estate agent “performance data” (how many homes an agent has shown, sold, etc.) to consumers, in an effort to connect the right agent to the right consumer, reminds me a little of “Moneyball,” and all the turmoil that it caused in baseball in the early 2000s. As you probably know, “Moneyball” is the revolutionary technique of using sabermetrics to scout baseball players to build winning teams. When it first came on the scene it was hugely controversial, to say the least: Scouts were enraged by it, players were suspicious of it, and sports analysts scoffed at it. But when it helped the Red Sox win their first World Series in more than 60 years, beating out teams with “top talent” and bigger budgets, baseball began to accept it. Now the majority of Major League Baseball uses it. Is a player more than the stats on the back of their card? Of course. Is an agent more than the number of homes that they...